Fire/emergency medical services

USFA, IAFF release updated guide on radio communications


Photo: Rachel Donahue/iStockphoto

Emmitsburg, MD – Citing a need to keep up with an ever-evolving communications landscape, the U.S. Fire Administration and the International Association of Fire Fighters recently published the second edition of Voice Radio Communications Guide for the Fire Service.

The guide, released in June, aims to provide fundamental awareness of radio communications technology and human resource issues. Focus areas include digital and analog radio, conventional radio systems, direct communications, system design and portable radio selection and use, interoperability, radio spectrum licensing, and the Federal Communications Commission and First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). FirstNet was developed in 2012 to build, operate and maintain the first high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety.

“The life safety of firefighters and citizens depends on reliable, functional communication tools that work in the harshest and most hostile of environments,” the guide’s introduction states. “All firefighters, professional and volunteer, operate in extreme environments that are markedly different from those of any other radio users. The radio is the lifeline that connects the firefighers to command and outside assistance when in the most desperate of situations. To operate safely in these dynamic environments, it is imperative that firefighters have the ability to immediately communicate information accurately.”

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