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City of Charlottesville, VA Fire Department
STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES


Organization

Chapter: IV - General Administration
Subject: Radio Communications Procedures
Code: 1-IV-34
Revised: 6-10-96

34.01  PURPOSE

            A.  To provide a standardized format for the operation
                of Fire Communications in the City of Charlottesville
                and the County of Albemarle, Virginia.

34.02  POLICY

            A.  All personnel shall abide by the procedure contained
                herein when communicating over the departmental radio
                system as permanent or relief dispatcher or in the field
                in another capacity.  Free lancing will not be tolerated.

34.03  OBJECTIVE

            A.  To specifically cover the following areas:
                1.  General procedural guidelines.
                2.  Dispatch of apparatus.
                3.  Routine and emergency communications with mobile
                    radio units.
                4.  Command communications.

34.04  FCC INFORMATION

            A.   Licensing and Ownership
                 1.  The City of Charlottesville is the licensee for all
                     radio frequencies and radio equipment operated at the
                     Communications Center.
                 2.  Frequency assignments
                     a.  Channel 1 (46.46mHz) shall normally be used as
                         primary dispatch frequency for all units.
                     b.  Channel 2 (46.26mHz) shall be used as the
                         secondary or operating frequency.  It may be
                         used for the controlling of a working incident,
                         relieving congestion on primary channel, or as
                         requested by field units and/or as directed by
                         the dispatcher.
            B.  Transmission Procedure
                1.  The communication center will be referred to as
                    "Fire Alarm" both by units in the field and by the
                    dispatcher contacting mobile units.
                2.  The dispatcher shall announce the identification,
                    station call letters and correct time every half
                    hour, on the half hour.
                Example:  "Charlottesville-Albemarle Fire Alarm
                          KIP 246
                          1030 hours."

