Orange County Fire Alternate Frequencies

Status
Not open for further replies.

SCPD

QRT
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
0
Location
Virginia
Last fall, during the Diamond Bar Fire, units from Brea, OCFA, and I believe Fullerton and Anaheim crossed the county line and assisted LACOFD in battling the blaze. For the first few days the units operated on the OC TRS, I think channel 1C. After a few days the incident commander then told all units to switch to a tactical channel in the VHF low band (at least that what I thought I heard, I could be wrong).

Anyway, does anyone have a listing of all the mutual aid frequencies that Orange County fire units utilize in such cases and, more importantly, what the "TAC" numbers are (I don't know if OC uses the same TAC designations as LACOFD, for instance).

Any info is appreciated.

Dave
KA6TJF
 

cousinkix1953

Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
Messages
518
Everybody uses these state-wide...

154.265 white 2
154.280 white 1
154.295 white 3
156.075 Cal-Coord
153.755 Cal-Fire travel net R
154.160 state fire marshal R
154.220 state fire marshal R
 

SCPD

QRT
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
0
Location
Virginia
Everybody uses these state-wide...

154.265 white 2
154.280 white 1
154.295 white 3
156.075 Cal-Coord
153.755 Cal-Fire travel net R
154.160 state fire marshal R
154.220 state fire marshal R
Thanks, but do you also know how Orange County Fire designates these channels? For instance, the other night a Brea unit went on a mutual aid into La Habra, which is now LACOFD territory. The Brea dispatcher told the unit to switch to "Blue 1, Tac 18." But in L.A. County parlance Blue 1 is 470.4375, while their Tac 18 is 154.34Mhz, so this left me a bit confused as to which frequency to turn to. What I'm trying to figure out is whether Orange County's channel assignments differ appreciably than L.A. County's, or if Tac 18 is the same for every fire agency in So Cal. The RR database doesn't have a listing for Orange County's VHF tactical channel assignments. There's got to be a firefighter or someone out there who can share this information.

Dave
KA6TJF
 

Eng74

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,816
Location
Kern County, CA
I am not sure about OC but I would bet they have VHF radios on their rigs along with their own OC 800's. They may have a couple of King radio's for out of county assignments or mutual aide. If they were going into an LACoFD area they would switch over to LACoFD's channels. When LACoFD responds into Kern they will come up on the Kern channels and we do the same if we are going in to their area for mutual aide. Our desert stations next to SBCoFD is another story. SBCoFD us 5 or 6 of their HT's so we can come up on their system.
 

Markb

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 21, 2002
Messages
1,251
Location
Planet Earth
Hi Dave,

It can be very confusing sometimes, but whenever a channel assignment is given, it should be precluded with the agency who owns the channel in question. Examples would include OES White 1, Cleveland Forest Net, CDF Command 1 (CAL FIRE), etc...
There is a standard VHF frequency load for the entire state and if you look in the archives in the California forum, it should be in there somewhere. Also it's probably in the database as well. In the case of the LA County incident you mentioned, those were LA County FD channels and they will carry that name regardless of what agency is responding.
Orange County does not have VHF channel assignments, per se (the exception being OC Access). OC has BK handheld radios on all of their rigs with the statewide frequency plan.
If there is a major wildland incident in OC that brings in players from outside of OC, OCFA dispatch will contact South Ops (another long e-mail) and request the appropriate VHF channels to meet their needs (they will likely use CDF command and Tac channels).
If it gets to the point where it is going to be a major fire, they will order a command team made up of folks from all over California. With that command team comes a communications unit and a large cache of radio equipment including VHF radios, portable VHF repeaters and other miscellaneous equipment along with some UHF stuff used for logistics communications.
This equipment and the frequencies are owned and maintained by the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, also known as NIFC.
At this point you would want to plug in the NIFC channels which are also in the database somewhere.

Check out this site for more info and check out the document at the very bottom of the page - the one titled MACS 441-1:

FIRESCOPE Communications Specialist

Hope this helps,

Mark
 
Last edited:

SCPD

QRT
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
0
Location
Virginia
A couple of clarifications might make this less confusing. When L.A. County refers to their tactical channels they can be on their blue system (UHF) or their white system (VHF). They have been adding more blue frequencies of late and using them as tacticals. So you might hear a blue tactical 18 or a white tactical 18.

There are several command teams that a local jurisdiction can employ for large incidents. State teams can be ordered from Cal Fire. OES or now Cal EMA has mutual aid regions and area coordinators and I'm not very familiar with that system.

Cal Fire has a statewide set of command repeaters on Command 1 and 2 (151.255 and 151.265) and now in development, repeaters using commands 3-10. These will (are) assigned to various areas of the state, Southern California utilizes Command 3 (151.340). I have some information about other areas in the state as far as to what command frequencies will be assigned for repeaters in those areas. If I get some time in the not too distant future I will share this info.

The system I'm very familiar with is the agency to South Ops to NIFC. NIFC ia the granddaddy of all wildland dispatch centers. There are 11 Geographical Area Coordination Centers (GACC's) around the country. Most cover more than one state and due to a heavy fire workload California is divided into two GACC's, the Northern California GACC and the Southern California GACC. They are referred to as "North Ops" and "South Ops." Resources ordered include a wide variety of items such a caterers, helicopters, shower units, tool caches, supply caches, single resource people (division supervisors, logistics chiefs claims investigators, situation unit leaders, financial management . . . ), hotshot crews, camps crews, etc., etc. All resources are catagorized by "Type." Interagency Hotshot Crews (IHC's) are "Type I Crews" and the next level down based on experience, equipment, and training is a "Type II IA" crew, which is a crew that can't do all the things an IHC can do but can be used for initial attack. Those resources that are not used enough to be on full time, such as national caterers and shower units, are on NIFC administered contracts.

The administration of this national system is the responsibility of NIFC, who delegates a lot to the GACC's, who in turn delegate to interagency dispatch centers, and then down to local agency units. The National Interagency Incident Communications Division of NIFC is responsible for the National Incident Radio Support Cache, which is used nationally and by a wide variety of agencies and, at times, for more than just wildland fire, such as national political party conventions and Columbia space shuttle debris recovery. There are three sets of frequencies in this system, command, tactical and logistics with the first two being VHF and the last being UHF. They are called Command 3, Tactical 6 and Logistics 7.

It is important to note that the three main mutual aid fire frequencies in California called White 1 (154.280), White 2 (154.265) and White 3 (154.295) are national in use. Some other states even call these White 1, etc.

I hope this helps. I'm taking care of a friend with Alzheimer's and a mother with dementia and am only able to visit this website about 1-2 times per month. As a result information about the Cal Fire Commands 3-10 system in development will be delayed.
 

SCPD

QRT
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
0
Location
Virginia
I was able to get the answer I needed from the Yahoo Groups socalscan message board. In the example I used, the Brea fire dispatcher had her unit switch to both LACOFD Blue 1 and Tac 18 for the mutual aid hookup. Apparently two different channels are assigned in these situations, Blue to talk with LACOFD dispatch and the Tac channel to talk with LACOFD units once at the scene. It was perplexing to me at first why two different frequencies would be assigned, but apparently the Tac channels are lower power, non-repeater channels, and only good for local communications with other fire units, not to contact the LACOFD dispatch center.

Dave
KA6TJF
 
Joined
Jan 4, 2005
Messages
1,537
Location
Soledad, CA
Exsmokey; As a result information about the Cal Fire Commands 3-10 system in development will be delayed.[/QUOTE said:
I can confirm command 1,3,10 are used in BEU Monterey county. last year the fire we had was the first time I heard command 10 in use.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top