EMS Channel Names

Status
Not open for further replies.

radioboy75

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Messages
163
Location
Rock Rapids, Iowa
Anyone else heard this?

On EMS 4 the other day (155.400), I heard a user refer to the channel as "EMS 14". This actually was the second time I had heard this.

Wondering if the channels have new names? Are they calling a specific frequency and tone combination a different "channel" now?

I know there are four "EMS" channels
EMS 1 155.325
EMS 2 155.385
EMS 3 155.340
EMS 4 155.400
As well as 8 "Special Emergency" channels often used by medical personnel, plus 10 UHF "MED" channels. But I've never heard of "EMS 14" until recently.

Anyone have any clue? Oh, and I do live only 15 miles from SD and 5 from MN -- so it could have been out-of-state too . . .

Scott
Rock Rapids
 

radioboy75

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Messages
163
Location
Rock Rapids, Iowa
VHF -- not UHF MED

Check what I wrote. This was on * 155.400 * -- a VHF "EMS" channel -- not one of the UHF MED channels. I just made reference to those so someone wouldn't bring them up. Looks like it's had the opposite effect! LOL
 

ecps92

Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2002
Messages
10,573
Location
Taxachusetts
In some parts of the Country EMS uses both the VHF and UHF channels.

Strongly suggest you look into the UHF Splinters

Check what I wrote. This was on * 155.400 * -- a VHF "EMS" channel -- not one of the UHF MED channels. I just made reference to those so someone wouldn't bring them up. Looks like it's had the opposite effect! LOL
 

burner50

The Third Variable
Moderator
Joined
Dec 24, 2004
Messages
2,096
Location
NW Iowa
I know there are four "EMS" channels
EMS 1 155.325
EMS 2 155.385
EMS 3 155.340
EMS 4 155.400
As well as 8 "Special Emergency" channels often used by medical personnel, plus 10 UHF "MED" channels. But I've never heard of "EMS 14" until recently.
I've never found an official channel plan for those frequencies... In fact the Iowa EMS Communications Directory doesn't even number them.


And by the way, you're missing some from your list.


155.160
155.175
155.205
155.220
155.235
 

tfhphoto

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2005
Messages
128
Location
Sioux City
Scott,
In the Sioux City area the commonly-used med channels are referred to as 220 and 340 - named after the actual frequency.

Tim
 

newsphotog

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 29, 2008
Messages
883
Location
Des Moines, IA
I'd imagine any agency can call any med channel anything they want as long as they're on the right frequency, then it's all good. As suggested on scaniowa, the person referring to channel numbering may be using the channel numbering in their agency's own radios.
 

radioboy75

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Messages
163
Location
Rock Rapids, Iowa
EMS Channel names . . . continued

Probably true, you guys. I guess I was under the impression that the four VHF EMS channels were named the same thing, nationwide. Perhaps that is not the case.

I guess I'm also referring to the old channels before everything was lumped into "public safety". When I started scanning there were five (I originally said four, my apologies) VHF channels that were part of what was then called the "EMS Hospital Radio Service".

In IOWA for sure -- they were labeled thusly:

EMS 1 - 155.325
EMS 2 - 155.385
EMS 3 - 155.340
EMS 4 - 155.400
EMS 5 - 155.355

In my corner of the world, two of these channels are used a lot -- EMS 3 and EMS 4. And I live in a tri-state area -- these frequencies have been called these channel names all across my area for at least the last 20 or 25 years. I can't find any reference to it online, but I'm fairly certain those are their generic labels, nationwide. Again, this is a holdover from when they were the "EMS-Hospital Radio Service".

And yes, Jason, there are more VHF frequencies used for that purpose. But they are taken from a pool that used to be called the "Special Emergency Radio Service". Again -- this is all before they lumped everything into "public safety" ten years or so ago -- but it seems to still hold true today in my area. For instance, you don't find police on these frequencies -- yet. When it was "special emergency", there were some very specific kinds of traffic there -- not all related to EMS. Of course you could find the EMS traffic, but you could also find schools, school busses, FOR PROFIT busses, FOR PROFIT ambulances, and I believe search and rescue and disaster relief. For the most part, these frequencies are STILL used for these purposes, (at least in my area) even though the designation is now obsolete.

The VHF "Special Emergency" channels were:
155.160 Special Emergency
155.175 Special Emergency
155.205 Special Emergency
155.220 Special Emergency
155.235 Special Emergency
155.265 Special Emergency
155.280 Special Emergency
155.295 Special Emergency

Now, in Iowa, there was a specific band plan for EMS. Don't know if it's still in use, but I copied this from Michael W. Scheel, and will attempt to attach a little map here.

These labels were different from the EMS channel labels -- on this map, the number part of the channel name refers to the frequency and the letter refers to the tone. So in my area, 155.400 is called either "EMS 4" or "Region 3A". However, ambulances in my county as well as the ones to the north and west don't use 3A -- they use "Statewide" (155.340). Interestingly enough, the "Statewide" moniker is also used on that channel in the counties to my north (Minnesota) and I believe west (South Dakota)!

