K Deck v. A Deck

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#1
Is there any rhyme or reason to how the A Decks / K Decks are assigned? For example, is Engine 17 always on A Deck or K Deck 8? Or, if Engine 17 (Battalion 2) covers a job in Battalion 8's area, are they assigned to a different deck?

Thanks.
 
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NW Phoenix and NW Ohio
#2
Essentially fire calls are handled on the analog A deck channels and most other calls (ie medical, accident, etc) are handled on the digital K deck.

Like most things in life both analog and digital have advantages and disadvantages. With the analog channels the radios can always communicate over a short distance and can be used efficiently by someone in a burning building to someone on the outside (for example). Digital K decks by design have to go through basically the equivalent of a repeater. If you are in a burning building on a walkie talkie you might not be able to connect to the system and you're in trouble.

The numbers are basically different areas of town and if you pay attention you can see a pattern, but it can be confusing and isn't always followed. For example 6 is usually the NW valley, Glendale, Peoria, etc. But if there are 2 incidents close by they'll probably be on different channels.

It's a bit more complicated than this, but that's most of it in a nutshell.
 
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#3
Generally speaking:
K-6 Northwest Valley
K-7 Northeast Valley
K-8 Southeast Valley
K-9 Southwest Valley
K-10/11/12 Mountain rescues and multi-patient injury accidents.
K-13/14/15 I'm not sure how these are assigned.
Each deck in their radios should have 16 channels. I don't know that a K-16 has ever been identified. I was once told it was used by fire inspectors, but I don't know if that is accurate, nor do I know what the TG may be.

I-17 and Northern Ave are roughly the borders between East & West, and North & South.

K-2 is for small special events and some special details, as well as Central City, which is an alcohol recovery program that the RDC dispatches for. K-3 is also for special events, and special details.
K-4 and K-5 are encrypted. They are used for sensitive incidents and operations, such as medical standby when the POTUS or other high rank VIP is in town, or when assisting the PD on certain calls.
Each department and district under the RDC has its own set of K-2 through K-5 talkgroups, in addition to the main Phoenix ones. Glendale's K-2 and K-3 are in the database. I think I've heard North County (back when they were just Sun City West) on their K-2 as well. You may hear things like hydrant testing or building inspections on those K-2's and K-3's. Not all of the other K-2's through K-5's are in use, although each department/district has them assigned, or at least reserved.

I'll see if I can find the thread that linked to a map for the A-deck assignments. However, roughly:
A-5 is Northeast;
A-6 is Northwest;
A-7 is Tempe;
A-8 is Downtown and South Phoenix, and Ahwatukee;
A-9 is Southwest;
A-10 is Daisy Mtn. (New River and Desert Hills areas);
A-11 is Scottsdale;
A-12 is Chandler and Sun Lakes;
A-13 is Tonopah and Harquahala Valley;
A-14 is supposed to be for Haz-Mat sector use, but I've never heard it used;
and A-15 is for car-to-car use. I think I heard a building inspection being conducted on it last year. The RDC alarm room does not have transmit or receive capability on this channel.
A-16 is the same as A-1.
A-2 is for special uses. (I once heard a bi-lingual dispatcher/tactical radio operator, or TRO, facilitate a translation when the firefighters gave a Spanish-speaking family member of a patient one of the radios, and the dispatcher asked them the questions the medics needed to tend to their patient, and then repeated the answers back in English for the medics.)
A-3 seems to be an overflow fireground channel, particularly when A-8 or A-9 are already in use. I typically have heard incidents between the Downtown area and the Maryvale area assigned to this channel. It doesn't seem to be frequently used, however.
A-4 is interoperability VFIRE-21.

As mentioned previously, if two incidents in the same geographic area both require a dedicated channel and TRO, one of the incidents may be assigned to a different channel than it would be normally. So, a 2nd incident in the Northwest Valley may be assigned to A-5 or A-9 if both incidents need a dedicated channel.

John
Peoria
 
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#4
Oh, Buckeye, Buckeye Valley, and Gila Bend (rescues) are pretty much exclusively on A-9, even for medical calls. I don't think I've heard them assigned to a K-deck in a long time.
Tonopah and Harquahala Valley are similarly exclusively on A-13 for both fire and medical calls.
Either those departments can't yet afford the radios needed to operate on the K-deck talkgroups, or the coverage isn't what they need in their areas. Although Buckeye PD is on the RWC trunked system, so I'm going with they can't afford the necessary radios.

John
Peoria
 
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JohnSpartan

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#5
K Deck (digital) is for non-hazard calls, basically anything that wouldn't require an SCBA or other PPE equipment that would cause a change in communications ability. Any hazard call, that poses a higher than normal risk (hazard) and requires the use of PPE (SCBA, turnout gear, etc) will be placed on analog simplex to communicate as previously stated by everyone else here.

The far west departments simply cant afford the equipment, and as you suspected, coverage isn't the best out there. RWC would need to build out there some more (Simulcast B for sure) to extend coverage farther west. I think it was discussed in November's meeting - though I'm not 100% sure on that.
 
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#6
The Buckeye area is covered by Simulcast J, but the PD probably takes the bulk of the resources of that simulcast. They'd probably have to build Simulcast J up in order to better handle the additional call volume if the FD's were added.
And the sparse population in those districts probably doesn't provide the tax base to be able to afford the cost of doing so.

John
Peoria
 
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#8
The Simulcast B sites are co-located with the Simulcast A sites, in the City of Phoenix. Simulcast B doesn't have any sites outside of the City of Phoenix, to the best of my knowledge.
In all of the other cities, FD is carried on whichever simulcast site covers that area, such as C, F, G, H or J.
There is, of course, some overlap across jurisdictional lines.
Of the IR sites, Thompson Peak and White Tanks carry K-2, and Towers Mtn carries K-1 and K-6 at least part time, thanks to North County units affiliating with it.

John
Peoria
 

N9JIG

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#9
Buckeye FD carries dual band APX7000E's so they have access to the VHF and digital sides. I am not sure about Buckeye Valley FPD, a separate agency that handles EMS by contract in my area, so that might play into channel assignments.
 

JohnSpartan

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#10
Ah, I was under the impression Sim-B was valley wide. Makes sense the other way.

Buckeye FD just got the new equipment - all the other rural smaller agencies are starting to purchase the required equipment, I suspect it will only be a matter of time. Daisy Mountain did the same thing a few years back.
 
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#11
Another thing to consider; CAD limits the amount of active incidents each channel gets assigned before it starts moving to other channels. That number is 15.

For example, when SCT & TMP gets busy on K7 and reaches 15 active incidents, CAD will start assigning new incidents to K8. If K8 is busy, then K9, then finally K6.

As others have stated:

K1 - Channel 1
K2 - Field to Alarm, Not assigned to an active incident. Special Events. Central City.
K3 - Not used
K4 - Homeland Defense/Encrypted.
K5 - Not used
K6 - Northwest Valley
K7 - East Valley (Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Tempe, Chandler, Maricopa)
K8 - Phoenix
K9 - Southwest Valley
K10, K11, K12 - Clear Channel for Major Incidents. Not geographically assigned.
K13, K14 - Not used
K15 - Talk around, not monitored by PFDRDC
K16 is K1

This is the same for every RWR radio that has K-Deck programed.

A decks are geographically assigned.
 
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