34.05  PROCEDURES

            A.  Incident Dispatch
                1.  Taking the call
                    a.  Take charge of the conversation. (AVOID LENGTHY
                        CONVERSATIONS).
                    b.  Ask specific questions as to who, what,
                        and where.
                    c.  Be courteous but firm.
                    d.  Do not lead the caller.
                2.  Specific information
                    a.  Determine location first.
                    b.  Determine nature of call.
                        1)  Structure fire - If there are people inside.
                            If so, advise the caller to get everyone out
                            of structure, if possible.
                        2)  Vehicle fire - Type of vehicle,
                            if inside a structure, and the type of
                            cargo (if applicable).
                        3)  Natural gas leak - Determine if the leak is
                            inside structure or outside.  Advise the
                            caller not to hang up the phone and not to
                            activate any electrical switches but to have
                            everyone leave the building (if the leak is
                            inside the structure).  Notify gas dept.
                        4)  Vehicle accident - determine if the vehicle
                            is on fire, number of injuries, if anyone is
                            trapped.  DO NOT refer calls to the rescue
                            squad, take all pertinent information and
                            report it yourself.
                        5)  County call - Obtain state route number
                                          and landmark
                    NOTE:  "WHEN IN DOUBT, SEND THEM OUT"  ALWAYS SEND
                            A COMPANY TO INVESTIGATE.  NEVER MAKE ASSESS-
                            MENTS OVER THE PHONE.  IF THE CALLER REPORTS
                            THAT THE FIRE IS OUT, LET ALL APPARATUS
                            CONTINUE UNTIL THE FIRST UNIT ON THE SCENE IS
                            ABLE TO ASSESS THE SITUATION.  ADVISE THE
                            CALLER THAT A COMPANY WILL BE RESPONDING IN
                            TO MAKE A REPORT ON THE INCIDENT.
                            IN THE EVENT THERE IS CONFUSION ABOUT AN
                            ADDRESS, A TRACE SHOULD BE INITIATED.  WHEN
                            TRACE RESULTS ARE RECEIVED, RESPOND A
                            COMPANY TO THE TRACED ADDRESS TO INVESTIGATE.
                            IF THE TRACE COMES BACK TO ANOTHER
                            JURISDICTION, CONTACT THAT AGENCY AND HAVE
                            THEM INVESTIGATE.
                3.  Documentation
                    a.  Time card shall be inserted in the time clock
                        and punched when:
                        1)  The call is received.
                        2)  The call is dispatched.
                        3)  The first unit signs on responding.
                        4)  The first career unit arrives.
                        5)  The first volunteer unit arrives (if
                            applicable).
                        6)  Utilities notified (if applicable).
                        7)  Utilities arrives on scene.
                        NOTE:  AFTER CALL HAS BEEN DISPATCHED, THE
                        LOCATION, TYPE INCIDENT, WHO WAS IN COMMAND,
                        THE DISPATCHER, UNITS RESPONDING, CITY AND/OR
                        COUNTY INCIDENT NUMBERS, AND CITY AND/OR COUNTY
                        COMPANY RUN NUMBERS SHALL BE DOCUMENTED ON THE
                        TIME CARD.
                    b.  Radio log shall be filled out to show apparatus
                        activities.
                    c.  Appropriate entries shall be entered into the
                        Station Journal.
                4.  Determining the response
                    a.  Locate the incident on either the overhead maps
                        or in the flip file to obtain verification of
                        the address and obtain a box number.
                    b.  Pull the appropriate response card which shows
                        the response assignments.  RESPONSE CARDS WILL
                        BE USED TO DETERMINE RUNNING ASSIGNMENTS.
                    c.  When units are "on the air", be sure and contact
                        them to determine their location.  They might not
                        be the "closest" company and another company may
                        be "due".
                    d.  Response of closest fire apparatus:
                        1)   City - the closest piece of fire apparatus
                             (career or volunteer) shall be dispatched to
                             an incident.
                             EXCEPTIONS:
                             a)  If apparatus staffed with only 1 person
                                 is dispatched, it shall be backed up
                                 with a fully manned company.
                             b)  If apparatus without medical equipment
                                 is dispatched, it shall be backed up
                                 with a "first due" company with medical
                                 equipment.
                         2)  County - the closest assigned career engine
                             and/or volunteer company shall be
                             dispatched.
                             EXCEPTION:
                             a)  If both career county assigned first due
                                 companies are not available for response,
                                 and another county alarm is received,
                                 the closest "second due" Engine may be
                                 dispatched into the county within a
                                 response area as designated on the
                                 response map in the alarm office
                                 provided that no other volunteer
                                 companies (on the air) are closer.
                NOTE:  IF COMPANIES THAT ARE "ON THE AIR" ARE ACTUALLY
                CLOSER TO THE CALL THAN THE COMPANY DISPATCHED, THEY WILL
                NOTIFY FIRE ALARM OF THEIR LOCATION AND THEY WILL RESPOND
                UNLESS OTHERWISE DIRECTED BY FIRE ALARM.
                5.  Dispatching the incident (Each dispatch will be
