Ventura County Fire Dept Crew Net

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iscanvnc2

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VCFD crew net is on 168.350 (MO only) CSQ. The reason I’m posting this here is it isn’t in the RRDB. I came across it eons ago during a frequency search. I’m sure there are many who have wanted to follow hand crews, dozers, and such but were unable.

I tried getting this added to the DB, but it was rejected as follows: “Frequency is a National Interagency Fire Center common and available for interagency use. Freq in Db already” of which I was well aware. There should be a policy allowing instances such as this where national frequencies are used on a local level to be entered in the local DB, otherwise how is one to know.

What prompted me to do this now was a brush response late this afternoon in Oxnard
 

norcalscan

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This is the one major flaw of The Database. Beginner listeners go straight to the county and start plugging in freqs (or entering their zip code on their new shiny object). They might even find CHP, CalFire, and even USFS pages. I doubt they'd think to look at the nationwide page, and if they stumble there, do they understand the importance of NIFC, VFIRE, V/U/7/8TACS for fire monitoring in the state? Sigh - it's a great tool for some of us, but the elevator only starts on the 3rd floor. New hobbyists have to find the stairs for themselves.
 

kearthfan101

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If you look at the DB page for Ventura, they created a hyperlink for the similarly used V-Fire freqs that VNC uses as tacs. Ask the admin if they can add a hyperlink to this Crew Net channel. Might want to check & see if there is an official channel alias that Ventura uses first. I don’t recall them having that channel in their VNC lineup .
 

avascan522

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And yet, some stuff slips by. For example, before I joined RR, I always noticed that Los Angeles County>Cities>Avalon had a frequency listed as "Avalon Harbor Traffic Advisory," which was just VHF Marine Ch. 12. Most of the time it's just boaters asking the harbor patrol where's this, where's that, etc. Nothing special other than the occasional boater emergency, which is relayed onto public safety frequencies for a fire/ems/SD response. In that case, I asked the DB admins to delete the frequency, since it's not region/local specific.
Sometimes the admin will allow it, sometimes they won't. In your case, I think it's DB worthy. #worthy
 

Paysonscanner

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VCFD crew net is on 168.350 (MO only) CSQ. The reason I’m posting this here is it isn’t in the RRDB. I came across it eons ago during a frequency search. I’m sure there are many who have wanted to follow hand crews, dozers, and such but were unable.

I tried getting this added to the DB, but it was rejected as follows: “Frequency is a National Interagency Fire Center common and available for interagency use. Freq in Db already” of which I was well aware. There should be a policy allowing instances such as this where national frequencies are used on a local level to be entered in the local DB, otherwise how is one to know.

What prompted me to do this now was a brush response late this afternoon in Oxnard
Are you sure that Ventura County Fire Department fire crews are using this as a "crew net." This is a widely used federal frequency, one of 6 "federal itinerant mobile/portable only" frequencies. It is widely used at National Parks and National Forests as a work channel (on projects) and as a tac channel. Some state and local agencies are allowed to have it in their radios, per a memorandum of agreement/mutual aid agreement for interfacing with federal agencies. I have never heard of this frequency being authorized for day to day use by a state or local agency. That is why I ask if you know that VCFD crews are using it. I don't have the latest Los Padres NF/Ventura County agreement in my collection, only older ones. If they have allowed its use for the VCFD in this manner I would be surprised. If they haven't been authorized, use by that department's crews is beyond what they should be doing. I can imagine some crews thinking they can use a channel and no one will ever know, which isn't true as you have proved. A lot of people with radios don't really know how they work and the problems they can cause. They have all been given instructions on this stuff, but many tend to ignore some of it at times.

However, if these crews are on an interagency response involving a federal agency then that is OK. Have you heard and noted the radio identifiers for these crews? When you heard them were they working a mutual aid incident?

