Do they usually make changes to Cal Fire radios at these? That sounds like a mess, because of all the mutual aid they receive nation wide.I know it is a bit early, however looking toward the 2021 fire season, just wondering if anyone has heard of or speculates any CAL FIRE channel/frequencies changes?
Drafts should be going out for comment. I submitted a discrepancy last year to OES, we'll see if they fixed it.I know it is a bit early, however looking toward the 2021 fire season, just wondering if anyone has heard of or speculates any CAL FIRE channel/frequencies changes?
They used to release updates around May each year. The true mutual aid stuff stays pretty steady. Sometimes the NIFC stuff changes a bit. More often than not, it's CalFire repeater tone changes, and the like.Do they usually make changes to Cal Fire radios at these? That sounds like a mess, because of all the mutual aid they receive nation wide.
It's very clean, actually. Changes and updates, if any, are done annually. Any out-of-state resources (and in-state, for that matter) have their radios cloned with the current comm plan at the incident. Those that don't have BK radios are able to check them out as well.Do they usually make changes to Cal Fire radios at these? That sounds like a mess, because of all the mutual aid they receive nation wide.
Here is some additional information about out of state resources coming in. If they are ordered for a wildland fire, most use BK radios for handhelds. It is somewhat universal for wildland firefighting to have BK handhelds. If a resource arrives without them, a handheld cache is maintained at the incident. Mobile radios are usually not cloned, changed or even used for comms on a large incident. The comm plan normally includes frequencies from the NIFC (National Interagency Fire Center) cache. A lot of agencies write programs for both mobiles and handhelds that include groups that have the NIFC frequencies. In many cases the resource's agency leaves some groups blank and available for cloning. This allows mobiles to be cloned as well if they are set up in a similar manner. For fires on the SRA, many agencies will program groups with the state's commands and tacs in them, but again, cloning at the scene is usually done per the incident's comm plan.It's very clean, actually. Changes and updates, if any, are done annually. Any out-of-state resources (and in-state, for that matter) have their radios cloned with the current comm plan at the incident. Those that don't have BK radios are able to check them out as well.
I think you meant a ICS 205 form, the 215 is the basis of most of the planning in the twice daily planning sessions. I retired before having laptops on fires had become a little more common. Heck, I retired when having real PC's that you could get onto the internet with and send real email was still a bit new. I had 16 years of experience using those old Data General dumb terminals. Each ranger district had a "computer room" for the actual computer that was about 250-300 square feet in size, with a raised platform covered with a special linoleum floor and its own air conditioner unit. Some districts had satellite links because the local phone wiring was not up to computer standards. The computers were so lousy that we didn't notice a difference between satellite and hard wire connections, in fact, satellite links were put in to speed up the networking in some locations where both were available.That information is still current. Incoming resources can always send a rep to the Comm Unit and get a clone for his/her radio and then clone the rest of their crew/strike team. Single Resources, such as myself, can get a 215 from the Comm Unit or anyone that has a current IAP. If it's immediate need order, I'll try to find a copy of the IAP on the ftp site and at least get command and A2G freq's.
Here's a screenshot of last year's zone organization.Can anyone comment on how, in general, CALFIRE radios are programmed? How many zones, what they are named and what they generally contain?
While frequencies within the groups will change from time to time, the groups that cover each CDF unit will remain the same. The group numbers are the same as the unit's radio identifiers (callsigns). These numbers form the first two digits of the number painted on the agency's apparatus. The agency has been using these numbers for at least 50 years, with some changes made to some of the units in the late 1970's or early 80's when the agency reduced the 6 regions to 4. Some years back, maybe 20, the number of regions was reduced to 2. However, the unit numbers were kept intact when this was implemented. Don't expect any changes to these numbers as employees have them memorized and given the difficulty of repainting all apparatus they will likely remain as they are for a long time.Here's a screenshot of last year's zone organization.
View attachment 101365
With the newer Relm M150 and P150's, they have plenty of room now to rethink the "calfire/state load." Each Unit is responsible for sending to Sac what they'd like in their zone, and what they feel is needed for IA within their zone. It goes into the master build and thus everyone gets to benefit from that local knowledge. So you tune to Zone 25 TGU, and there's 58 channels in there with TGU's IA load, extended attack load, bunch of local govt freqs/tacs, local law RX, neighboring USFS etc. Not only great for mutual aid IA, but also move up and covering distant Units. Zones 51-54 are front-panel-programmable by the mic keypad, cloned for incidents, and act as a dynamic command group like the older BK CMD radios.