                    transmitted at least twice).
                    a.  Sound 2 short alert tones.
                    b.  Announce location of incident (to include
                        building name and/or cross street if applicable).
                    c.  Announce type of incident (a house fire, vehicle
                        fire, vehicle accident, etc.).
                    d.  Announce company(ies), units, due to respond
                        in the order they are due.
                    e.  Activate selective tone(s) as required.
                    f.  Announce location of incident (to include
                        building name and/or cross street if applicable).
                    g.  Announce type of incident.
                    h.  Announce company(ies), units responding.
                    i.  Announce company(ies), units to respond.
                    j.  If there is no response after 2 minutes, reactivate
                        tones again.
                    SEE EXAMPLES UNDER DISPATCH/RADIO TRANSMISSIONS.
                    NOTE:  ON ANY INCIDENT THAT REQUIRES THE RESPONSE OF
                    A CHIEF OFFICER (CHIEF 1, CHIEF 2, BATTALION
                    CHIEF, OR CHIEF 3), ACTIVATE ALL CHIEF OFFICER
                    PAGERS REGARDLESS OF HIS/HER STATUS (ON-DUTY,
                    OFF-DUTY, IN QUARTERS, ETC.)  IN ADDITION, ANY
                    INCIDENTS THAT ARE A SECOND ALARM OR GREATER,
                    ALL CHIEF OFFICERS' PAGERS WILL BE REACTIVATED.
                    ALSO, IF CHIEF OFFICERS DO NOT SIGN ON WITHIN
                    A REASONABLE TIME, THEY WILL BE CONTACTED BY
                    TELEPHONE TO INSURE THAT THEY ARE AWARE OF THE
                    INCIDENT.
                    k.  The dispatcher will wear the headset microphone
                        during the dispatch of all incidents.
                6.  Classification of alarms
                    a.  Box alarms
                        1)  Any fire within a structure, including chimney
                            fires.
                        2)  Any fire adjacent to or threatening
                            a structure.
                        3)  Any alarm device sounding in a structure.
                        4)  Any hazardous material incident.
                        5)  Building collapse.
                        6)  A gas leak (natural, butane, propane, etc).
                        7)  Odor of smoke in a structure.
                        8)  Anytime the OIC or Chief Officer feels
                            that the call needs a full response.
                        9)  Flooded basement with fire and/or life
                            hazard.
                       10)  Lockout with food on stove, fire and/or
                            life hazard.
                    b.  Still alarms
                        1)  Vehicle fires.
                        2)  Automobile accidents.
                        3)  Investigations
                        4)  Emergency service calls
                        5)  Details (wash, water, etc.)
                        6)  Brush or grass fires.
                        7)  Medical assists.
                        8)  Tree fire.
                        9)  Utility shut off.
                       10)  Elevator emergencies.  Unless fire is
                            involved then it will be a box alarm.
                       11)  Lockout with children inside.
                    c.  Special Alarm
                        1)  Service calls (broken water pipes, flooded
                            basement, etc.).
                        2)  Transfer details.
                        3)  Lockout details.
                        4)  Animal trapped or stuck in a tree.
                7.  Dispatch/Radio transmissions
                    a.  Still alarm
                        Beep...Beep
                    Fire Alarm:  "1621 Madison Avenue, (cross street),
                                  a dumpster fire, Engine 4 respond"
                    RE-TRANSMIT   Selective tone(s) as required
                    Fire Alarm:  "1621 Madison Avenue, (cross street),
                                  a dumpster fire, Engine 4 respond, 1421."
                    b.  Box Alarm (City)
                        Beep...Beep
                        Fire Alarm:  "1426 University Ave, (cross street)
                                      a structure fire, Engines 4,5, 2,
                                      Truck 1, Battalion Chief 1 respond."
                        RE-TRANSMIT   Selective tone(s) as required
                        Fire Alarm:  "1426 University Ave, (cross street),
                                      a structure fire, Engines 4, 5, 2,
                                      Truck 1 Battalion Chief 1 respond, 1827."
                        UNITS SIGNING ON THE AIR FOR RESPONSE
                        First Due Company Responding:
                        Eng 4:       "Engine 4 responding 1426 University
                                      Ave."
                        ALL OTHER UNITS SIGN ON IN ROLL CALL FASHION AS SHOWN:
                        Eng 5:       "Eng 5"
                        Eng 2:       "Eng 2"
                        Trk 1:       "Trk 1"
                        ACKNOWLEDGE ALL UNITS IN ONE TRANSMISSION.
                    c.  County alarm
                        Beep...Beep
                        Fire Alarm:  "759-D Mountainwood Road, a
                                      apartment fire, Engine 2, Station 2,
                                      Station 3, Battalion Chief 3 respond."
                        RE-TRANSMIT   Selective tone(s) as required
                        Fire Alarm:  "759-D Mountainwood Road, a apartment
                                      fire, Engine 2, Station 2, Station 3,
                                      Battalion Chief 3 respond, 1740.
                        Eng 2:       "Engine 2 responding 759-D Mountainwood
                                      Road."
                    d.  Airport alarm
                        Beep...Beep
                        Fire Alarm:  "Charlottesville/Albemarle Airport on
                                      Route 606, an Alert 2 Class B,
                                      Engines 10, 7, Station 4, Station 6,
                                      Battalion Chief 2 respond."
                        RE-TRANSMIT  Selective tone(s) as required
                        Fire Alarm:  "Charlottesville/Albemarle Airport on
                                      Route 606, an Alert 2 Class B, Engines