One problem the RRDB has is they don't want to list frequencies in a redundant manner. This is for good reason, given the way that the average person programs a radio, they don't want 168.3500 or similar in their radio many times over. For example, this might be channel 15 on a Los Padres National Forest radio. However, it might be channel 7 in an Angeles NF radio and channel 9 in a Sequoia NF radio. The RRDB admins don't want to show the entire channel lineup for each national forest when there is a common channel between them on that list. So they just have the frequencies unique to that national forest, national park, BLM district/field office in the listings. They say that individual agency/units channel plans can be listed in the RR wiki. However, the wiki is hard to navigate and a lot of members don't think to go there, in spite of the nice little tab for it on each page. There is a nice, but not recently updated, wiki listing for each national forest and park on the wiki. When researching how to program a scanner, you have to go a little deeper than just the database page and go a little further than bringing up the database page for importing frequencies for the computer to program it. My late Hubby and my Dad always programmed the channel lineup of each NP, NF or BLM district so that they could have the channel numbers display on the scanner. That way, when we were in, for example, Yosemite NP, if they heard switch to channel 11 on a repeater channel, they could punch manual through the frequencies and quickly find two or more units talking on a tac frequency. They had to program their scanners differently than having the RRDB spoon feed it to them for this to work. The feds have assigned 4 narrowband frequencies for "crew net" use and 168.3500 is not one of them. I think the 4 are in the "Nationwide Frequency" section of the database. Keep in mind you might hear the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on 168.3500, or the VA, or a bunch of alphabet soup federal agencies. None of them have exclusive rights to its use or the other 5 federal wide itinerants.

My late Hubby had some sources due to his employment with a county and as a volunteer firefighter for a small county department. He often got to see the comm manuals of agencies so he knew the channel lineups. Since Sequoia-Kings and Yosemite NP's were near us, he programmed in the lineup of each park, but put them in different banks so he would not have freqs like 168.3500 pop up in the Yosemite channel plan while in Sequoia-Kings. There isn't enough room to put it in once and label it "YNP CH 11 & SEKI CH 8" so he listed it twice and made sure he didn't listen to one while in the other.

Sorry to be so lengthy hear, I'm a woman who tends to talk a lot!
 

Paysonscanner

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I should also mention that the Los Padres NF has a lot of crews in Ventura County, a lot of engines, patrols and dozers. Another source of use can be on military bases where they have civilian federal employees providing fire protection. They can use 168.3500 as well. Lot's of agencies will put a PL tone on it in case they don't want to hear another agency or use it in remote areas where interference from another federal agency's use is unlikely.
 

iscanvnc2

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Yes, I'm positive. As an example, about a week ago there was a brush fire in the Santa Clara river bed between Ventura & Oxnard as happens frequently, 0.5 miles from my residence. Among the units dispatched by VCFD, who dispatches for all FDs in the county, was Crew 11, While on scene it was interesting hearing the crew members talk back & forth, nearly drowned out by the sound of their chainsaws.

A couple of days ago there was a brush fire in a vacant field next to an industrial area in south Oxnard, approx 3,000 feet from the surf at the Pacific ocean. Again VC crew net was dispatched & I heard them en-route. Once on scene they were much too far to receive handhelds. This was the case of an Oxnard city FD incident

Other times I've heard them & their dozzer transport en-route to/from county controlled burns. VCFD is the only provider of crews in the non-NF portion of the county.

I've been listening to the fire service since the mid-60s. I'm familiar with all Paysonscanner says. I don't know how VCFD got the use of 168.3500. Perhaps it's because VCFD provides MA to LPNF. Frankly I don't care. My point was simple to bring it to the attention of those interested that VCFD crews/dozzers operate within themselves on that frequency.

With that, goodnight.
 

f40ph

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Thank you for sharing this. All the more reason to scan these type of frequencies on a regular basis.

My understanding is this frequency is a federal common channel. In San Bernardino County, for MANY years, it was the BLM tactical channel (aka BLM TAC 7). Then the Feds came down hard internally of the random usage of the "Fed Common" freqs and told their folks to cease and desist. BLM in San Bern. Co did stop using this and started using their BLM SOA 168.300 channel. This has been working fine for a few years now. I suspect there was no specific line of communication over to Ventura advising them the same information. Then again, if nobody (Federal) complains, they'll keep using it.
 

