Angeles Forest and LA-RICS)

tkenny53

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ARCADIA, Calif. — In an effort to modernize communications amongst first responders in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area, Jerome Perez, Angeles National Forest (ANF) Supervisor, signed a decision on Oct. 31, leasing 13 sites in the national forest for installation of a Land Mobile Radio (LMR) system operated by the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) Authority. This LMR system will unify local, state, or federal emergency responders communications through the use of a single state-of-the-art network.
“Amongst all public safety agencies in the Los Angeles Region, we have the motto of ‘one-team-one-fight’ and this decision will further deepen our relationships and passion for protecting life, property, and public lands,” said Jerome Perez.
The 13 proposed project sites distributed across the forest are a part of a proposed 60-site LMR system through LA County. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing federal funding for the County-wide LMR project and this ANF specific LA-RICS project is a subset of the larger project, tiered from a Programmatic Environmental Assessment conducted by FEMA. The additional site-specific analysis was completed to meet Forest Service requirements and ensure that the project is in compliance with the ANF Land Management Plan (LMP or Forest Plan).
ANF amended the Forest Plan considering tower heights and scenic integrity objectives. The scope and scale of these project-specific LMP amendments are small, affecting only 3 of the 13 sites. The amendments are only for the LA-RICS project.
For additional information concerning this decision contact: Justin Seastrand, Public Services Staff Officer, or LA-RICS for more information regarding the Land Mobile Radio project.
 

allend

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Looks like ANF will make money on this deal leasing out land as well as ANF and the forest will jump on LA-RICS with some talkgroups. Interesting how this will play out. Most likely forest service will get quad band radios that will have LA-RICS and VHF for interops.

Question will the forest service jump on LA-RICS fulltime or stay on VHF Analog?
 

Markb

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Looks like ANF will make money on this deal leasing out land as well as ANF and the forest will jump on LA-RICS with some talkgroups. Interesting how this will play out. Most likely forest service will get quad band radios that will have LA-RICS and VHF for interops.

Question will the forest service jump on LA-RICS fulltime or stay on VHF Analog?
There is no way in h&!! they will use LA RICS full time. I would be surprised if they use it at all really, with their Law folks being about the only exception. The forest sites are likely more for LASD and LACoFD when they run into the forest areas.
 

tkenny53

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I think this will expand the common VHF system in use, as noted in the past few fires here in LA, CalFire, Forestry and LACoFD, can interact much better and have a great pool of freq's and keep everyone together, not to mention to be able to hear them from a distance. Forestry is VHF and they tend to set the primary communication band.
 

Markb

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Not to mention that fed Engines and Crews tend to bounce around the state and even the western US and maintaining comms when you have units on your forest from out of the area would be difficult at best if you were using a trunked system.
 

Paysonscanner

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We visited a couple that had transferred from the Sierra Foothill area where we lived to the Angeles at the residence they were living in located at a fire station on the forest. This couple's neighbor was a fire prevention technician/forest protection officer. He showed us his vehicle and the L.A. County Fire UHF radio he had in his center console. The radio was on the dispatch channel (Blue 8???) and I could not believe how non stop the traffic was. Late hubby spoke to a lot of radio techs when he was assigned to one of our local volunteer department's Type 1 engines and was off shift. Nearly every tech said by design VHF High is going to be the band for wildland fire for a very long time. Maybe someday multiband radios will be much less expensive, but adding trunking into the mix sounds real complicated. Wildland fire already has interoperability by keeping everything on the same band and with the NIFC and Cal Fire systems. We were at a station in the eastern portion of the forest. Not sure if the Forest Service units over near the Tujunga canyons had an 800 mhz radio in their rigs for LAFD comms. Back up to where we lived I remember the Forest Service units using cross scanner ops to talk with CHP. Trouble was the CHP had to talk simplex, while the FS unit was talking on a repeater. Prior to having radios with lots of memory the FS would talk cross scanner with some of the local counties who had VHF-High repeaters as well. Caltrans did not give any of its people scanners in their trucks so cross scanner comms we not possible with them, this in their VHF Low Band days.
 

