Just a thought.. (Citizen to Agency via radio)

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Phantom1989

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My friend works security that uses Kenwood mobile and portable radios tuned to the MURS service. While we were in his truck he showed me that he has one of the fire department VHF frequencies programmed into the mobile radio that he listens to when he gets bored on the job.

Anway, we started talking and a question came up.. He asked me if I ever heard of a private citizen switching to a public safety frequency, keying up the mic, and requesting help from the police in the event of a serious crime or other emergency.

So, has anyone ever heard of something like this happening? How would the dispatcher on the radio even react to such a thing (if not simply tell you to get the hell off their frequency and use a phone)? :s
 
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SARCommCoord

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With all the cell phones,pay phones and by standers,there is no legitimate reason for any citizen to have to use a Public Safety frequency to call in an emergency.
If the person has a radio for work,they should be using their assigned frequency to call for help.
As an EMT and a Dispatcher, i have my local agencies in my radio(s), as well as surrounding counties(I am the EMS Officer for a local SAR Team). They are programmed for TX and RX.

As a Dispatcher, if a citizen comes up on our Tac with an emergency, we would still treat it as an emergency.
However,after we get a location, PD would also respond out to either A) Explain to the caller that using public safety frequencies is illegal unless you are in IMMEDIATE DANGER. (Key Word) or B) Arrest the individual for interfering with public safety comms(this has happened in states before,look it up).

This topic has been discussed many times, to sum up,i suggest you do not set any PS frequency as transmittable.

For an additional legal info, you should conact a Lawyer or email the FCC. Any "legal" info i have posted is my personal opinion,based on research,and should not be used to interpret any law.
 

GrumpyGuard

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Thou shalt not transmit on any frequency that you are not the license holder of. This can cause you more legal trouble than you want, not to mention a visit from your local FCC office or a letter of liability in the amount of several thousands of dollars. If your friend wants to have the receive only frequency in his radio to just listen, that is fine. But if he is board and decides to transmit on the public safety radio service, they will find him and take his radio equipment at the very least. This can also prevent him from getting any type of radio license in the future.
 
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SARCommCoord

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I agree with GrumpyGuard. As i stated earlier, listening is fine,anymore then that, will land you in possible trouble.
Remember, your definiton of an "Emergency" is different then what I as an EMT, your local PD or FD see as an Emergency.
 

tampabaynews

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Once on the scanner I heard a citizen get on the radio to advise PD that an officer had been struck by a vehicle on a traffic stop late at night. Granted the citizen used the officer's radio and it was obviously an emergency.

I never had it happen to me when working dispatch, but I would have handled it like a regular 911 caller. I would get the pertinent information and tell the citizen to stay off the radio unless I raised them.

Your security friend should contact his own dispatch in case of emergency or use a cell phone. If he wants to listen to FD, he should use a scanner instead or have a professional modify the radio so it can't transmit. It's too easy to have an accidental key up or have your mic stuck. Remember in many places it is against the law to simply possess an unauthorized radio that transmits on public safety frequencies, whether you actually transmit or not.

But in the unlikely scenario that you are in a LIFE OR DEATH emergency and you have ZERO alternative form of communication other than contacting dispatch via radio, then the choice is obvious. Just be prepared to answer questions about the radio after the fact.

I am also not a lawyer.
 
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SARCommCoord

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I also agree with tampabaynews.. Using an Officers/EMT/Firefighters radio when they are incapacitated is one thing, but posssing a radio which can transmit of FD/PD bands,and you are not licensed or allowed to do so is possibly illegal.
In Florida,possession of radio equipment in a vehicle capable of recieving FD or PD is illegal unless you are EMS/FD (On or Off Duty),PD,Amateur Radio,News or an Alarm Co.

I am also not a lawyer
 

N5TWB

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MURS frequencies are limited on the output power they can have so your friend already is afoul of the law by using those in a mobile radio.
 

krokus

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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.973 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

I wonder where states get off passing laws about things that are regulated at the federal level. (Such as scanners, two-ways, radar detectors, and/or any other piece of radio equipment.

I always get my radios configured for being able to transmit to their fullest ability, but also make sure that any programmed freqs have an offset on the transmit.
 
