Orange County receives Interoperability grant

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One of my problems with OC has always been the disparity between all the services' radio bands. Fire uses low band and UHF, EMS uses high band, and PD uses high band and 800. They wouldn't have to spend so much money on dual band EMS portables if everyone was on the same page to begin with.

Although each system has their advantages they need to come up with a comprehensive county wide plan for fire and EMS (I think PD is another story). If they're going to hand out a bunch of dual band portables they need to design a UHF radio plan for EMS.

They also need to create another and/or more units to 911 channels but thats another discussion.
 

62Truck

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One of my problems with OC has always been the disparity between all the services' radio bands. Fire uses low band and UHF, EMS uses high band, and PD uses high band and 800. They wouldn't have to spend so much money on dual band EMS portables if everyone was on the same page to begin with.

Although each system has their advantages they need to come up with a comprehensive county wide plan for fire and EMS (I think PD is another story). If they're going to hand out a bunch of dual band portables they need to design a UHF radio plan for EMS.

They also need to create another and/or more units to 911 channels but thats another discussion.
Why can't they just follow what Dutchess did with fire and ems? I never really understood the separation with fire and ems when it comes to the radio system, and this is with Ulster also. Most of the time fire and ems are going to the same calls and they all are being dispatched from the same building.

Listening to Dutchess is so much more easier and less of a headache.


With OC what really baffles me is have a active fire ground(multiple depts on scene) , one dept is using the new UHF system, another is using the old low band system and some use their own channel.

Orange County is a complete mess when it comes to their different radio systems and some times its hard to follow.
 

Mtnrider

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Dont worry someone will come in with there expensive magic wand and and eat up most of the grant..... and there ya go on paper it will work fine...its happening in Greene and Ulster now....
 
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With OC what really baffles me is have a active fire ground(multiple depts on scene) , one dept is using the new UHF system, another is using the old low band system and some use their own channel.
This isn't as much of a problem as you might think. I'm 90% confident (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong) that all or most OC Fire apparatus are required to have a low-band radio and a UHF radio. Most private ops channels are UHF anyway so that just comes down to channel selection in terms of fireground ops.
-One notable exception would be the C/Newburgh-

In this part of the state most EMS operates on VHF and most fire uses Low band and/or UHF. I'm hoping that someone doesn't think that throwing money and radios at agencies is going to solve anything.

Here is what we all need: instructions on how to use all of the channels we have and will be offered (regardless of band).

Fire has a comprehensive 16 channel UHF plan that has no EMS analog. Granted, EMS ops in OC don't need a huge plan but we do need to be interoperable...which is hopefully what these radios (if we ever see them) will do.
 

jim202

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This is the perfect reason to install a radio interoperability gateway at the dispatch center. It would take about the cost of 3 of those expensive radios to pay for a basic gateway. Then the dispatch center could link together the channels they needed as the incident demanded.

Sounds like the Motorola sales force is looking to collect big time on this project with all new radios.
 

sc8

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What is the difference between a gateway and a console patch?

Also, at least on the PD end, there is some I/O going on with Orange County SO being able to communicate with C/Middletown, T/Wallkill and C/Port Jervis through their linker. It may also have other "on the fly" capabilities, but I don't know anything about those.
 
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while the console patches work great for mobile to mobile it might not be so feasable for portables. For instance, FD on a UHF fireground inside a building needs to talk to an EMS unit on the outside of the building. With a console patch, or something similar, that signal has to make it out of the building, to the tower, then back to the unit they're trying to raise. With the geography of OC as it is and the low power of portables IMO that's not really an option.
 

62Truck

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Fire has a comprehensive 16 channel UHF plan that has no EMS analog. Granted, EMS ops in OC don't need a huge plan but we do need to be interoperable...which is hopefully what these radios (if we ever see them) will do.
Would one solution be installing UHF radios in the EMS apparatus programmed with the 16 fireground channels? That would make more sense to me.

I apologize if I seems like I am not understanding what you are saying.
 
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It would be an option but right now those are fire only channels. EMS isn't supposed to use them. What they should have done was allocated a channel for EMS in their plan. I know Boston FD and I'm pretty sure FDNY have a channel in their plan for EMS to access on the fire plan.
 

GTR8000

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Or just have an EMS liaison at the command post. It's not really that complicated, and I've rarely if ever come across a situation where FD, PD or EMS "needs" to talk to each other directly on the radio. If it's a small incident, talk face to face or have someone outside relay the message to EMS. If it's a large incident, there will be a command post where each agency should be represented.

Sometimes technology doesn't solve problems, it just complicates things more than they need to be.
 

jim202

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while the console patches work great for mobile to mobile it might not be so feasable for portables. For instance, FD on a UHF fireground inside a building needs to talk to an EMS unit on the outside of the building. With a console patch, or something similar, that signal has to make it out of the building, to the tower, then back to the unit they're trying to raise. With the geography of OC as it is and the low power of portables IMO that's not really an option.
This is a perfect application of using a vehicle repeater. As many in the fire service know, trying to use a distant radio tower while at a scene using a portable radio is asking for trouble. So you want to use a simplex or fire ground channel. Now you have a problem with the dispatcher being able to hear your transmissions. So you use a low power radio vehicle repeater (again a simplex radio) to talk to the portables and use the vehicle mobile radio to communicate back to the dispatcher.