But yeah -- they could be referring to their own band plan. Come to think about it, I think these transmissions may have come from North Air Care out of the twin cities. Perhaps it's a Minnesota thing! LOL

Scott
 

Attachments

Last edited:

IowaGuy1603

Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2006
Messages
988
Location
Jones County Iowa
Scott

Yes the band plan for EMS is still in use.........Almost all ambulances have 155.340 on board and call it STATE EMS...........as in a statewide frequency used for interops

In my area (which is 10G on the map you referenced) we use 155.220 as the "local" med channel. Most Ambulance to Hospital traffic is run on that frequency......as are a lot of the page outs.

HOWEVER my COUNTY uses 155.400 as a separate page out and medical channel


I hear a lot on 155.340 since I am within distance of U of I hospital and almost EVERYONE calls into them on State EMS ----including most life flights.
 

ff-medic

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Banned
Joined
Oct 12, 2007
Messages
727
Location
The Appalachians - Next to the tent and campfire.
Anyone else heard this?

On EMS 4 the other day (155.400), I heard a user refer to the channel as "EMS 14". This actually was the second time I had heard this.
Could also be the actual channel number on the radio. maybe the EMS radio, or even the agency radio itself --> channel 14. One of the VHF freqs, med channels, or agency designated freq on the agency radio system itself. Just a possibility.

If it were a " Medical Channel" per say , most of us say " 340 " ( 155.340 ) , "160" ( 155.160 ) , or Med channel such and such.

FF - Medic !!
 

timkilbride

Member
Database Admin
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Messages
1,779
Location
Iowa County, Iowa
155.220 is referred to as "F2" by the Linn County EMS folks. 155.280 is F3.

Iowa County EMS dispatch/ops is on 155.385, not even listed on the map.

Boone hospital uses 155.325, again not on the map.

Pocahontas hospital uses 154.145.

As you can see, it is different from what part of the state to the next.

Tim
 

radioboy75

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Messages
163
Location
Rock Rapids, Iowa
Threaded:

155.220 is referred to as "F2" by the Linn County EMS folks. 155.280 is F3.

Iowa County EMS dispatch/ops is on 155.385, not even listed on the map.

<< But it is one of the channels in my original list -- called "EMS 2">>

Boone hospital uses 155.325, again not on the map.

<< But it is one of the channels in my original list -- called "EMS 1">>

Pocahontas hospital uses 154.145.

<<yeah, but that's Pokey County Fire . . .>>

As you can see, it is different from what part of the state to the next.

Tim
Yes -- you guys -- I see. EMS and Medical channels are called different things in different parts of the state or even in local areas. I understand that.

I guess perhaps I trusted my original mentor (20 years ago) when he told me that -- IN ADDITION TO WHATEVER THEY ARE CALLED WHERE YOU LIVE -- the EMS-Hospital channels had their own names, nationwide. Or perhaps they DID have their own nationwide names over 20 years ago -- and now no one remembers -- or cares.

But part of me wants to think that if you told a medical chopper pilot to switch to EMS 3, he would know that you mean 155.340. But maybe I'm wrong.

I'd be interested to know how many of you across the state (and elsewhere for that matter) know 155.340 as "EMS 3" (in addition to "Statewide", "State EMS", "F1", or whatever else it's called in your area).

Scott
 

radioboy75

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Messages
163
Location
Rock Rapids, Iowa
As an interesting side note -- Sanford Hospital, Rock Rapids seems to have a problem hearing ambulances -- and my guess is that the radio at the hospital is "toned up". In other words if the transmission doesn't have the right PL tone, the radio remains muted.

They use 155.340 for ambulance-to-hospital communications. And when choppers come in, or ambulances from anywhere other than Rock Rapids, they cannot hear them.

The only difference between the transmissions is their PL tone.

Lyon County dispatch uses 82.5 PL. Sanford Rock Rapids uses 82.5 PL. Lyon County Ambulance uses 82.5 PL. Therefore the three of them hear each other.

But when George EMS comes to Rock Rapids with a patient, they always try to contact the hospital, but they always end up having to communicate through dispatch or over the phone. George EMS also uses 155.340, but they use 210.7 PL. Therefore, Sanford Rock Rapids cannot hear them -- or at least that's my theory. (Others are the same, including choppers, Adrian MN Ambulance, Canton-Inwood Ambulance, etc.)

Any other hospitals use "toned up" radios that you're aware of?

My guess is the nurses many years ago complained that they were hearing traffic from "all over the place", so the radio tech (unwisely, I would say) toned up their radio.

I've tried explaining this to the hospital people, but their eyes glaze over . . . If I could just talk to their radio man . . . but why would he talk to a private citizen, even if he is a ham radio operator . . . feel my pain?

Scott
 

timkilbride

Member
Database Admin
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Messages
1,779
Location
Iowa County, Iowa
As an interesting side note -- Sanford Hospital, Rock Rapids seems to have a problem hearing ambulances -- and my guess is that the radio at the hospital is "toned up". In other words if the transmission doesn't have the right PL tone, the radio remains muted.

