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Monday, November 9, 2015

Columbus Fire.. Radio Communications

One of the most significant challenges in this age of everyone having a radio is how to ensure that units on the scene can communicate to each other without being talked over by apparatus that are responding, asking to be added to the run, or the Dispatcher proving information. At the same time, it is important to maintain control over units and ensure that all responding apparatus have adequate awareness, not just of what is going on around them on their incident, but citywide. This becomes exponentially more important during busy periods, when having units on too many different channels present the danger of overwhelming the capabilities of even the most talented dispatcher, and contribute to chaos on the scene of incidents as assignments are frequently much different than normal.  

Although CFD recently implemented a change to address this issue, there may be a better way that accomplishes both objectives and reduces the demand on the dispatchers.  

Instead of having responding apparatus on one FG channel and on-scene units on another, CFD should consider having any unit assigned to any fire incident operate on "10-Alpha" until they arrive on the fireground, at which point they would switch to their Battalion Fireground channel.  This would allow all fire apparatus to maintain awareness of citywide fire operations, reduce the number of channels that have to be monitored by dispatchers (a significant safety issue) and help to ease confusion during busy periods.  

Just my $.02... 

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