                                      10 and 7 responding, Station 4, Station
                                      6, Battalion Chief 2 respond, 1257."
                        Eng 10:      "Engine 10 responding Charlottesville/
                                      Albemarle Airport."
                        Eng 7:       "Engine 7."
                    e.  Medical alarm
                        Beep...Beep
                        Fire Alarm:  "Route 743, 1 mile north of the
                                      reservoir, a  overdose, Station 4
                                      respond."
                        RE-TRANSMIT   Selective tone(s) as required
                        Fire Alarm:  "Route 743, 1 mile north of the
                                      reservoir, a  overdose, Station 4
                                      respond, 2111."
                        Brush 45:    "Brush 45 responding Route 743."
                        NOTE:  ALWAYS GIVE NATURE OF CALL, NOT JUST
                               "MEDICAL ASSIST".
                        NOTE:  DURING ADVANCED LIFE SUPPORT CALLS,
                               ALL INFORMATION CONCERNING PATIENT CARE
                               SHOULD BE DIRECTED THROUGH MEDCOM BY
                               TELEPHONE AS A FIRST CHOICE.  IF HOWEVER,
                               A TELEPHONE IS NOT AVAILABLE, THE UNIT IN
                               THE FIELD MAY REQUEST THAT FIRE ALARM
                               CONTACT MEDCOM TO COME UP ON FIRE CHANNEL
                               2.  USE OF FIRE CHANNELS IS A LAST RESORT
                               FOR MEDICAL EMERGENCIES.
                    f.  Private fire alarm
                        Beep...Beep
                        Fire Alarm:  "Dillard-Gooch Dorms, Alderman Rd, a
                                      smoke detector activation,
                                      Engines 4,5,2, Trk 1, Battalion Chief 3
                                      respond."
                        RE-TRANSMIT  Selective tone(s) as required
                        Fire Alarm:  "Dillard-Gooch Dorms, Alderman Rd, a
                                      smoke detector activation,
                                      Engines 4,5,2, Trk 1, Battalion Chief 3
                                      respond, 2132."
                        Units Responding:
                            "Engine 4 responding Dillard-Gooch
                             Dorms."
                            "Engine 5."
                            "Engine 2."
                            "Truck 1."
                            "Battalion Chief 3."
                    NOTE:  THE TYPE OF ALARM SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN
                           THE BROADCAST, SUCH AS SMOKE DETECTOR,
                           HEAT DETECTOR, SPRINKLER ACTIVATION, ADT
                           ALARM, ETC.  DO NOT USE "ALARM BELLS."
                           IF UNSURE, USE "ALARM ACTIVATION".
                    g.  Multiple alarms (2nd, 3rd, etc.)
                        Beep...Beep
                        Fire Alarm:  "Dillard-Gooch Dorms, Alderman Rd, a
                                      second alarm for a working dormitory
                                      fire, Engines 10, 7, Trk 2, Chief 2
                                      respond."
                        RE-TRANSMIT   Selective tone(s) as required.
                        "Dillard-Gooch Dorms, Alderman Rd, a
                         second alarm for a working dormitory
                         fire, Engines 10,7, Trk 2, Chief 2
                         respond, 1523."
                        NOTE:  ALL CHIEF OFFICERS' TONES WILL BE
                        ACTIVATED FOR MULTIPLE ALARMS WITHIN
                        THE CITY.  THOSE CHIEF OFFICERS' THAT
                        DO NOT RESPOND WILL BE NOTIFIED BY
                        TELEPHONE AND ADVISED OF THE INCIDENT.
                    h.  Special Call - when a specific unit is requested.
                        Beep...Beep
                        Fire Alarm:  "2101 Arlington Blvd, for an apartment
                                      fire, special call, Ventilation 1
                                      respond."
                        RE-TRANSMIT  Selective tone(s) as required.
                        Fire Alarm:  "2101 Arlington Blvd, for an apartment
                                      fire, special call, Ventilation 1
                                      respond, 0130."
                    g.  Alarms with units "on the air"
                        Beep...Beep
                        Fire Alarm:  "Fire Alarm to Engine 4."
                        Eng 4:       "Engine 4, intersection Cherry Ave
                                      and Ridge Street."
                    DETERMINE IF COMPANY IS CLOSEST OR NOT.  IF THEY ARE
                    CLOSER ADVISE THE UNIT TO STANDBY, IF NOT ADVISE THE
                    COMPANY TO DISREGARD AND DISPATCH APPROPRIATE
                    COMPANY(IES).  ASK ONLY ONCE, THEN TRANSMIT TONES AND
                    DISPATCH CALL.
                        Fire Alarm:  "Engine 4 STANDBY"
                        Beep...Beep
                        Fire Alarm:  "Page Dorm, McCormick Rd, a
                                      alarm activation, Engine 4, Engines 5,
                                      2, Trk 1, Battalion Chief 1 respond."
                        RE-TRANSMIT  Selective tone(s) as required.
                        "Page Dorm, McCormick Rd, an alarm
                         activation, Engines 4,5,2, Trk 1,
                         Battalion Chief 1 respond, 2111."
                8.  Reporting on the scene
                    a.  The Fireground Command Procedure (SOP #31) shall
                        be used on all incidents.
                    b.  An on scene report shall be given by the first
                        unit arriving and shall consist of:
                        1)  Unit number and "on the scene".
                        2)  Height of building in stories.
                        3)  Type of building (dwelling, apartment,
                            commercial, hospital, etc.).
                        4)  Conditions (nothing showing, light smoke
                            showing and the location of such).
                        5)  Officer In Charge
                            Example:
                            Eng 4:  "Engine 4 on the scene of a 7 story
                                     hospital, nothing showing, Lt. Smith
                                     in command."