Paysonscanner

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We visited a couple that had transferred from the Sierra Foothill area where we lived to the Angeles at the residence they were living in located at a fire station on the forest. This couple's neighbor was a fire prevention technician/forest protection officer. He showed us his vehicle and the L.A. County Fire UHF radio he had in his center console. The radio was on the dispatch channel (Blue 8???) and I could not believe how non stop the traffic was. Late hubby spoke to a lot of radio techs when he was assigned to one of our local volunteer department's Type 1 engines and was off shift. Nearly every tech said by design VHF High is going to be the band for wildland fire for a very long time. Maybe someday multiband radios will be much less expensive, but adding trunking into the mix sounds real complicated. Wildland fire already has interoperability by keeping everything on the same band and with the NIFC and Cal Fire systems. We were at a station in the eastern portion of the forest. Not sure if the Forest Service units over near the Tujunga canyons had an 800 mhz radio in their rigs for LAFD comms. Back up to where we lived I remember the Forest Service units using cross scanner ops to talk with CHP. Trouble was the CHP had to talk simplex, while the FS unit was talking on a repeater. Prior to having radios with lots of memory the FS would talk cross scanner with some of the local counties who had VHF-High repeaters as well. Caltrans did not give any of its people scanners in their trucks so cross scanner comms we not possible with them, this in their VHF Low Band days.
The FS patrol had a back board and stokes litter on it. He was also an EMT and carried a pretty good medical bag, especially after I gave him some ER nurse pointers. He said sometimes the county would get real busy in the flatlands, causing delayed responses so FS engines and patrols would do some work for the county. Up in our neck of the woods there was a county that had no radio coverage in the high country in the eastern part of the county. The county used Forest Service repeaters to do all their work up there and the interagency dispatchers handled their traffic. The eastern portion of the county was 100% federal public land so the population there was pretty small.
 

zerg901

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Can anyone comment on the existing LA County Sheriff or FD radio coverage on the ANF?
 

ladn

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Can anyone comment on the existing LA County Sheriff or FD radio coverage on the ANF?
I live just outside the ANF, technically City of Los Angeles, but I can monitor ANF, LASD and County FD with ease. Multiple Sheriffs stations cover different parts of the ANF:
  • Santa Clarita covers the far west end
  • Palmdale and Lancaster stations cover the north (Antelope Valley) end
  • Crescenta Valley and Altadena stations cover the southwest parts
  • San Dimas station has the eastern area
  • Special Enforcement Bureau (240R) SAR units as well as Air Rescue 5 cover the entire forest as needed
  • Volunteer SAR units from all the stations also patrol, especially on weekends and holidays
  • CHP also handles traffic enforcement on FS roads
Dispatch is handled on each station's dispatch channel, but tactical coms are usually on L-Tac or SUD frequencies, sometimes A-Tac or C-Tac for larger incidents. Many units, especially SAR units can interop on ANF radio system.

LA County FD responds into the Forest for fires and rescues. Usually dispatch on the UHF blue system, then interop with ANF units on the ANF VHF radios.

LA City FD also responds into the ANF for incidents bordering their area or for Mutual Aid. They also interop on ANF radios.

Larger incidents, such as the recent fires, have everyone operating on preplanned VHF frequencies (ie "Foothill" and "SCV" plans).

Aircraft operate on the normal ATC "victor" frequencies and usually talk with ground units on ANF or their agencies channels.

LASD and FD radios are UHF and coverage is pretty good through multiple repeaters in the front country and on ridges. Not so good down in the canyons, which is partly why they interop on ANF VHF.

The ANF VHF system seems to have fairly good coverage through multiple user-addressable repeaters throughout the forest.
 
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