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Old 05-19-2012, 4:00 PM
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Question hartford county fire dept signals

Hi all i was curious i thought it was a mandatory to have plain english on the radio i know tolland county fire dispatch is plain english now. i know a fire department in ct i listen to all the time and they say 50s 83 i know what they mean i am just getting at why isn't the fcc making more of a mandatory to get rid of the codes and just talk plain terms no codes what so ever.
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Old 05-19-2012, 5:16 PM
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Well, first off its not the Fcc in charge of mandating use of radio codes, its actually dhs or homeland security with the NIMS ICS system. In order to be compliant with nims and ics you would have to cease using radio jargon and just use plain language. Also the department heads I think have to be surveyed to be in compliance also, but I wouldn't quote myself on that
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Old 05-20-2012, 5:33 PM
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Default Common Terminology/Plain Language

I've just researched the subject and there is no requirement that prohibits codes as they pertain to local operations. The requirements kick in when you have an incident that involves agencies from different departments or jurisdictions. "Unified Command" or "Area Command" Then it is a mandate to use "common terminology

From a NIMS Alert dated Dec. 19, 2006: (Link http://www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/nims/plain_lang.pdf )

While the NIMS Integration Center does not require plain language for internal operations, it strongly encourages it, as it is important to practice everyday terminology and procedures that will need to be used in emergency incidents and disasters. NIMS implementation is a long-term effort and it is probably not possible to persuade everyone to change ingrained habits overnight. But we do hope that over time, everyone will understand the important of using common terminology, that is, plain language, every day.
It is required that plain language be used for multi-agency, multi-jurisdiction and multi-discipline events, such as major disasters and exercises. Beginning FY 2006, federal preparedness grant funding is contingent on the use of plain language in incidents requiring assistance from responders from other agencies, jurisdictions, and functional disciplines.

The FY 2006 NIMS Implementation requirement to use plain language does not abolish the use of 10-codes in everyday department communications. Accordingly, the use of 10-codes in daily operations will not result in the loss of federal preparedness funds.
This alert replaces the one on 10-Codes issued on February 8, 2006.

Here is some other info from FEMA for guidance:

Interoperability & Compatibility: A principle of the NIMS that holds that systems must be able to work together and should not interfere with one another if the multiple jurisdictions, organizations, and functions that come together under the NIMS are to be effective in domestic incident management. Interoperability and compatibility are achieved through the use of such tools as common communications and data standards, digital data formats, equipment standards, and design standards. (Department of Homeland Security, National Incident Management System (March 2004), 55.)

Standardized Terminology: Commonly accepted language that is consistent with policies, plans, or procedures in the NIMS and NRP to facilitate multi-agency, multi-disciplinary or multi-jurisdictional communications during an incident.

http://www.safecomprogram.gov is also a great source of info on interop communications.

If anyone is aware of newer and/or better information, please make it known to the rest of us. Thanks!
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Old 05-20-2012, 9:12 PM
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i have actually heard some departments are going back the other way to codes. There are just some things said on the air that should remain coded.
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Old 05-21-2012, 8:19 AM
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Agreed. We struggled with exactly that scenario. Sometimes the cell phone just isn't practical in times where we need to be discreet.
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Old 05-21-2012, 9:38 AM
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Its all about brevity rather than being discreet. It seems that plain English just seems to take longer since there is really no specific nomenclature like we had with codes. For instance the following examples were used with a specific meaning and we knew what they meant;

Signal 1 - On Air or Responding
Signal 2 - Arrival on scene
Signal 3 - returning to service / station
Signal 4 - off the air

With plain English, people l just use what they want to say. I hear it all the time people say "On the air" when they should be using "Responding", Arrival instead of On Scene, ect. It just gets too messy at times. There should be a set of words utilized and explained why that specific statement should be used like the codes were set up. But I guess that would be too easy and use of the brain to get it done.
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Old 05-21-2012, 2:22 PM
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Quote:

It is required that plain language be used for multi-agency, multi-jurisdiction and multi-discipline events,

..
So, your agency can do what ever it wants to - until you need help or the big one happens - This goes for activity, calls signs, and response mode..

How many people know what a 10-18-4-A is? (Except you N1GTE)
Code 3 or Priority 3? What's the Difference?
63, 19, 84, 98? They all mean "On the scene" for some of the departments I monitor..

"Interoperability" is a tough thing for people to understand - even though it's so simple......


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