Scanner Lingo

HarryHydro

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Aug 25, 2009
Messages
13
Location
Hopewell, NJ
I’ve been hearing phrases on the scanner, on different channels. I found BLS (basic life support) and ALS (advanced life support).
On the fire channels, I hear Fire Box. Is this referring to an area on a map? A fire alarm pull box like in a school? There are many stations using this. I heard another ‘box’ that paramedics used, I can’t remember the name. I’m still scanning VHF low, many local active licenses but no activity.
Harry
 

murphcc1

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Apr 22, 2005
Messages
81
Fire Box, yes like the fire alarm pull in schools, some areas of the country have them on telephone poles in the neighborhood.
They are a wind up morse code type of communication system. Once pulled a specifically notched wheel dispatches a code to the fire station. That code is sometimes distinguished in a four number sequence. That four number sequence corresponds to a code for a certain location. i.e. Box 3142 is at the intersection of Maple St and Elm St.
 

nd5y

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Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
11,467
Location
Wichita Falls, TX
On the fire channels, I hear Fire Box. Is this referring to an area on a map? A fire alarm pull box like in a school?
Box can mean different things in different places. Sometimes it's part of a dispatch system where a "box" is a geographic area with a "card" that lists resources and other information.
 

ecps92

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Joined
Jul 8, 2002
Messages
14,641
Location
Taxachusetts
I’ve been hearing phrases on the scanner, on different channels. I found BLS (basic life support) and ALS (advanced life support).
On the fire channels, I hear Fire Box. Is this referring to an area on a map? A fire alarm pull box like in a school? There are many stations using this. I heard another ‘box’ that paramedics used, I can’t remember the name. I’m still scanning VHF low, many local active licenses but no activity.
Harry
for Fire Box - check out this link

for the EMS/Fire entry to a Building it would be a
 

Bird_Person

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Nov 12, 2023
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7
Location
New England
Learn local police codes as well if you can monitor them. Like where I am (unsure of other states/counties/municipalities), "making Q5 statements" is one I sadly hear a lot, usually in conjunction with "94C" to precede or follow.

Q5 is self harm statements
94C is related to illicit substances
 

W9WSS

Retired LEO
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Dec 19, 2002
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1,040
Location
Westmont, DuPage County, IL USA
Learn local police codes as well if you can monitor them. Like where I am (unsure of other states/counties/municipalities), "making Q5 statements" is one I sadly hear a lot, usually in conjunction with "94C" to precede or follow.

Q5 is self harm statements
94C is related to illicit substances
Those must be local to your area. I'm in the western suburbs of Chicago and haven't heard of those. As many police/fire/EMS agencies have specific codes to their dispatch lingo, for example, I recall monitoring a local police channel back in the day when numerous police departments were on the same frequency. A particular officer wanted to meet with a colleague the next town over, and said, "999 from 555, can I signal one with you?" Unit 999 replied, "Dispatch, open the garage door for 555." Signal one in one agency meant, "Can I meet with you?" Where the other Village's explanation of "Signal One" meant open the garage door! The agency I worked for had "signal" codes. Especially memorable was "Signal 39." That meant picking up a pack of cigarettes for the dispatcher; At the time a pack of cigarettes cost .39 cents. Lance Karesh especially liked code "648," which was the code for the police station. Or post 17; Post 1 was the Chief of Police's residence.
 

ecps92

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Jul 8, 2002
Messages
14,641
Location
Taxachusetts
Learn local police codes as well if you can monitor them. Like where I am (unsure of other states/counties/municipalities), "making Q5 statements" is one I sadly hear a lot, usually in conjunction with "94C" to precede or follow.

Q5 is self harm statements
94C is related to illicit substances
and those two are Massachusetts specific, hence the need to use plain language when conducting Interop
Q5 is the message key in the state CJIS terminals to check on the "self harm statements/attempts"
94c is the Mass General Law related to illegal drugs
 

Bird_Person

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Nov 12, 2023
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7
Location
New England
and those two are Massachusetts specific, hence the need to use plain language when conducting Interop
Q5 is the message key in the state CJIS terminals to check on the "self harm statements/attempts"
94c is the Mass General Law related to illegal drugs
I literally said "Like where I am..." in that sentence as well as "unsure about other states/counties/municipalities" to make it clear. I know they are Massachusetts specific. I am curious about other places.
 
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Bird_Person

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Nov 12, 2023
Messages
7
Location
New England
Those must be local to your area. I'm in the western suburbs of Chicago and haven't heard of those. As many police/fire/EMS agencies have specific codes to their dispatch lingo, for example, I recall monitoring a local police channel back in the day when numerous police departments were on the same frequency. A particular officer wanted to meet with a colleague the next town over, and said, "999 from 555, can I signal one with you?" Unit 999 replied, "Dispatch, open the garage door for 555." Signal one in one agency meant, "Can I meet with you?" Where the other Village's explanation of "Signal One" meant open the garage door! The agency I worked for had "signal" codes. Especially memorable was "Signal 39." That meant picking up a pack of cigarettes for the dispatcher; At the time a pack of cigarettes cost .39 cents. Lance Karesh especially liked code "648," which was the code for the police station. Or post 17; Post 1 was the Chief of Police's residence.
Yes, it is local to my state/county/municipality. That is why I said I was uncertain about other areas.

I am positive it is different all over the place but I just do not have knowledge of other states and their codes. I wanted to give an example of things to listen for is all.

But your experience with garage door openings and meetups is hysterical. I can only imagine the confusion it would cause!
 

ecps92

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Joined
Jul 8, 2002
Messages
14,641
Location
Taxachusetts
I literally said "Like where I am..." in that sentence as well as "unsure about other states/counties/municipalities" to make it clear. I know they are Massachusetts specific. I am curious about other places.
and your profile says New England,. not Massachusetts
 

GB1439

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Joined
May 17, 2024
Messages
46
Location
Northern VA
Here in Northern Virginia, every single building and sometimes parts of large buildings is assigned a "box," by the FD, which is essentially more "zoomed in" than a street address because within the code both the street and the cross street are referenced. Portions of streets and whatnot have boxes assigned as well. So on a callout they units will be given the street address as well as a box.

LEO's here use plain language other than a few 10-codes (10-4, 10-6, 10-7, 10-8 mainly. 10-61 is sometimes used too, around here it means DOA). They agencies used to have codes and signals but other than "signal 1" and "signal 3" (officer needs help and person in custody, respectively) they're no longer used.
 
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