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SARCommCoord

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Just recently,if I remember correctly,Florida also added it to the law making it illegal to transport radio equipment capable of receiving FD or PD if you are not licensed to.(Or you are not Fire/EMS etc)
 
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In past instances where this has occured the person was in deep trouble with local law enforcement and the DA will prosicute, there is very few circumstances that would justify such activity. Larger PSAP's are designed for receiving calls from the public via telephone and passing the info to the appoprate agency dispatcher, if you called a dispatcher directly they would have to figure out how to route your call so it would be handled correctly, this process could actually slow the response time. Imagine you got caught using your radio illegally and the DA prosicutes you, has your home sesrched and they confiscate all your pretty radios, you would be in deep trouble and minus all your nice toys.
 
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SARCommCoord

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Good point. All the EMD questions I would normally ask you on the phone,I wouldn't be able to ask via radio because it would tie up that channel.
 

radioman2001

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There are still the provisions of the FCC law that ENTITLES and individual, to transmit on ANY frequency if it is to prevent death or injury, or the loss of property. There is no one that has ever been prosecuted that I know of who appealed it to the Federal level, where the charge would be summarily dismissed if it met those requirements. State and local's can pass all the laws they want, but in the end the FCC and the Feds have the last word. Fortunately.
BTW I don't condone it, but the law speaks for itself.
 

kma371

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There are still the provisions of the FCC law that ENTITLES and individual, to transmit on ANY frequency if it is to prevent death or injury, or the loss of property. There is no one that has ever been prosecuted that I know of who appealed it to the Federal level, where the charge would be summarily dismissed if it met those requirements. State and local's can pass all the laws they want, but in the end the FCC and the Feds have the last word. Fortunately.
BTW I don't condone it, but the law speaks for itself.
I think that only applies to the amateur bands, but I could be wrong


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Thayne

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MURS frequencies are limited on the output power they can have so your friend already is afoul of the law by using those in a mobile radio.
Have faith that he programmed those MURS babies lower to be within the law :p
 

scnnr

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Methinks you and your friend were getting a itch to try it out one night. Am I right?

Like the others have said with their posts, that is a big no no. Don't even think about it. Unless your friend has permission to use that channel in case of emergency from the Local Authorities , don't either one of you even think about it.
 

GB1952

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Would not it be nice to have something like murs mabe with repeaters or little more power for citizens ie comunity watch or so to have and be monitored by local police like the react was at one time(nationwide)
 
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SARCommCoord

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Key word is "IF" it meets that criteria. The cases I have heard or seen were not legitimate enough emergencies to warrant the use of radio.. Plus, most citizens I know dont walk around with PD/FD programmed radios.
The simple truth,like I have said before,is that my definition as an EMT of an emergency,as well as the PD and FD,is different then what you may define as an emergency...He also stated if it would be ok to use it to report a crime in progress..thats what 911 is for. If you can spend money on a radio to program FD or PD into,you can go find an old cellphone and use it for 911 only (by law all cellphones,service or not,are required to be able to dial out 911)
 

nd5y

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Would not it be nice to have something like murs mabe with repeaters or little more power for citizens ie comunity watch or so to have and be monitored by local police like the react was at one time(nationwide)
Community watch groups can get a business license like this one did.
WQOC720 (PLAZA HEIGHTS CITIZENS ON PATROL) FCC Callsign Details

They can also rent radios on a commercial SMR system or use a city's radio system if the city allows it.
Notice all the CRO/Code Blue talkgroups Fort Worth has.
Fort Worth / Tarrant County Public Safety Trunking System, Fort Worth, Texas - Scanner Frequencies
Those are used by the various comunity watch groups.
 
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Phantom1989

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Your security friend should contact his own dispatch in case of emergency or use a cell phone. If he wants to listen to FD, he should use a scanner instead or have a professional modify the radio so it can't transmit. It's too easy to have an accidental key up or have your mic stuck. Remember in many places it is against the law to simply possess an unauthorized radio that transmits on public safety frequencies, whether you actually transmit or not.
The fire department frequency is already set up for RX only on his radio. He wouldn't use it to transmit. We were just simply talking about the "what if's."
 
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