They use 155.340 for ambulance-to-hospital communications. And when choppers come in, or ambulances from anywhere other than Rock Rapids, they cannot hear them.

The only difference between the transmissions is their PL tone.

Lyon County dispatch uses 82.5 PL. Sanford Rock Rapids uses 82.5 PL. Lyon County Ambulance uses 82.5 PL. Therefore the three of them hear each other.

But when George EMS comes to Rock Rapids with a patient, they always try to contact the hospital, but they always end up having to communicate through dispatch or over the phone. George EMS also uses 155.340, but they use 210.7 PL. Therefore, Sanford Rock Rapids cannot hear them -- or at least that's my theory. (Others are the same, including choppers, Adrian MN Ambulance, Canton-Inwood Ambulance, etc.)

Any other hospitals use "toned up" radios that you're aware of?

My guess is the nurses many years ago complained that they were hearing traffic from "all over the place", so the radio tech (unwisely, I would say) toned up their radio.

I've tried explaining this to the hospital people, but their eyes glaze over . . . If I could just talk to their radio man . . . but why would he talk to a private citizen, even if he is a ham radio operator . . . feel my pain?

Scott
Back in the 70's it was suppose to be something to this effect:

Base TX - CSQ
Base RX - CTCSS or CSQ

Mobile TX - CTCSS
Mobile RX - CSQ

Hospital TX - CSQ
Hospital RX - CTCSS

Things change over the years and the radio shops/radio user don't follow the plan that was established so today we get mixed results. Some counties have even went to their own EMS channel/frequency.

Iowa City uses a CTCSS of 192.8. I do hear units coming into Iowa City calling with a different PL tone and the hospital can't hear them due to the CTCSS being set to 192.8.

This is 9 years old, but still pretty accurate:

http://isicsb.iowa.gov/documents/current-iowa-comm-plans/Iowa_EMS_Communication_Directory.pdf

The ambulance rig I drove once in a blue moon in the early 2000's had 4 or 5 channels programmed into the radio with 155.340, but each channel transmitted a different PL tone.

Tim K.
 

emtcasey

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 9, 2004
Messages
58
Location
Muscatine
Ok I have a question, When I worked for an ambulance service each hospital in the area had a four digit code, and we had a dial pad in the back that after we went to what ever channel we had on out little cheet sheet (which we called them EMS G, D ,E and A I think and before I start another debate I have NO idea why we called them that), we dialed the four numbers then the radio "toned" (for lack of a better term, it was like a morse code sound) into that hospital. I guess if we could do that why would it matter about PL tones. I am not sure I am just a rookie out here compaired to some if not most of the others and clearly do not have an degree in scanners. Just wondering.

Casey

After thought, In iowa city most incoming ambulances call into what was "Johnson County C-Med" which is now part of JCOM I think and had them dial them in to the U or Mercy.
 
Last edited:

burner50

The Third Variable
Moderator
Joined
Dec 24, 2004
Messages
2,096
Location
NW Iowa
we went to what ever channel we had on out little cheet sheet (which we called them EMS G, D ,E and A I think and before I start another debate I have NO idea why we called them that),
That seems to be in line with the State EMS communications directory that Tim linked above.


As far as EMS 1-4, that sounds like a local name for various channels or something that has not been used widespread for many years.
 

radioboy75

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Messages
163
Location
Rock Rapids, Iowa
we dialed the four numbers then the radio "toned" (for lack of a better term, it was like a morse code sound) into that hospital. I guess if we could do that why would it matter about PL tones. .
Yeah, great question. Haven't heard that in years. I also remember the "morse code sound". I think what that really was is more like pulse dialing for telephones. On the scanner side, you'd hear a tone start to play, and then it would be "chopped up" (for lack of a better word) by the pulsing of each digit, and then the hospital would come on shortly thereafter. In later years before that went away completely, some ambulances and hospitals switched to more of a touch-tone (DTMF) code, which could be "toned" much faster. That seemed to go away in the mid to late 90's.

Anyone have any idea what I mean or why it went away?

Oh, and BTW, I checked, and the old radio service name for those 5 frequencies I told you about earlier was actually the Emergency Medical Service Radio Service . . .

Scott
 

ecps92

Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2002
Messages
10,573
Location
Taxachusetts
Secode was the pulse dialing, it contained a 1500 Hz tone, sometimes called Digitial Dialing

http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dhsr/EMS/pdf/dialcode.pdf
Look for the topic of Digital Dial

Yeah, great question. Haven't heard that in years. I also remember the "morse code sound". I think what that really was is more like pulse dialing for telephones. On the scanner side, you'd hear a tone start to play, and then it would be "chopped up" (for lack of a better word) by the pulsing of each digit, and then the hospital would come on shortly thereafter. In later years before that went away completely, some ambulances and hospitals switched to more of a touch-tone (DTMF) code, which could be "toned" much faster. That seemed to go away in the mid to late 90's.

Anyone have any idea what I mean or why it went away?

Oh, and BTW, I checked, and the old radio service name for those 5 frequencies I told you about earlier was actually the Emergency Medical Service Radio Service . . .

Scott
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top