NJUTAC Channnels

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SCPD

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Does anyone if these channels are monitored or is it just radio to radio comms?

Thanks,
 

SCPD

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RocketNJ said:
They are monitored and assigned by UASI Central which I believe is located at Essex Co Sheriff's Dept
Okay thanks. Do the counties in the UASI region monitor this as well, or just Essex Co. I tried calling in to Passaic Co. to let them know about a large brush fire and no one answered.
 

RocketNJ

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Not sure about each county. As far as I understood, the UTAC channels were assigned as needed by the agency requesting use to call UASI central on UCALL and UASI central would assign the UTAC channel to use.
 

SCPD

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Okay thanks. I'll try to find out more through my contacts.

I thought maybe since it is a state system the counties in the UASI would have a base radio. But I guess not! :)
 

apu

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Going back to the original rulemaking, the FCC's intention for the VTAC/UTAC channels is on-scene use by field units from disparate agencies, not field-to-base station uses.
 

SCPD

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apu said:
Going back to the original rulemaking, the FCC's intention for the VTAC/UTAC channels is on-scene use by field units from disparate agencies, not field-to-base station uses.

Can you quote a URL?
 

apu

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I don't have a link to something that is as explicit as my one-line summary but see paragraph 90 of http://wireless.fcc.gov/releases/fcc00-348.doc which reads in part:

Under our Rules, an entity must have a license to operate a base or control station on these interoperability channels. Mobile operation, however, is permitted on these channels without an individual license (i.e., a blanket licensing approach). Public safety licensees who are eligible to hold a Part 90 license, or who are otherwise licensed under Part 90 of our Rules, can operate mobile units on these interoperability channels without an individual license. Additionally, as suggested in comments, we also will require, as of January 1, 2005, every newly certified public safety mobile radio unit to have the capacity to transmit and receive on at least one nationwide interoperability channel (i.e., the calling channel) in the band in which it is operating. For licensing and administration of these interoperability channels, we will rely on the four public safety frequency coordinators. We envision that the four coordinators would jointly develop an interoperability plan regarding the management and nationwide use of these interoperability channels.
A public safety agency doesn't need any license for mobile operation on the interoperability channels - just be eligible for a license. This goes along with the goal of getting every public safety agency on these channels while mobile (in the field).

However, to operate a base or control station, you have to go through the normal licensing and frequency coordination procedures and that falls to the national interop management and use plan which limits base and control stations to just a few per state. In NJ, the state gave counties mobile interop repeaters all of which can be remotely shut down if there is abuse or a misconfiguration. A welcome side-benefit is to reduce or eliminate the type of abuse that is so common on SPEN 1.

BTW... in your brush fire scenario, theoretically if you tried calling Essex County on one of the CALLing channels, they should have been able to either take a message and pass it along, or patch you through to whomever you needed communicate with in Passaic County.
 

SCPD

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apu said:
I don't have a link to something that is as explicit as my one-line summary but see paragraph 90 of http://wireless.fcc.gov/releases/fcc00-348.doc which reads in part:



A public safety agency doesn't need any license for mobile operation on the interoperability channels - just be eligible for a license. This goes along with the goal of getting every public safety agency on these channels while mobile (in the field).

However, to operate a base or control station, you have to go through the normal licensing and frequency coordination procedures and that falls to the national interop management and use plan which limits base and control stations to just a few per state. In NJ, the state gave counties mobile interop repeaters all of which can be remotely shut down if there is abuse or a misconfiguration. A welcome side-benefit is to reduce or eliminate the type of abuse that is so common on SPEN 1.

BTW... in your brush fire scenario, theoretically if you tried calling Essex County on one of the CALLing channels, they should have been able to either take a message and pass it along, or patch you through to whomever you needed communicate with in Passaic County.
I believe I was on UTAC4. The calling channel is not repeated, so I doubt they would have heard me.
 

apu

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res148cue said:
I believe I was on UTAC4. The calling channel is not repeated, so I doubt they would have heard me.
I believe they keep the repeaters for the TAC channels off unless needed but don't quote me; not sure about the CALL channels. And, while none of the VCALL/VTAC channels have repeaters on them, all of the UHF channels have repeaters.

However, repeater or not, they should be able to hear you on the CALL channels - the system is designed for portable radio coverage throughout the entire UASI region (
Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic and Union counties). If you ever listen to FDNY, think of "mixer off" messages where the field units can talk to the dispatcher even if the repeater is off so the rest of the city cannot hear them.

By design, you can call in on a CALL channel (or phone), talk to Essex County and then be assigned to one or more of the TAC channels, with or without repeater activation, depending on the nature of your incident or event.
 

SCPD

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You would think they would tell us public safety people. I see we have been left out of the loop once again.
 

apu

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Your agency can sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Attorney General's office and they send out e-mail updates periodically. Not a ton of info but some. And there are some documents publicly available at http://interoperability.nj.gov/
 

dun34

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Did you have a cell phone with you? I would imagine in Passaic the reception would be pretty good. People always tend to get this illusion that if they call in by radio they will get serviced faster. Most dispatchers, including myself, will tell you that we much rather receive these types of reports by phone.

