Mutual Aid TG?

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AlaskaRadar

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After seeing a Mut Aid TG on the main ALMR page, I cant help but wonder if our First responders and not beginning to handicap themselves. I understand it is mostly an issue of security, but mutual aid freqs are so other agencies can talk no? With this new option, you have to have the $5000 dollar radio and the special ALMR settings to talk. Does anyone happen to know if the old Analog freqs will still be used? I have to admit (scanner bum aside) I am not happy to see these agencies eliminate their Analog freqs. I fear that the next major disaster that happens will cause the system to collapse and therefore giving our brave first responders bricks to work with.

Am I totally out of line? I would like to hear your thoughts.. Thanks Radar
 

Thunderbolt

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As I understand it, all ALMR radio are equipped with the nationwide, VHF-High band interoperability channels:

  1. 151.1375 156.7 PL V-CALL VHF - Emergency Calling
  2. 154.4525 156.7 PL V-TAC 1 VHF - Tactical Ops 1
  3. 155.7525 156.7 PL V-TAC 2 VHF - Tactical Ops 2
  4. 158.7375 156.7 PL V-TAC 3 VHF - Tactical Ops 3
  5. 159.4725 156.7 PL V-TAC 4 VHF - Tactical Ops 4
I have no idea where the implementation of this conventional analog system is at this time, but they would serve as a backup if communications at a fire/emergency/disaster scene, if communications can not be established through the ALMR. Likewise, there are other analog channels in the radio as well, including 155.250 MHz. Moreover, a community can keep several of their old repeater pairs and use them as a backup radio system, should the ALMR fail. All of the radios can revert to manual, analog mode if necessary.

73's

Ron
 

kikito

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AlaskaRadar said:
I fear that the next major disaster that happens will cause the system to collapse and therefore giving our brave first responders bricks to work with.

Am I totally out of line? I would like to hear your thoughts.. Thanks Radar

Well, a few points I can offer about your concern:

Eventually, all Fire Depts. (and Public Safety in general) are supposed to migrate to ALMR, so they'll be in the same "platform" to communicate.

All Fire Depts. and possibly Law Enforcement, will have the Mutual Aid talkgroups programmed into their radios, just like they do now with conventional channels.

There's some "gateways" in place so the old analog/incompatible radios can still talk through ALMR, just like Marine and Aviation frequencies can use the same gateway to talk through ALMR during incidents. There's also patches and such that can be done to have so-called interoperability although not the most desirable way to do it.

On even bigger incidents, everybody involved, will probably use the Incident Command talkgroup and procedures just like they've been in training the past few days, mostly using the IC North TAC1 and TAC2 recently. In other words, as long as they know how to use their radios and switch to the appropriate channels, they'll be able to communicate easier and better than before, which is the premise of the ALMR system and everybody switching to it.


The new radios have even more memory channels and capabilities than the old ones to have programmed all the current analog channels, the ALMR stuff and like 'Thunderbolt' brought up, the national interop assignments and then some. In other words, they'll be able to use and function in conventional, trunked, analog, digital, etc. In case the main system fails, they will most likely fall-back to using simplex frequencies in analog and digital modes.

The ALMR system is using a lot of the old infrastructure that their old systems used, so the risk is almost the same during a disaster to lose those towers and such and having to fallback to simplex.

I personally think the only possible new "handicap" could be the use of encryption, if they decide to use it. Most Fire depts. don't use or care to use encryption. It's like adding another point of possible failure i.e. radios that could possibly lose the programmed keys in them or were programmed incorrectly, won't be able to communicate or hear other radios for example. Obviously, you don't want that to happen during an emergency. So hopefully, all the agencies that migrate to ALMR, if equipped with encryption capable radios, they'll do like the majority of other agencies across the nation and use encryption only during special or "sensitive" operations.
 

AKSCANMAN

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The Fairbanks and North Pole will have their conventional systems up running as back up only...I know North Pole and Northstar FD's will switch to ALMR sometime in Oct. I want to say the 10th. The ALMR radios from the chief down to the Firefighter will be able to switch to the old system if needed. No encryption is on the FD ALMR radios that I know of.
 

kikito

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AKSCANMAN said:
The Fairbanks and North Pole will have their conventional systems up running as back up only...I know North Pole and Northstar FD's will switch to ALMR sometime in Oct. I want to say the 10th. The ALMR radios from the chief down to the Firefighter will be able to switch to the old system if needed. No encryption is on the FD ALMR radios that I know of.
Thanks for that info and welcome to the forum!
 

kikito

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Hey cool! Someone submitted some more Fire/Mutual Aid talkgroups with what appears to be the actual "display" names too.

Thanks to whoever it was!
 
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