                            Fire Alarm:  "Engine 4 on the scene of a 7
                                          story hospital, nothing
                                          showing, Lt. Smith in Command,
                                          0223".
                            NOTE: FIRE ALARM WILL REPEAT THE ON SCENE
                                  REPORT AS STATED.
                            Other Units arriving will wait until after
                            Fire Alarm has repeated first unit's on scene
                            report before marking on the scene.
                            "Engine 5 on the scene."
                            "Engine 2 on the scene."
                            "Truck 1 on the scene."
                        NOTE:  AFTER THE 1ST DUE ENGINE HAS ARRIVED
                               ON THE SCENE, ALLOW ENOUGH TIME FOR
                               THE REST OF THE UNITS TO ARRIVE.
                               THEN ACKNOWLEDGE ALL UNITS ON SCENE IN
                               ONE TRANSMISSION.
                9.  Command progression - The next higher ranking officer
                    may assume command upon his/her arrival and shall
                    announce this assumption of command.
                    a.  Example:
                        Chief 2:  "Chief 2 on the scene, assuming command."
                        NOTE:  THE MESSAGE OF COMMAND ASSUMPTION SHALL BE
                        RETRANSMITTED BY FIRE ALARM AND SHALL BE
                        SIMULCASTED IF THE INCIDENT IS OPERATING ON
                        CHANNEL 2.
                        Fire Alarm:  "Chief 2 on the scene . . . (location),
                                      assuming command, 0234."
                    b.  "Command" is the only individual who will
                         communicate with Fire Alarm.
                    c.   All communications with Fire Alarm shall be
                         on Channel 1.
                    d.   In the event of multiple alarms occurring
                         simultaneously, the officer assuming command
                         will identify the incident location.
                         Example:
                         Chief 2: "Chief 2 on the scene, assuming
                                   command at Barracks Road."
                    e.   In the event that a Battalion Chief is not
                         available for response to an incident (i.e.
                         off duty, assigned to another call, etc.)
                         the next available chief officer will be
                         dispatched in the following order of priority:
                         Chief 3, Chief 2, and then Chief 1.
               10.  Situation report - As soon as possible, the
                    Incident Commander shall make a report to Fire
                    Alarm updating the situation.
               11.  Simulcasting procedure - Fire Alarm should
                    simulcast when two (2) channel operations are in
                    progress.  Simulcast transmissions shall include:
                    Command progression, situation reports, and/or
                    pertinent information except when simulcasting
                    will interfere with critical incident operations.
                    Examples:
                    a.  "Chief 2 on the scene . . . (location), assuming
                         command, 2312."
                    b.  "McDonald's Command reporting fire knocked down,
                         holding all units, 2210."
                    c.  "Page Dorm Command reports false alarm, return
                         all units when ready, 1301."
               12.  Channel 2
                    a.  The switch to Channel 2 operations shall be made
                        under the following conditions:
                        1)  Any working incident.
                        2)  When ordered by the Incident Commander.
                        3)  When requested by Fire Alarm.
                    b.  The switch to Channel 2 will be directed by Fire
                        Alarm after initial operations have started.
                        Example:
                        Fire Alarm:  "Units operating at 1216 Agnese
                                      Street, Channel 2 operations.
                        NOTE:  FIRE ALARM WILL NOT ACKNOWLEDGE
                               WHEN UNITS HAVE MADE THE SWITCH.
                    c.  Even though Fire Alarm monitors channel 2, any
                        unit wishing to contact Fire Alarm shall switch
                        channels and do so on channel 1.
                    d.  When operating on channel 2, Chief Officers will
                        be advised of other alarms in their jurisdictions
                        and/or of any transfer details made.  Any
                        important incident reports will be simulcasted.
                    e.  At the termination of an incident, units shall
                        remain on channel 2 until returning to quarters
                        or they are ready on the scene.
                        Example:  "Engine 4 returning/ready, channel 1."
               13.  Heavy radio/telephone traffic - When radio and/or
                    telephone traffic becomes heavy in the Fire Alarm
                    Office, the dispatcher may:
                    a.  Announce - "All units standby."  This indicates
                        that Fire Alarm is temporarily unable to answer;
                        do not transmit for a reasonable time and await
                        Fire Alarm to contact you.
                    b.  Transmit a single short alert tone "beep".
                        This indicates that Fire Alarm is temporarily
                        unable to answer; do not transmit for a
                        reasonable time and await Fire Alarm to contact
                        you.
               14.  Urgent Message - anytime a unit is in distress and/
                    or needs to communicate a life threatening message
                    they will use the Urgent Message.
                    a.  Urgent messages are restricted to emergencies
                        where life or personal injury is at stake, or
                        critical situations requiring immediate
                        assistance.
                    b.  Urgent messages will be given priority over all
                        other phone or radio traffic and will be
                        immediately acknowledged.
                        Example:  "Engine 82 to Fire Alarm - URGENT
