Chicago Fire Department

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werinshades

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It's been awhile since I updated the board about CFD things. Since I have the inside track, i'd hope to have breaking communications news, but nothing major as of late. Their was alot of talk of the Digital switch, but I have yet to hear any new time lines on this. I do monitor the new frequencies in one of my banks, but the only 2 active frequencies so far is still the same....477.5125, 478.4625. Mainly occasional testing, nothing else. Telemetry repeaters are still up and running. Occasionally one of them goes down and the announcement is made. I have noticed Ressurection Med 6 (463.125..CTCSS 156.7) sometimes has an audio tinny sound to it. No other way to desribe it..anyone else know what i'm talking about?
New Ambulances and Chief vehicles are starting to hit the streets. Believe it or not, they're switching all the Chiefs, Deputy District Chiefs and EMS Field Officers to Ford Expeditions. No concern about fuel prices huh??? Have seen a few and they do look nice. The new ambulances (woohoo!!) have new lightbars on the cab too. You have to see one of these things at night..wow. Very bright, same Fed-Q siren too. The inside has a little more room for us, and all the new ambulances will have 1 1/2 person stretchers which have been used by many of the burbs and privates for years. Who says we're not in the 21st Century..LOL
If you have seen the news as of late, Ambulance 5 was struck while enroute to Christ Hospital on 111th Talman. Alot of conflicting reports, but one thing is confirmed..the paramedic in the back was in respiratory arrest after the accident. His own partner and an off-duty CFD Lieutenant rescuitated him on the scene. The vehicle's roof was torn off by the light pole it struck. I know both of these members and heard both were ok.
Hearing rumors that their is going to be some change at the top soon. When is anyone's guess , but some voices will change. We are all getting bunker gear by years end, including us on the ambulance. I have no feelings on this either way.
No major response changes since the High-Rise and R.I.T. (Rapid Intervention Team) responses have been added. The R.I.T. Team also consists of an Ambulance and a Field Officer now.
I'll update when I hear more....feel free to ask questions , i'll answer if I can.

I also entered the blog world..come on over and check it out: http://scanningchicago.blogspot.com/
 

scanman1958

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Chicago Fire Dept

Thanks for the info on the department. I am from St. Louis and absolutly love Chicago. Every time I head up there I load up the scanner with FD PD stuff. What a great time I have listening in. And the characters on the radio...wow! Brings a smile to my face. I am bumbed by the news thay are going to change freqs and go digital. What ever happened to fire department history? Ahhhhh! Hope it doesn't change soon. It is nice you guys are getting lightbars. I have seen a few ambs downtown with maybe one beacon light on top. Was it money? Anyway thanks again. Maybe next time I am up there I will hear on the scanner "Head vs Brick". Good day guys.

jeff
St. Louis
 

werinshades

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scanman1958 said:
Thanks for the info on the department. I am from St. Louis and absolutly love Chicago. Every time I head up there I load up the scanner with FD PD stuff. What a great time I have listening in. And the characters on the radio...wow! Brings a smile to my face. I am bumbed by the news thay are going to change freqs and go digital. What ever happened to fire department history? Ahhhhh! Hope it doesn't change soon. It is nice you guys are getting lightbars. I have seen a few ambs downtown with maybe one beacon light on top. Was it money? Anyway thanks again. Maybe next time I am up there I will hear on the scanner "Head vs Brick". Good day guys.

jeff
St. Louis
No timeline on the Digital switch as of late. I'm sure if you watch this board or any others, you'll know the frequencies ahead of time.
 

werinshades

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Was down at the shops yesterday with our new rig and had to wait while our new MDC's had to be re-programmed. Apparently this already started with Field Division North assigned ambulances, and it's spreading south. They are issuing portables to both the Officer on the Ambulance and the FPM who usually does the driving. Both radios are the XTS 5000's and the have this canary yellow faceplate now. We exchange the one we have for a yellow faced radio times two. I was told they've had these for some time and were supposed to be issued when we made the frequency switch. That plan was changed, but they'll be reprogrammed when the time comes. I find this a little odd as we normally don't seperate on runs, but oh well.
 

werinshades

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Received our canary yellow radios on Thursday. Both radios are programmed exactly as the previous models and are brand new not refurbished. I previously posted channel line-ups and they are still the same. Each radio has the SIM-NO and SIM-SO programmed into it as well. When the Digital switch does occur, all is needed is the program and a cable and it's done. I was able to snap a couple of pictures inside 2-7-1 and the Field Officer's buggies. Not sure if the Battalion Chiefs will have the EMS radios in them as well. Both radios are Motorola XTL 5000's. They have a green display and look pretty nice. Another group of new ambulances are coming out next week. Each of our new rigs have a new MDC in them as well which is Windows XP based as our computers for documenting runs. Not sure wheer I could send my pictures, so if someone wants to e-mail me, i'll send them to you.
New Rigs Awaiting as of 10-20-06 were: Ambulances 1, 5, 19, 33, 48...Field Officers: 4-5-2, 4-5-6...Deputy District Chief 2 (2-2-2). Their were two Ford Expeditions without numbers, but radios were being installed.
 

werinshades

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JnglMassiv said:
Sheesh..XTS5k/XTL5k are top of the line, high-dollar Motos. They must be moving right along on the Astro changeover.

