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  #61 (permalink)  
Old 09-09-2017, 2:18 PM
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Here in Ohio the interop is so bad the dispatchers usually relay pursuits because the cops have no clue what to use. Complicating interop even more is agencies all use different systems in my county. State is 700, SO is P25 Conv and cities are a mix of Vhf/Uhf. The training is what's lacking I constantly hear users on the state MARCS 700 trying to explain to others how to change zones and TG's. Previous post was correct about they need to qualify on there radios like they do with firearms. The feds are not much better I have a friend who is an FBI agent who says when they do use radios the techs hand them HT's on the way out the door and tell them there all set don't touch anything but the PTT. The rare unencyrypted fed converations I have heard the same conversations about "What Zone?" occur.
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Old 09-09-2017, 8:51 PM
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We need to find a way to push radio training and start resolving this long standing problem.
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old 09-09-2017, 9:08 PM
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Does your IMT have repeaters in its cache?
There is one for DMATs in Houston, or was when our team left mid week. Most of the teams are being
pulled for Irma.
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  #64 (permalink)  
Old 10-18-2017, 1:18 AM
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Does your IMT have repeaters in its cache?
There is one for DMATs in Houston, or was when our team left mid week. Most of the teams are being
pulled for Irma.

Our IMT did not have repeaters in its cache. FDNY has them, but their equipment trailers took a while to get there, and FEDEX lost a LOT of supplies almost until it was time for FDNY to leave.

In that, BEARCOM in Houston came to the rescue and set up two MTR2000 repeaters, on UTAC's for our use, AT NO CHARGE. I am starting to beg borrow and steal a cache, I have 8 hardigg boxes waiting to be filled. Have some Quantars on 800 and UHF, a couple of Icom VHF repeaters, AIR kits, (an issue we found, no airband radios available for air operations) and a small quanity of hand held radios. Some 800 XTL mobiles, and a console system we are putting together. Supposed to be picking up 100 VHF CDM portables. It is a process when our funding for equipment is small.

Harris county has a large cache of 800 equipment, APX, but we can't use that in other parts of the state or out of state
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  #65 (permalink)  
Old 10-18-2017, 2:23 AM
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Bearcom may have some old rental radios to sell at a discount. I'll ask the VP in charge, I use to work with them.
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Old 11-04-2017, 9:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ten13 View Post
"This document was first released about 10 years ago. The interoperability channels have been around even longer than that."

That's what I mean...they are never used, even after 10 years.

Keep in mind that the SOLE reason these "interoperability" channels came about was the false belief that they were needed after the World Trade Center.

However, the agencies involved in the WTC NEVER use any of those channels to this day, except for drills, and even that's a rarity. Ask just about any chief on either side of the Hudson River how they communicate with the department on the other side and, after a momentary blank stare, they will say, "I call our dispatcher to contact them on the phone...."

As I say, Motorola will make a mint, and ten years from now, we'll still be saying that no one uses those channels.

This sort of mindset is the root cause of the problems with public safety as a whole: Fire, Police, EMS, Ect. Just because FDNY doesn't use them doesn't mean the rest of the country shouldn't either. For example, the same can be said for the leather fire helmet argument. Just because the FDNY wears them doesn't mean they are the most comfortable or the safest helmets in the world. Interoperability is not a luxury or an option, it is a necessity, and until everyone can properly comprehend this we are going to continue to run into this issue of "If they don't use it why should I?".

I'll get off of my soapbox now.....
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  #67 (permalink)  
Old 11-04-2017, 9:36 PM
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Old 11-05-2017, 3:19 PM
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Originally Posted by W3AWF View Post
This sort of mindset is the root cause of the problems with public safety as a whole: Fire, Police, EMS, Ect. Just because FDNY doesn't use them doesn't mean the rest of the country shouldn't either. For example, the same can be said for the leather fire helmet argument. Just because the FDNY wears them doesn't mean they are the most comfortable or the safest helmets in the world. Interoperability is not a luxury or an option, it is a necessity, and until everyone can properly comprehend this we are going to continue to run into this issue of "If they don't use it why should I?".

I'll get off of my soapbox now.....

Real interoperability is what is needed. There is no reason why a patrol officer in say Suffolk County NY needs day to day ability to talk to a patrol officer in Buffalo, six hours away.
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Old 11-05-2017, 11:47 PM
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Real interoperability is what is needed. There is no reason why a patrol officer in say Suffolk County NY needs day to day ability to talk to a patrol officer in Buffalo, six hours away.
Especially since that requires the old fashion interoperability where the Suffolk county dispatcher calls the Buffalo dispatcher on the phone to tell each officer to change channels.

Ross Merlin with DHS mentioned in his talk at Dayton last year that the word interoperability was first mentioned in a report on the Titanic sinking.
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  #70 (permalink)  
Old 11-06-2017, 1:12 AM
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Um no in an instance where an officer in another city would need direct contact either phone or incident command would have all on an interop freq or tg. And never say never that is how bad things happen. By saying never you kill interop by its inception. You would never need to help or work with each other. Thats real bad thinking.