                                   repeat URGENT."
               15.  Use of Alert Tones
                    a.  Alert tones are used to gain the attention
                        of personnel or a station.  Alert tones are
                        only used during an incident (exception -
                        dispatcher may use one single short alert to
                        let mobile units know that Fire Alarm is busy).
                    b.  Two short alert tones shall precede incident
                        dispatches.
                    c.  Two short alert tones will be used to gain
                        attention of units on the air and let them
                        know they MAY be dispatched to an incident.
                        Example:
                        Fire Alarm:  "(Beep...Beep) Fire Alarm to
                                      Engine 10."
                        Engine 10 :  "Eng 10 Harris Street."
                        Fire Alarm:  "Eng 10 (STANDBY or DISREGARD)
                    d.  Emergency message:  One long "YELP" tone shall
                        be used to announce building collapse, fire
                        fighter lost, fire fighter trapped, etc.  Upon
                        transmission of this tone ALL TRANSMISSIONS ARE
                        TO CEASE AND EVERYONE IS TO LISTEN TO THE
                        MESSAGE.
               16.  Calling for additional alarms - When units are
                    contacting Fire Alarm for additional equipment,
                    standby for Fire Alarm to acknowledge.  Then give
                    the message for assistance.  Make the request
                    specific.
                    Example:
                    Chief 2:  "Chief 2 to Fire Alarm."
                    Fire Alarm:  "Chief 2."
                    Chief 2:  "Send me another engine company."
                    Fire Alarm:  "OK Chief 2, another engine company
                                  on the way, 1641."
               17.  Walk-ins - On occasion a station may receive a call
                    by either landline or walk-in. In this case, the
                    unit should respond to the incident and inform fire
                    alarm by radio.
                    Example:
                    Unit:  "Brush 45 to Fire Alarm, we are responding
                            to Rt. 743 and Rt. 643 for a
                            motor vehicle accident."
                    Fire Alarm:  "Beep...Beep"
                    "At Routes 743 & 643, a  motor vehicle accident,
                     Brush 45 responding at 2136."
                     Fire Alarm:  Selective tone(s) as required.
                    "At Routes 743 & 643, a motor vehicle
                     accident, Brush 45 responding, 2136."
                18.  Mutual aid calls - On any mutual aid calls to
                     surrounding jurisdictions, that locality's dispatcher
                     will be notified as to the location, nature of call,
                     and what units from Albemarle County are responding.
                     All radio dispatches will include the fact that the
                     call is mutual aid and out of the County of
                     Albemarle.
                     Example:
                     Fire Alarm:  "Beep...Beep"
                    "Route 33 in Green County, mutual aid
                     for a building fire, Station 4 respond.
                     Fire Alarm:  Selective tone(s) as required.
                    "Route 33 in Green County, mutual aid
                     for a building fire, Station 4 respond,
                     2133."
                19.  Equipment Transfers
                     a.  City Station 1 - Anytime it is estimated that the
                         Engine Company from Station 1 will be out of
                         service or tied up on an incident for more than
                         15 minutes, the County Career Engine from
                         Headquarters will transfer to Station 1.  In the
                         event that a Career Engine is not available,
                         Station 1 will remain empty.
                     b.  City Headquarters - Anytime it appears that units
                         from Headquarters will be out of service or tied
                         up on an incident for an extended period of time,
                         Fire Alarm shall contact the Incident Commander to
                         see if he/she wishes a transfer - If so, transfers
                         should be conducted as listed below:
                         NOTE: UPON A REQUEST OF A SECOND OR GREATER ALARM
                               STATION TRANSFERS SHALL BE AUTOMATIC UNLESS
                               OTHERWISE DIRECTED BY INCIDENT COMMANDER.
                         1)  HQ Station empty - Transfer one Station 1
                             Career Engine to Headquarters.
                         2)  County Career Engine in HQ alone - Transfer
                             Station 1 "2nd Due" Engine to HQ.
                         3)  Station 1  "1st Due" Engine tied up for more
                             than 15 minutes, transfer Career County HQ
                             Engine to Station 1 (unless the "2nd Due"
                             Engine is staffed with two personnel or more,
                             then a transfer will not be necessary).  If a
                             Career Engine is not available to fill in at
                             Station 1, Station 1 will remain empty.
                         4)  All Career Companies out - Transfer 2
                             Volunteer Companies to Headquarters and
                             Volunteer Company to Station 1.
                     c.  County Stations - It shall be the responsibility
                         of the Officer-In-Charge of any Volunteer Company
                         to ask for a transfer detail.
                     d.  Multiple Company Transfers should be done in one
                         simultaneous dispatch.
                         Example of single Engine transfer:
                         Fire Alarm:  Selective tone(s) as required
                             "Transfer, Engine 2 transfer to Station 1, 2101."
                         Example of multiple Engine transfer:
                              Fire Alarm:  Selective tone(s) as required
                             "Transfer, Stations 2 and 6 transfer
                              1 Engine Company to HQ, 2343."