Paysonscanner

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In support of my previous post, I found the federal memo from 2015
View attachment 84806
Yes, this also supports what my late Hubby told me, which was that the NIFC frequencies cannot be used for day to day and initial attack purposes. Somewhere in his notebooks he has a printout of direction for this. Each national forest region has been dealing with this. USFS Regions 2, 8 and 9 each have a region wide common initial attack frequency. Regions 3, 4 and 5 have multiple (at least 3) region wide initial attack/day to day frequencies. A few regions also have a region wide "work or project" frequency intended for use by other functions in addition to fire. You often hear these in use on prescribed burns, recreation management ops, etc. Slowly, the NIFC tacs are disappearing from the channel groups used for day to day operations and appearing only in large incident groups in radios. The direction somewhere in the notebooks I have are clear. NIFC frequencies are to be used for only Type I and Type II incidents. On Type III incidents they can only be used on extended attack once NIFC has issued a one time authorization for them. The same is true for the command and logistics frequencies. Thanks Daddy for your input on this.
 

Paysonscanner

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Yes, I'm positive. As an example, about a week ago there was a brush fire in the Santa Clara river bed between Ventura & Oxnard as happens frequently, 0.5 miles from my residence. Among the units dispatched by VCFD, who dispatches for all FDs in the county, was Crew 11, While on scene it was interesting hearing the crew members talk back & forth, nearly drowned out by the sound of their chainsaws.

A couple of days ago there was a brush fire in a vacant field next to an industrial area in south Oxnard, approx 3,000 feet from the surf at the Pacific ocean. Again VC crew net was dispatched & I heard them en-route. Once on scene they were much too far to receive handhelds. This was the case of an Oxnard city FD incident

Other times I've heard them & their dozzer transport en-route to/from county controlled burns. VCFD is the only provider of crews in the non-NF portion of the county.

I've been listening to the fire service since the mid-60s. I'm familiar with all Paysonscanner says. I don't know how VCFD got the use of 168.3500. Perhaps it's because VCFD provides MA to LPNF. Frankly I don't care. My point was simple to bring it to the attention of those interested that VCFD crews/dozzers operate within themselves on that frequency.

With that, goodnight.

Thank you. I'm glad you pointed out that you are a knowledgeable and discriminating scanner listener. This cannot be assumed when looking at every post. I thought it a possibility that you were referring to any crew, federal or local, using 168.3500 in Ventura County. It could also be a local LPNF employee verbal authorization of "yeah, go ahead an use it, I can't imagine it being a problem" without the input of some comm folks, the Operations Southern California center or NIFC. I think this use by the county is a problem. I very much doubt the county received authorization for use of a widely used federal frequency. Of course I could be wrong. It might get reported if some other, non natural resource federal agency, is trying to use it in Ventura Co. and encounters this traffic. Heck, it might get reported anyway.

I will tell you a story about problems with crews picking something on their radios and deciding to use it for their own purposes, in spite of official direction. One fall late Hubby and I were camped on the Sierra National Forest south of Clover Meadows. We had a clear view of Mammoth Mtn. over on the Inyo NF. We had that forest in our scanner. All of a sudden, the Inyo's Mammoth Mtn. repeater got very active with what sounded like someone talking car to car. Apparently a couple of fire units from the Six Rivers NF were driving back home from a fire in southern California. The traffic got embarrassing as they started to talk about girlfriends and women they had seen on some of the fires and the conversation got a bit juicy. The coverage of the repeater on Mammoth Mtn. is large, given it's right on the Sierra Nevada crest. What hubby figured out was they were talking on their home forest net direct. That net had a 168.725 output, which was the Inyo's repeater input at the time. Their external tone boxes just happened to be on Tone 2, 123.0, which happens to be the input/output tone for Mammoth Mtn. They had no idea what was happening as they were not scanning or receiving the Inyo's output of 168.1250. No one could on the Inyo could call to tell them this as they are on the east side of the crest and these guys were likely on I-5. Eventually someone from the Inyo figured it out, drove up onto Mammoth Mountain, put their mobile on a group that had the Six Rivers NF in it. They then got on that net and went simplex in an attempt to contact the 6 Rivers crews, being very careful to set their tone box on a tone the Inyo doesn't use, otherwise they would bring up Mammoth or another Inyo repeater. That Inyo signal on 168.725 boomed into our location. Immediately after that call the traffic on the repeater stopped. The Inyo unit called them for a response, but they didn't answer. No surprise. It took Hubby a bit of time to figure out what had happened so that I can now relay the circumstances here. He put 168.7250 into our mobile scanner but from out lower location he could not hear the 6 Rivers people on it direct. Hubby chuckled about it for a week and related the story many times. We just happened to be camped near that huge loop road out of Bass Lake that gives you such a neat view of the upper San Joaquin River drainage at the eastern portion of the loop. The 6 Rivers crew was heard for at least a half hour and someone on the Inyo figured it out and did a very smart thing to stop it. Hubby said that that Inyo employee likely reported this and it got sent on to the 6 Rivers NF. I would likely be someone got a chewing out.