I was able to mess with the radios a bit. The only two Digital frequencies were the ones previously mentioned. I have the "new" Chicago frequencies plugged into a bank to see if any testing is going on as well. Nothing as of last week, but now that I said that, you know what happens..LOL. I talked to a few people about the changeover, and their is no set schedule for any changeover. That doesn't mean it's not in the works, but it hasn't made it down the chain as of yet. If I had to be a betting man, nothing will happen till at least next year. Testing will precede any of this. The only testing I heard was SIM-NO (477.5125) and SIM-SO (478.4625) and that was about a year ago. They actually did field tests of their transmitters throughout the city. The one thing i'm impressed about, is how many receiver sites this system will have. Last year, the schedule was EMS to switch first , followed by Fire companies, then the Chicago Police Trunking System to go on line. We would have the analog frequencies still available in the event of a failure. Since the ambulances are on the street, we'd find the "dead" spots...no pun intended.
 

bessiedawg

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I don't live in chicago, but do visit there from time to time. Could you tell me how apparatus is initially dispatched from the houses ? I assume it is not by radio. Is it by voice intercom, text message alarm system, etc ????

Thank you very much
 

werinshades

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bessiedawg said:
I don't live in chicago, but do visit there from time to time. Could you tell me how apparatus is initially dispatched from the houses ? I assume it is not by radio. Is it by voice intercom, text message alarm system, etc ????

Thank you very much
Hard-wired via a computerized Alarm Terminal located in each firehouse.
 

bravo14

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Have CFD gone to digital yet? I was up there in July I heard them on vhf. Just wondering I heard they had UHF digital I haven't try them I hope to be up there next year.. Does anyone have qc2 or other fire tone out tones reeds example like 110/111 330.5/349.0
 

N9JIG

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bravo14 said:
Have CFD gone to digital yet? I was up there in July I heard them on vhf. Just wondering I heard they had UHF digital I haven't try them I hope to be up there next year.. Does anyone have qc2 or other fire tone out tones reeds example like 110/111 330.5/349.0
While CFD has been using digital radios on various T-band channels for events (as has been well documented by Dave and others) as of right now all regular operations are still analog on the same freqs as before (154.130, 153.770, 460.600, 460.625 and 154.295 etc.). This will likely change when all the new radios are deployed and the infrastructure replaced to accomodate digital.

As for QC, CFD doesn't use QC in any format, and never has, AFAIK.
 

werinshades

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SIM-NO (477.5125) is being utilized now for the "Festival of Lights " on Michigan Ave. so all can check their reception of the new and upcoming system.
 

chgomonitor

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High Rise Teams

Dave, a suggestion. If you ever get a visit with any of the new high rise teams - check their VHF radios to see if they have any of the freqs / channels and how they are configured. I think we have no data on this. Thanks in advance! - Ted
 

werinshades

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I have checked the VHF radios around by me, and did not see anything new. I also have the high-rise channels programmed in a bank, and have heard nothing as of yet. Mainly Fireground and Command are used as well as the EMS frequencies.
 

h00sierdaddy

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Do you think Chicago will have a simulcast on VHF when they move digital? I know some of the bigger cities that have switched to digital have kept a simulcast because their surrounding departments do not have digital. (Plus it would be cool to still listen to them on VHF).
 

werinshades

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tco_33 said:
Do you think Chicago will have a simulcast on VHF when they move digital? I know some of the bigger cities that have switched to digital have kept a simulcast because their surrounding departments do not have digital. (Plus it would be cool to still listen to them on VHF).

Unknown at this time as to what the plan will be. I'm sure everyone won't be switched at the same time, so I think this would be a good guess. When they were re-programming all the radios after the infamous"racial slur on the radio" incident, the radio techs were at various firehouses and we reported there for our "radio upgrade". Since every radio is now Digital capable, I suspect this is how it will happen. However, I have heard testing and usage on only two frequencies so far. This would lead me to believe that EMS will switch first as we already have this frequency programmed in our portable radios. I will update this board, as well as many others when I see or hear of movement in that direction. In the meantime, don't throw out those Analog scanners just yet...
 
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