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Old 02-23-2006, 7:00 AM
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Question Mutual Aid freqs

A question about mutual aid frequencies...

Here in Florida, the 800 MHz band channels allocated for mutual aid purposes are 866.0125 and 866.5125. Has anyone ever actually heard any traffic on these frequencies? 853.3875 used to be the Florida mutual aid frequency, but in the five years I have lived here and have been monitoring the scanner, on only one occasion have I heard any activity on this frequency.

As far as the supposed nationwide frequency of 155.475 goes, I think that in the 25 years I have been a scanner listener (in various states), on maybe as many as five occasions have I heard any traffic on 155.475. I have never heard so much as a peep on the supposed national fire mutual aid frequency of 154.280 anywhere, anytime.

I find it surprising that there is apparently such little use of mutual aid channels. Why is it that police and fire officials cry so much about a lack of interoperability between agencies when all they have to do is click over to one of the mutual aid channels? I have heard that in the weeks after Hurricane Katrina, ambulances from all over the southeastern USA converged on southern LA and MS but were largely unable to communicate with one another for lack of a common frequency. Again, what happened to 155.475? 154.280? or the HEAR frequency of 155.340?

Does anyone know anything about usage of any of these frequencies, especially 866.0125, 866.5125, and 853.3875? Thanx
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Old 02-23-2006, 7:23 AM
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When we are at our chapel office in Collier County, we can hear interagency traffic on the old 155.370 mhz frequecy from several agencies including Miami-Dade mobiles. There are 319 active licenses statewide on the old "point to point" channel and since the range is trippled on VHF hi-band compared to the same power/distance ratio on 800, we hear more and more traffic on that channel. We also have a chapel office in Orange Beach, Alabama, 3 miles from the Florida line and hear traffic from both Alabama and Florida on 155.370 there as well. Can't help you with your inquiry concerning the 800 frequencies which you listed. We used to have them programmed in, but never heard anything on them.

Last edited by RevGary; 02-23-2006 at 7:25 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 02-23-2006, 10:26 AM
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Default Mutual Aid and 155.370

Thanks... I used to monitor 155.370 back in the 1980s when I lived in Missouri. Quite a bit of traffic on that frequency then, considering I lived in Joplin which is close to the state lines with KS and OK. I'll try plugging it into the scanner again and see if I hear anything here in Lee County.

You mentioned Alabama... 155.010 is a fairly active intrastate frequency used by law enforcement in Alabama. I hear a good bit of traffic on it when I am visiting my sister up in Huntsville.

I still just have never understood why there isn't more activity on 155.475; I would think it would be a very busy frequency nationwide. Instead, there's just silence.
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Old 02-23-2006, 11:42 AM
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155.475 mhz. is one of those frequencies which is under rated and under valued by agency administrators. As an example, during the Hurricane Katrina aftermath in southwestern Alabama and in coastal Mississippi, ALL comm was down for a long time until temporary equipment could be brought in and generators could be brought on line. IF 155.475 mhz would have been programmed into ALL of the coastal Public Safety Agency MOBILE radios as well as those used by first responders, the communications issues along the coast would have been much less of a problem than it was. NO ONE responding to the area from areas NOT affected by the storm could talk with each other because ADMINISTRATORS did not have Nationwide Net available in their equipment for various reasons including 'political'. If EVERY crusier, rescue unit and responder vehicle in the US were equipped with 155.475, as originally set up by the FCC communications coordination committees, emergency and liaison communications between agencies would be much better off when primary systems go down. We have been lobbying for this for better than 25 years and northern, midwest and eastern states have adopted this programming in many cases, while southern and southwestern states for the most part have not. The frequency is there for the use of all agencies - it SHOULD be utilized.
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Old 02-23-2006, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbswetnam
A question about mutual aid frequencies...

Here in Florida, the 800 MHz band channels allocated for mutual aid purposes are 866.0125 and 866.5125. Has anyone ever actually heard any traffic on these frequencies? 853.3875 used to be the Florida mutual aid frequency, but in the five years I have lived here and have been monitoring the scanner, on only one occasion have I heard any activity on this frequency.

As far as the supposed nationwide frequency of 155.475 goes, I think that in the 25 years I have been a scanner listener (in various states), on maybe as many as five occasions have I heard any traffic on 155.475. I have never heard so much as a peep on the supposed national fire mutual aid frequency of 154.280 anywhere, anytime.