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  #71 (permalink)  
Old 11-06-2017, 9:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sc8 View Post
Real interoperability is what is needed. There is no reason why a patrol officer in say Suffolk County NY needs day to day ability to talk to a patrol officer in Buffalo, six hours away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milf View Post
Um no in an instance where an officer in another city would need direct contact either phone or incident command would have all on an interop freq or tg. And never say never that is how bad things happen. By saying never you kill interop by its inception. You would never need to help or work with each other. Thats real bad thinking.
I think what he's getting at is talking all the way from Suffolk County to Erie County on a day-to-day basis, as has been touted by the proponents of FirstNet, as compared to communicating together when they're both actually doing something right there in Buffalo.

And he's right. In my mind, FirstNet is an expensive, unproven hi-tech solution in search of a problem. I've worked in public safety communications for over 30 years, and we have for years had ample interoperability resources at our fingertips; the problem, as has been noted ad infinitum, is getting the cops and firefighters to learn how to use their radios and have the will to use them. Until that happens, it doesn't matter whether they're on UHF conventional, a P25 trunked system or FirstNet, there still won't be any interoperability.

In fact, I think FirstNet is going to complicate things rather than help, for at least a couple of reasons:

1. There will still be agencies using traditional LMR systems (for reasons of cost, control, ease of use, and a host of other reasons).

2. FirstNet isn't going to blanket the entire country with seamless coverage; there will be significant gaps, just as there are with the cellular network today, which means there will still be a lot of agencies using LMR systems out of necessity.

Either way, we'll still need traditional interoperability, which won't work until the aforementioned cops and firefighters learn how to use their radios; we can give them every tool in the toolbox, but unless they learn how to use them the tools are all but useless.
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  #72 (permalink)  
Old 11-06-2017, 9:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sc8 View Post
There is no reason why a patrol officer in say Suffolk County NY needs day to day ability to talk to a patrol officer in Buffalo, six hours away.
This is an example of why most interoperability solutions don't work or don't even get used.

If you're not using any solution on a regular basis, it isn't likely that it will be used under stressful emergency conditions either.

Incident commanders are reluctant to switch and use something that all involved don't train on and use on a daily or at least weekly basis. There is far too much risk in "losing" people/crews if/when under these situations, they end up on the wrong channel/talkgroup/zone, etc. Incident commanders are primarily responsible for responder safety and accountability first. When unusual radio procedures are used and some ends up in the wrong place, the IC has no way to know some aren't getting the message that might save their life.

For these types of situations, I firmly believe - like on many other situations - that the communications/dispatch centers should play a key/primary role in "making things happen" for the people they are supporting on the street. These days, I hear more and more dispatch centers providing additional verbal information to responders over the radio to eliminate the need for those in the field from having to read data terminals, look at map books for hydrants and hose lay distances, etc.

For many years, dispatch centers have established patches between users and systems. If there is a need for a 'group' of users at one location on one system to be able to communicate with another 'group' of users working the same incident, doesn't make more sense to have that communication enabled in a single location verses requiring dozens of first responders in the field having to stop what they are doing (maybe they can't) and fiddle with their radios - changing zones, finding the right talkgroup, etc.

During a recent incident on a major highway in northern Maryland, the dispatch centers in two non-adjacent counties were able to cross patch talkgroups from the native systems together such that the units responding and operating out of their normal area were able to continue using their normal system/talkgroups.

Adding more systems/functionality and complexity that is/are rarely used isn't going to help anyone but the system vendors (line their pockets).

Perhaps technologies to significantly improve the communications/dispatch centers ability to rapidly provide good quality patches between systems. This seems like a simpler and more consistent way to provide interoperability than placing all of this on an already stressed first responder that is trying not to be injured or killed during an emergency.

Other options to consider include roaming and ISSI capabilities.

We can move around and use our smart phones without having to switch anything .... and most of these public safety systems use newer and much more expensive technology. What is wrong with this picture?
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  #73 (permalink)  
Old 11-06-2017, 4:51 PM
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From my monitoring, here in the Phoenix metro area, LE and FD, both dispatch and in the field, are trained in how to use the interoperability resources.
Every public safety agency, emergency management agency, as well as other agencies such as the NWS, have access to PSAP talkgroups on the Regional Wireless Cooperative (RWC) system to quickly relay info from one end of the Valley to the other, and then some.
Dispatchers have the capability to patch analog conventional channels and digital trunked talkgroups to common interoperability talkgroups, and the LE and FD personnel can directly switch their radios in many cases to those talkgroups. (Out of 47 interop TG's, 16 are encrypted, the rest are clear.)
Emergency Management agencies here in the Valley have access to their own talkgroups, both on the RWC, as well as on the Maricopa County trunked system.
The City of Mesa has a trailer that can be deployed anywhere in the state, with a digital trunked system on board.
The State of Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA) as well as every county emergency management agency has access to a statewide trunked system owned by Arizona Public Service (APS), a statewide electric power utility. DEMA also has several analog VHF-High (138-144 MHz) repeaters around the state, as well as numerous mobile resources that can also be deployed anywhere in the state to assist with establishing interoperability between different agencies.
And of course, there are all of the conventional analog and digital channels from VHF-Lo through 800 MHz available, as well.
I think the Phoenix metro area, and quite possibly the state as a whole, are an example of how to do interoperability the right way.