Moral of the story, don't go looking through your radio to find a frequency you think no one else will be using or will hear. Don't use your local frequencies out of your area, some repercussions may ensue.
 

LAflyer

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I just had a look at latest TIPC radio plan load dated April 20th, and 168.350 is listed as "USFS COMMMON USER"

Unless someone can prove and come up with information that 168.350 is a formal frequency utilized locally by VNC for its own agency needs and the corresponding channel number, it will remain under the common federal section.
 

kearthfan101

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I just had a look at latest TIPC radio plan load dated April 20th, and 168.350 is listed as "USFS COMMMON USER"

Unless someone can prove and come up with information that 168.350 is a formal frequency utilized locally by VNC for its own agency needs and the corresponding channel number, it will remain under the common federal section.
Actually just found it. Camps Bendix King radio plan shows Zone 6 (Ventura Cnty) Channel 18 as VNC Crew. That being said it probably still might look better as a hyperlink under Ch 4 - VFIRE23 Ch 7 - VFIRE22 Ch 10 - VFIRE26...
83EC285B-F711-4029-B1A3-2BD8EB1A1571.jpeg
 

iscanvnc2

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That verifies 168.35 as officially VNC crew net but the designation as "Channel 18" leads to confusion unless this just the channel number for a radio as VNC 18 is as listed in the RRDB as I can well attest to. I have listened to many ops in the N county on 18 although sometimes it's almost unreadable as the repeaters are up near the Kern county line.

From the DB
151,0100 155.2500 WRAG496 RM 192.8 PL VNC CMD 18 Command 18 - North County West

Solve one problem & another pops up.
 

f40ph

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Remember, just because you found it listed on an app hosted by another agency, doesn't mean it's official nor legal.
 
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iscanvnc2

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My whole point in establishing this thread was to inform those interested that VNC crew net is 168.350. To me as a listener I don't give hoot whether it's legal or not!
 

uman18

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A year or two ago when we had nasty rains, I was heading to a work site on the 33 in Oak View, I got stuck right behind a VNC support truck, they were removing rocks from the road way. I had close capture on my scanner on and a fequency very similar to that or maybe it was that one popped up and I heard them talk to the engine ahread of them, regarding moving to the post office to pump water from he parking lot. It wasnt any of the command or tac channels they use.
 

ChrisE_STB

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That verifies 168.35 as officially VNC crew net but the designation as "Channel 18" leads to confusion unless this just the channel number for a radio as VNC 18 is as listed in the RRDB as I can well attest to. I have listened to many ops in the N county on 18 although sometimes it's almost unreadable as the repeaters are up near the Kern county line.

From the DB
151,0100 155.2500 WRAG496 RM 192.8 PL VNC CMD 18 Command 18 - North County West

Solve one problem & another pops up.
This is Zone 6 Channel 18 in another agencies radio plan not Ventura County Fire. What is listed in the Data Base for Channel 18 is correct.
 

iscanvnc2

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Crew units heard leaving camp at 6:20 p.m. for small brush fire just N of Simi Valley. On scene per CMD 2 at 6:58.
Those of you interested tune to 168.350.
 
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