I find it surprising that there is apparently such little use of mutual aid channels. Why is it that police and fire officials cry so much about a lack of interoperability between agencies when all they have to do is click over to one of the mutual aid channels? I have heard that in the weeks after Hurricane Katrina, ambulances from all over the southeastern USA converged on southern LA and MS but were largely unable to communicate with one another for lack of a common frequency. Again, what happened to 155.475? 154.280? or the HEAR frequency of 155.340?

Does anyone know anything about usage of any of these frequencies, especially 866.0125, 866.5125, and 853.3875? Thanx
The MA's in Florida and Nationwide are the following:

866.0125 MA Call
866.5125 MA Tac1
867.0125 MA Tac2
867.5125 MA Tac3
868.0125 MA Tac4
853.3875 FL ST MA (Florida Only)

By NPSPAC policy all of the MA repeaters are in the "off" position until their need is required by an agency/dept. They have to be requested before they can be used
and is why you don't hear much activity on them. As to internal agencies, I know that all of the users on my system along with an adjacent County have access to the trunked talk-groups that are specific to multi-agency interop. and I only turn on the MA's after the hurricane blows thru for agencies coming to assist.

As to the VHF stuff...it's hit and miss. 155.475 was once licensed to an agency south of me as a full time channel so we utilized 155.370 mostly, but some other agencies used that channel as an internal talk-around or surveillance channel so it was pretty much useless for what it was originally intended.
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Old 02-23-2006, 4:57 PM
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I guess in a perfect world, all public service radio equipment which is sold new should be required to be already programmed with at least 155.475, regardless of the agency or state in which it is sold. I am surprised the FCC did not mandate this thirty years ago. They should have....
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Old 02-23-2006, 6:53 PM
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and what happens if it's UHF or 800 equipment? I for one isn't going to mandate all the users on my 800 system to put a single channel VHF radio...just in case...

I could see on a tower either wirelined or microwave back to a monitoring center (EOC, SO, PD, or FD) but not in every vehicle where an agency has decided to move to a more robust network.

The NPSPAC MA's work just as well as VHF, if not better....
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Old 03-09-2006, 3:27 AM
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Mutual aid freqs monitored 24/7. In case of an incident, that person decides on allowing channel usage and activates repeater. Check out the myflorida.com website for stuff like the Suncom portfolio of services, law enforcement communications plan, EMS communications plan, etc. The thing I like best is the Mutual Aid Channels in Transportable Equipment chart. They want all counties to implement some set of the MA freqs in all portable/mobile radios to facilitate interoperability between agencies/counties/other states etc. Problem is, the chart hasn't been updated in 8 years. (at least the PDF version) Shows you how proactive they are.
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Old 03-09-2006, 3:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbswetnam
A question about mutual aid frequencies...

Here in Florida, the 800 MHz band channels allocated for mutual aid purposes are 866.0125 and 866.5125. Has anyone ever actually heard any traffic on these frequencies? 853.3875 used to be the Florida mutual aid frequency, but in the five years I have lived here and have been monitoring the scanner, on only one occasion have I heard any activity on this frequency.

Does anyone know anything about usage of any of these frequencies, especially 866.0125, 866.5125, and 853.3875? Thanx
I've heard no activity on 853.3875 either, but I stil scan it. The 866 freqs I have heard activity on, from my home in Daytona Beach. It sounded like local PD and Fire. One of the last times I recall was during a holiday parade when it was used to coordinate "Santa's" PD escort for the firetruck he was riding in.

Ed
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Old 03-09-2006, 3:45 PM
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The 155.4750 was the biggest disaster in the history of public safety radio, IMHO. Partly because nobody knew when exactly to use it. Was it only to be used to coordinate police activity with different states or could it be used in one state? Some towns up here in Jersey actually use it for tactical purposes, don't ask me why. Supposely even though the feds are digital, encrypted and everything else you can think of, they still have 155.4750 in their radios somewhere. Just so everyone knows the new 800 MHz mutual aid frequencies are supposed to be in the clear, meaning no digital or encryption!
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Old 03-09-2006, 6:00 PM
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My county here in north florida, (CLAY), has licenses for those same frequencies on the 800MHz including 853.3875. Our county doesn't use those channels at all though for anything. So, I do have to agree with some people on here, why are alot of police officers and firefighters (except me) *****ing that there aren't enough frequencies when they could use those same mutual aid frequencies that are assigned to them. I just don't understand that either. In the 10 years that my father has had those assigned frequencies in our scanners, I have heard them maybe only twice from our county, and maybe two or three times from other counties that have those frequencies and can patch channels together which my county is capable of doing that. But I am like the rest of you all don't understand alot of things.
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