                20.  Placing units in/out of service - Whenever a station
                     places any apparatus in/out of service, Fire Alarm is
                     to be notified immediately.  Unit number and reason
                     will be posted on the Fire Alarm status board.  Also
                     if a Volunteer Company is involved, the station
                     pagers will be activated and all personnel advised of
                     the units status.
                     Example:
                     Fire Alarm: (selective station tone - no alerts)
                     "Attention Station 2 personnel, Engine 22 is now out
                      of service, 1921."
                21.  Severe Weather Notification - For severe weather
                     notifications, all selective tones shall be activated
                     (except house sirens) and the pertinent information
                     announced.
                     Example:
                     Fire Alarm: (selective tones - no alerts)
                     "Attention all stations, the National
                      Weather Center has advised that a
                      tornado warning is in effect for this
                      area until 2300 hours tonight, 1815."
                22.  Paging of Personnel
                     a.  Paging of personnel for necessary department
                         matters will be referred by the department's
                         Officer-In-Charge or designee to the Fire Alarm
                         Office AND WILL ONLY BE DONE WHEN TELEPHONE CONTACT
                         HAS BEEN TRIED.
                     b.  The paging of individuals for personal matters
                         will not be done, except in cases of emergency.
                     c.  Any problems or complaints should be referred to
                         the On Duty Battalion Chief.
     34.06  BASIC RULES FOR VOICE OPERATION & MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
            A.  Make certain the channel is clear and organize your
                thoughts before transmitting.
            B.  Keep all transmissions brief and to the point.
            C.  Speak distinctly and pronounce words carefully.
            D.  Depress the microphone switch fully and pause a second
                before starting to talk.  Talk at conversational level
                DO NOT SHOUT.
            E.  Use official titles, authorized units, and complete
                designations, i.e. Captain Smith, Brush 45, Truck 1, etc.
                Use of first names is not permitted.
            F.  The use of "10 Signals" is not permitted.
            G.  Remain calm during all radio and telephone conversations.
                Avoid uncivil, angry, abusive, derogatory, or sarcastic
                remarks.
            H.  The word "OK" will be used to signify acknowledgment,
                i.e., that the message is understood and will be complied
                to.  The code signal "10-4" will not be used.
                Example:
                Fire Alarm: "Fire Alarm to Engine 4 hydrant location
                             is the 800 block Lexington Avenue, 1233."
                Engine 4 :  "Engine 4 OK."
            I.  Mobile radio units will use complete identification
                designations for all transmissions made by the unit.
                Example:
                "Engine 5, Truck 1, Brush 45, Tanker 69, etc."
            J.  Hand held radio units will use designations which identify
                with the apparatus to which assigned, prefixed by the
                word "Walkie".
                Example:  "Engine 4 Walkie for Engine 4's walkie."
            K.  Fire Alarm shall comply with all orders issued by
                commanding officers of the fire department while
                operating on the fireground.
            L.  Fire Alarm will only accept orders from the Incident
                Commander.  When orders or instructions are given to
                Fire Alarm by personnel other than the IC, Fire Alarm
                will inform that person of the IC and direct that traffic
                to the IC.
                Example:
                Unit: "Engine 4 Walkie to Fire Alarm return all units."
                Fire Alarm: "Engine 4 Walkie, Chief 2 has assumed
                             command, please direct your message to him,
                             1806."
     34.07  STANDARD AUTHORIZED WORDS/PHRASES
            A.  Advise - give this message to - or provide me with the
                necessary information.  DO NOT USE "BE ADVISED".
            B.  Brush unit - vehicle used for brush/woods fires.
            C.  Command post - the physical location (area or vehicle)
                of the fireground or incident commander.
            D.  Cross street - the street that intersects before the
                block of the incident.
            E.  Engine - A mobile Engine usually carrying 500 gallons or
                more and less than 3 persons on apparatus.
            F.  En route - on the way to . . .(location).
            G.  Engine Company - An engine that has three or more personnel
                on apparatus.
            H.  ETA - abbreviation for estimated time of arrival.
            I.  Landline - a telephone; also to be used as a request
                to call by telephone.
            J.  Not ready - not available for response.
            K.  OK - message received, understood and will be complied
                with.
            L.  On the air - way to notify Fire Alarm that a unit is
                available by radio.
            M.  On the scene - indicates that a unit has arrived at its
                destination.
            N.  Ready - available for response.
            O.  Responding - a unit is on the way to a specific
                destination.
            P.  Response check - Fire Alarm is questioning the response
                of a unit.
            Q.  Situation clear - signifies that the emergency no longer
                exists.
            R.  Situation under control - signifies that the emergency
                still exists but conditions are under control.
            S.  Test count - for test purposes, a 5 count will be made,
                1 to 5, 5 to 1.
            T.  Transferring - moving to or filling in at another
                station.
            U.  Verify - verify entire message and correct if necessary.
            V.  Walkie - radio designation for hand held radios shall
                follow apparatus designation.  Example -
                "Engine 3 Walkie".