Many police departments use this type of device so that when a person exits their vehicle, the vehicle repeater will be used to relay the portable radio transmission through the vehicle mobile radio. It prevents the poor communications that a portable radio causes in a fringe area of the normal radio system operation.
 

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sc8...are you "assuming" they are going to get dual-band portables? My sources are saying, quote from the horses mouth "ummm, no...those are several thousands of dollars a piece...it would be cheaper buy them all UHF radios. Plus, we have a Mobile Command Center (MCC) that rarely gets used and can patch everything together." I'm just sayin'...

I have to agree with Chauffeur6...this is why we have a Command Post. It's bad enough that I carry an extra VHF portable in my vehicle for EMS...if there is a major incident, I keep one on County 911 and the other on my local PD dispatcher rather than scanning between the channels. EMS Operators love to hear themselves talk and I miss County calling me with important info. Now I have to grab a UHF one too..or scan channels on my dual-band portable? I have the Fire Chief standing right next to me!

The other problem is training. We have one Response frequency for EMS. And you get BLS units that love to tie up the channel coordinating an ALS intercept, giving directions, etc. Switch to your local EMS repeater or better yet, use the trruck-truck channel 155.280. The dispatchers should get on people more, especially with how busy the channel can get sometimes.
 

radioman2001

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EMS not allowed on Fire Channels!! When it comes to the FCC there is no distinction. Are all the ambulances in OC private? Any FD operated EMS should be allowed on the FD dispatch and other channels as this sounds more like politics than a radio issue. For hospital comms that are now on the VHF band, they could be UHF, using the Med 1-10 channels. Even though most at least in Dutchess are now on cell phone.
This grant sounds like, "lets get some free money since every body else is". Instead of having a comprehensive county wide plan for all agencies, and using those monies for it. With narrow banding looming, now would be a great time to chuck all the bands and come up with one plan on one band for there should be a ton of channels made available, and if you don't get them when they first come available forget it. Most likely for a good county wide system would be UHF or you could go the UHF-T band route. Other agencies outside the 50mi limit have.
IMHO the police agencies using the 800 mhz operate there out of convience, one bill a month. A county wide radio system could be built, but that takes real planning and money, and using a commercial radio system is just a stopgap. God help all those agencies if for some reason or another NYCOMMCO ever goes belly up.
 
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it would be cheaper buy them all UHF radios.
I heard our agency was asked if we wanted two UHF mobiles from the county

The other problem is training. We have one Response frequency for EMS. And you get BLS units that love to tie up the channel coordinating an ALS intercept, giving directions, etc. Switch to your local EMS repeater or better yet, use the trruck-truck channel 155.280. The dispatchers should get on people more, especially with how busy the channel can get sometimes.
AMEN!

Are all the ambulances in OC private? Any FD operated EMS should be allowed on the FD dispatch
OC only has 1 FD operated BLS ambulance service (Florida). The rest of the BLS is independant of the fire service. Also, a good 75-80% of the ALS, and in some places BLS backup, in OC is provided by one of three private services.

I know if I ever keyed up 36-Control on an ambulance and I wasn't in a serious emergency they wouldn't even acknowledge me or they'd tell me to check my channel.
 

sc8

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sc8...are you "assuming" they are going to get dual-band portables? My sources are saying, quote from the horses mouth "ummm, no...those are several thousands of dollars a piece...it would be cheaper buy them all UHF radios. Plus, we have a Mobile Command Center (MCC) that rarely gets used and can patch everything together." I'm just sayin'...

I have to agree with Chauffeur6...this is why we have a Command Post. It's bad enough that I carry an extra VHF portable in my vehicle for EMS...if there is a major incident, I keep one on County 911 and the other on my local PD dispatcher rather than scanning between the channels. EMS Operators love to hear themselves talk and I miss County calling me with important info. Now I have to grab a UHF one too..or scan channels on my dual-band portable? I have the Fire Chief standing right next to me!

The other problem is training. We have one Response frequency for EMS. And you get BLS units that love to tie up the channel coordinating an ALS intercept, giving directions, etc. Switch to your local EMS repeater or better yet, use the trruck-truck channel 155.280. The dispatchers should get on people more, especially with how busy the channel can get sometimes.
I thought my source said they were dual band, I might have been mistaken. I was also told that it was for "major incidents" but in major incidents all communications should be running through the command post anyway.

The only thing I can think of is if EMS gets on scene first and needs to pass information to FD that is too critical to go from them to 911 EMS to 911 Fire to the FD units responding, (ie. Stay back, there is radiation in the area or There are five children trapped on the 3rd floor)
 
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