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LAFD Frequency/usage changes

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KMA367

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Effective Tuesday August 15, 2006, Los Angeles City Fire Department will be changing the following channels/usage:

Ch 6: 860.43750 Use Changes to EMERGENCY/TRIGGER

Ch 24: Change to 868.9875 "FIREMARS" Interagency Tactical Channel

There will be additional changes by early 2007, and these will be published on the official LAFD website at http://www.lafd.org/freq.htm
 

KMA367

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Emergency Trigger

Rescue4NFD said:
What does the term "Emergency Trigger" on LAFD CH.6-860.4375 stand for?
It's also called a "man down" or "HELP" trigger, and they're becoming very common on police and fire radios. They can work in a number of different ways, but typically if a FF or police officer needs help but can't grab his radio to "ask" for it, they can push a button, usually on top of their portable radio, which automatically switches the radio to the "trigger" frequency and signals the dispatcher that he/she needs help and identifies the particular radio.

I don't know how LAFD's are set up, but some radios, especially those carried by firefighters, can include a "firefighter down" function which will automatically send out the help message when they are motionless for a set amount of time (in the event they are injured, for example), or if their air supply runs out. Some equipment can provide location detection, by GPS and/or a loud audio sound to help locate them exactly in a building.

Pages 11-7 and 15-4 of http://www.firetactics.com/hirise.pdf (pdf pages 127 and 161), though it's 10 years old, gives some info as to how LAFD uses the "trigger" function, as does, briefly, their training scenario at http://lafdtraining.org/tdg/tdg10/TDG10incidentcommander.pdf. The March 8, 2006 incident, in which Captain Joseph Dupree of Engine 57 lost his life also involved trigger activations, but in that instance even the trigger and PAL (Personal Alarm) device activations weren't enough.
 
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JoeyC

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Not to hijack this thread, but I see the importance of an emergency trigger, and I've heard them go off in several systems, but why does LAPD have a special channel the radio switches to when this button is enabled? All others I've heard simply send the distress signal over the channel it's working on and it's handled accordingly there.
 

KMA367

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Why a "dedicated" Trigger freq at LAPD

JoeyC said:
Not to hijack this thread, but I see the importance of an emergency trigger, and I've heard them go off in several systems, but why does LAPD have a special channel the radio switches to when this button is enabled? All others I've heard simply send the distress signal over the channel it's working on and it's handled accordingly there.
It's done either way in different systems. I think LASD also has a dedicated Trigger freq, 483.2875? Anyway, on some departments the triggered radio will stay on its current frequency, and other places it will go to a dedicated frequency (or talkgroup, in a trunked system).

LAPD decided on a dedicated frequency when they first went to UHF... it used to be 507.0875, but was moved to 507.2625 several years ago. The two main reasons were that sometimes a unit isn't on a dispatch-monitored frequency... they might be on a simplex or tac frequency, a detective channel, CLEMARS, anywhere. Send a "help" signal there and nobody but other people on that freq will hear anything... the indecipherable beeps and brrrps from your radio. At least until - and if - you are finally able to start talking.

Another advantage of a dedicated freq, at least the way it's set up at LAPD, is that the ofcr needing help gets immediate access to an RTO (dispatcher) who's not busy, on a frequency where nobody else will be talking over him/her. The RTO, whether its "his own" or someone else, gets the display of his unit number, and his last known location.

Depending on what's going on from moment to moment (such as "is the officer is able to talk?" and "is it best to bring other ofcrs into the 'conversation'?" or "does this ofcr need uninterrupted uplink for himself, but his radio transmissions should go OUT - be "repeated" - on other freqs?"), they can multi-select any configuration of receive, transmit and/or patching of frequencies to best handle the incident as it unfolds.

Normally they will try to get everybody on to either their base (dispatch) frequency or a tac frequency as soon as it's practical, but it just depends on the situation.
 
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RobertW1

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While still threatening to prosecute anybody providing "live streaming audio" of their frequencies and tranmissions, it does appear that they do have good intentions of providing it officially, along with a "live incident page" such as the CHP has in the future. It appears that funding is now the problem and not technology.

http://www.lafd.org/audio.htm#Q1
 
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