Also, from my understanding, UTAC/VTAC/ITAC is not meant for the purpose you mentioned. While I cannot find any official documentation regarding these channels, the MIRS information booklet (which I'm sure you have read, in that you live in Morris) states:

UCALL - Calling Channel to UASI Central.
UTac 1,2,3 - Tactical Direct On Scene Communications
UTAC 4,5,6 - Regionwide Repeater.

(http://www.morrisoem.org/blogs/training_group.asp)

I also heard that the repeaters have to be activated.
 

SCANdal

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All jobs start the same exact way!

dun34 said:
Did you have a cell phone with you? I would imagine in Passaic the reception would be pretty good. People always tend to get this illusion that if they call in by radio they will get serviced faster. Most dispatchers, including myself, will tell you that we much rather receive these types of reports by phone.
THANK YOU! And by phone, I'm sure you don't mean the admin line either, you mean 9-1-1!
 

robbinsj2

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apu said:
Going back to the original rulemaking, the FCC's intention for the VTAC/UTAC channels is on-scene use by field units from disparate agencies, not field-to-base station uses.
NJUTAC4 through 6 would not be subject to the FCC rulemaking regarding national interoperability channels. The NJ UTAC channels are licensed by the state like any other channel, then designated for interoperability by users who are authorized by the state to operate on that license. They can choose to follow the FCC rules for national interop channels, but wouldn't have to as long as they're otherwise complying with the basic license requirements.

Similarly, public safety agencies are not automatically eligible to use the NJUTAC channels like they are the national ones. My department has some of these NJ channels in the radios we were recently given by our township and we were basically told not to use them unless specifically directed to by OEM / mobilization. Presumably we're covered by a MOU with the NJOPSC held by the township or county.

Jim
 

SCPD

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dun34 said:
Did you have a cell phone with you? I would imagine in Passaic the reception would be pretty good. People always tend to get this illusion that if they call in by radio they will get serviced faster. Most dispatchers, including myself, will tell you that we much rather receive these types of reports by phone.

Also, from my understanding, UTAC/VTAC/ITAC is not meant for the purpose you mentioned. While I cannot find any official documentation regarding these channels, the MIRS information booklet (which I'm sure you have read, in that you live in Morris) states:

UCALL - Calling Channel to UASI Central.
UTac 1,2,3 - Tactical Direct On Scene Communications
UTAC 4,5,6 - Regionwide Repeater.

(http://www.morrisoem.org/blogs/training_group.asp)

I also heard that the repeaters have to be activated.
Yes. But given my past experiences with 9-1-1 via a cell phone haven't been pretty. I have been calling NJSP ODU north and letting them know. They have all the phone numbers. Honestly, I just wanted to see if anyone would answer. Even if it was telling me to get off the channel. This was a rather large brush fire, so I didn't want to waste time. After I called NJSP I could see appartus coming from my viewpoint within minutes.

Citizens that I have talked to and asked them why didn't they call, I get the usual "I figured someone else called" line.
 

apu

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robbinsj2 said:
NJUTAC4 through 6 would not be subject to the FCC rulemaking regarding national interoperability channels.
Good point, Jim. And, NJ isn't the only state with statewide interop channels (be it SPEN/JEMS or NJ UTAC) and the rules for those channels can vary from the nationwide channels. We can just hope that, since the NJ UTAC channels are more tightly controlled, they won't be abused as SPEN/JEMS has been in the past.

And, for those keeping track, inland parts of the country have RTAC 1-3 (repeated or direct VHF channels similar to VTAC) which overlap with maritime channels. They follow the nationwide rules except the geographic areas in which they can be used are much more limited so they don't interfere with marine radio traffic.
 

RocketNJ

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res148cue said:
You would think they would tell us public safety people. I see we have been left out of the loop once again.
I take it you never went to the training for the MIRS radios? The county covered the UTAC channel useage in the presentation.
 

kenisned

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Cell Phones...

I always get nuts when I hear one of our firefighters or emts using a personal radio to call in things like a disabled motor vehicle...

You know they have a cell phone on them.

The problem is that the dispatchers are busy and when you make a radio call when there is no fire/ems response going on, it really gets confusing for them.

I have no problems with them having a personal radio. In my department, the only requirement is that the radio have an identifier programmed with that member's ID. There are times, when the radio is quicker and more effective for true emergencies.
 

SCANdal

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Use 9-1-1 or your local 7-digit equivalent

kenisned said:
There are times, when the radio is quicker and more effective for true emergencies.
ken,

I don't want to hijack this thread with this topic, so this will be my last comments on this matter. Your points are well made, but I wanted to add that those times when a radio "is quicker and more effective" are extremely rare.

SCANdal
 
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