34.08  RADIO TESTING

            A.  Standard testing of radios shall be conducted daily at
                0700 hours.
            B.  No alert tones are to be used.
            C.  Dispatcher shall first identify the station, announce
                street closings, bridges closed, apparatus out of
                service, etc., for the benefit of all companies.
                Example:
                Fire Alarm: "Station KIP 246
                Charlottesville-Albemarle Fire Alarm
                Charlottesville, Virginia
                Operating on the assigned frequency of
                46.46 mHz conducting morning radio test
                with Engine 7 out of service.  Testing
                Engine 1.
                Engine 1: "Engine 1 testing 1-2-3-4-5."
                Fire Alarm: "Engine 2."
            D.  If an incident is in progress at 0700, the radio test
                will be suspended to the following day.
            E.  If a radio fails the morning test, a defective equipment
                form shall be submitted and also logged in the
                radio/battery log.

34.09  ANNOUNCEMENTS

            A.  Routine announcements will be made every Tuesday at
                1800 hours immediately following the weekly monitor
                test (except when incidents are in progress).
                Announcements may be made after incident(s) are clear
                up until 2100 hours. After that time, routine
                announcements will not be permitted.  The announcements
                will be broadcasted only once.  Notification for evening
                announcements must be made before 1745 hours on the day
                of requested broadcast.  Requests for announcements made
                after 1745 will be allowed only under extenuating
                circumstances.
                NOTE:  Routine announcements should remain as brief as
                       possible.
          B.    Emergency announcements can be made at any time.  An
                emergency announcement is considered to be a weather
                related, emergency page of personnel, or the like.
          C.    Special announcements (apparatus in/out of service, time
                sensitive announcements) can be made at any time.
          D.    Testing - A weekly test shall be conducted for all
                City and County monitors on Tuesday at 1800 hours
                preceding the routine announcements.  If an incident
                is in progress at 1800 hours the test will be
                suspended to the following week.  However, routine
                announcements scheduled shall be transmitted up until 2100
                hours.  All selective tones shall be activated (except
                house sirens), followed by the test announcement and then
                the routine announcements.
                Example:
                Fire Alarm: (sound selective tones)
                "Station KIP 246
                Charlottesville-Albemarle Fire Alarm
                conducting a weekly test of City and
                County monitors, testing 1-2-3-4-5,
                5-4-3-2-1 end of test."
                (follow-up with routine announcements)
                "Attention Station 4 personnel there
                will be a work detail at your station
                tonight at 1900 hours, 1802."

Go BACK to Book One Contents page.

For Help using this system, send e-mail to:

Charles Werner (werner@ci.charlottesville.va.us)