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Last edited by KB7MIB; 11-06-2017 at 4:52 PM.. Reason: Typo
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  #74 (permalink)  
Old 11-06-2017, 5:00 PM
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One of the things that is overlooked is that all departments/jurisdictions are not the same ... some are big cities that are fairly self contained with 100% career/paid people who "do it everyday" while the neighboring counties are much larger with very diverse responders including volunteers. These more rural areas are also more likely to be less "self-contained" and rely heavily on mutual aid from other areas.

When planning for interoperability, the least common denominator(s) need to be looked at - and not assume all areas are the same.
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Old 11-08-2017, 11:32 PM
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Real interoperability is what is needed. There is no reason why a patrol officer in say Suffolk County NY needs day to day ability to talk to a patrol officer in Buffalo, six hours away.
Do not be so sure of that. When Katrina hit, there were ambulances from my area, in Michigan, deployed to the affected area. I am sure there were responders from many parts of the country there. The infrastructure was largely unusuable, so LMR on national interoperability assignments would have been the way to communicate.

Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands were recently devastated by a hurricane, and LMR would be a valuable resource, when there was no infrastructure, and little power.

Now imagine when the New Madrid Fault has a major quake, or the Yellowstone super volcano erupts. How far away will agencies be tasked with helping the affected areas?

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Old 11-09-2017, 9:49 AM
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Do not be so sure of that. When Katrina hit, there were ambulances from my area, in Michigan, deployed to the affected area. I am sure there were responders from many parts of the country there. The infrastructure was largely unusuable, so LMR on national interoperability assignments would have been the way to communicate.

Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands were recently devastated by a hurricane, and LMR would be a valuable resource, when there was no infrastructure, and little power.

Now imagine when the New Madrid Fault has a major quake, or the Yellowstone super volcano erupts. How far away will agencies be tasked with helping the affected areas?

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I think you missed the point of the comment. When interoperability was demonstrated as part of the pitch for the now-defunct NYSWN project, it was exactly the sort of "interesting toy" presentation as was mentioned. There is no operational need for any first responder to talk to another first responder on a routine basis from across a state that is a 6-hour drive wide.

The availability of interop channels in each region is and should be for major incidents. If first responders from Buffalo have been deployed to an incident on Long Island, then both entities should be able to talk locally on interop channels. But there is no need to build the ability to create a thousand-mile talkpath into a statewide radio system.
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Old 11-09-2017, 11:22 AM
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I would say you have no idea what you are talking about. YOU may not have the need. It happens all the time on our statewide system with just need and is very helpful. Just because you do not know what is being done or why does not mean it is not needed.
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Old 11-09-2017, 11:30 AM
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I would say you have no idea what you are talking about. YOU may not have the need. It happens all the time on our statewide system with just need and is very helpful. Just because you do not know what is being done or why does not mean it is not needed.

Wide area interop channels are going to be a blessing with our Province wide network simply because of how emergency management is delivered.


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Old 11-10-2017, 10:00 AM
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I think you missed the point of the comment. When interoperability was demonstrated as part of the pitch for the now-defunct NYSWN project, it was exactly the sort of "interesting toy" presentation as was mentioned. There is no operational need for any first responder to talk to another first responder on a routine basis from across a state that is a 6-hour drive wide.

The availability of interop channels in each region is and should be for major incidents. If first responders from Buffalo have been deployed to an incident on Long Island, then both entities should be able to talk locally on interop channels. But there is no need to build the ability to create a thousand-mile talkpath into a statewide radio system.
Michigan's MPSCS has that ability. It works well with mid-level events, like a tornado that hit the area a few years ago. State troopers from outside the area, who did not have the county's interoperability talkgroups, used statewide interoperability talkgroups.

That thousand mile talk path might not be needed but once, in the lifespan of the system, but it will be of huge benefit to those involved. In a more typical usage, a large ambulance organization in southeast Michigan uses the statewide abilities of MPSCS, whenever they have a unit that goes to the Upper Peninsula.

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Old 11-10-2017, 11:15 AM
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Once again missing the point(s).

1) New York is larger than most of the other examples cited. Physical distance makes cross-state talkpaths operationally useless.

2) There is a difference between having interop channels or talkgroups available within a region for incoming responders to use during an incident in that area and having the ability to key up the system from across the state for no reason at all except that it can be done.
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