Portable Radio
Fundamentals
How to a use a portable, hand-held
radio effectively in an emergency
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Objectives:
After completing this unit
you will be able to:
• Develop a plan for CERT communications
• Identify radio features and controls
• Use correct radio operating procedures
– Procedural words, and standard ITU phonetics
• Use your portable radio more effectively
during an emergency!
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Planning Considerations
• Identify who needs to communicate with whom
• Discuss communication methods to be used
for alerts and activation with team members
– Some teams may agree to purchase Nextel® cellular
phones with two-way communication capabilities if
available in your area
– Other teams may decide that a combined land-line and
cell phone text email system will work best
• Whatever method is selected, it should be:
– Efficient and organized
– Available to all CERT members
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Communicating
During a Response
CERT communications during emergencies:
• Intra-team during search & rescue operations
• Inter-team to communicate logistics, request
assistance, and provide status reports
• Group Leaders to CERT Team Leader
• Team Leaders to the Incident Command Post.
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Intra-team
search & rescue ops
• Radio use on searches requires caution
• One search team member maintains contact
• Relay resource requests or status reports
from a safe, stationary position
• Maintain situational awareness
• Safety first.
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Setting Up Communications
Use two-way radios for:
• Intra-team, among team members
• Inter-team coordination between teams
• Each team is assigned its own “working”
channel or frequency for its operations.
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Setting Up Communications
• Section chiefs (Operations, Logistics,
Planning, and Administration) should be
assigned a separate channel to
communicate with each other and
with the CERT Team Leader
• Team Leader Communications with
first responders are assigned a
separate channel or frequency not
used for operations.
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Sample Communications Plan
CERT Communications Plan
Communications
Plan – ICS 205
1. Incident Name
2. Date / Time Prepared
3. Operational Period
Date / Time
4. Amateur Radio (ARS) and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)Channel Utilization
Radio Type/
Cache
Channel
ID
Function
Frequency
/ Tone
VHF-2m
VHF-2m
VHF-2m
VHF-2m
VHF-2m
VHF-2m
VHF-2m
UHF-GMRS
Ham 1
Ham 2
Ham 3
Ham 4
Ham 5
Ham 6
Ham 7
REACT1
ARES-Hams NE Sector
ARES-Hams NW Sector
ARES-Hams SW Sector
ARES-Hams SE Sector
ARES-Hams Mutual Aid
Fairfax Repeater
Tysons Corner Repeater
REACT Repeater
Requires Amateur Radio Lic.
Requires Amateur Radio Lic.
Requires Amateur Radio Lic.
Requires Amateur Radio Lic.
Requires Amateur Radio Lic.
Requires Amateur Radio Lic.
Requires Amateur Radio Lic.
Requires GMRS Lic.
UHF-GMRS
FRS1
UHF-GMRS
FRS2
462.5875
*Max 5w w/GMRS Lic.
UHF-GMRS
UHF-GMRS
UHF-GMRS
UHF-GMRS
UHF-GMRS
UHF- FRS
FRS3
FRS4
FRS5
FRS6
FRS7
FRS 8
Neighborhood Watch
To Responders
CERT Team Leaders
to Command Post
CERT Planning
CERT Logistics
CERT Admin
CERT Operations
Safety Officer-EMERGENCY
CERT Operations
147.495
147.525
146.565
146.595
146.415
146.79146.91462.675+
(141.3)
462.5625
462.6125
462.6375
462.6625
462.6825
462.7125
467.5625
*Max 5w w/GMRS Lic.
*Max 5w w/GMRS Lic.
*Max 5w w/GMRS Lic.
*Max 5w w/GMRS Lic.
*Max 5w w/GMRS Lic.
FRS only 500mw
UHF – FRS
UHF – FRS
UHF – FRS
UHF – FRS
UHF- FRS
UHF - FRS
FRS 9
FRS10
FRS 11
FRS12
FRS 13
FRS 14
CERT Operations
CERT Operations
CERT Operations
CERT Operations
CERT Operations
CERT Operations
467.5875
467.6125
467.6375
467.6625
467.6875
467.7125
Info.
Remarks
*Max 5w w/GMRS Lic.
RIT
No GMRS
No GMRS
No GMRS
No GMRS
No GMRS
No GMRS
No GMRS
FRS only 500mw
FRS only 500mw
FRS only 500mw
FRS only 500mw
FRS only 500mw
FRS only 500mw
*Use of the GMRS interstitial simplex channels at 5 watts requires a GMRS license and an
FCC Part 95 Type Accepted Radio. ICOM F21GM is suggested for this purpose.
5. Prepared by ( Communications Unit Leader, (COML) Unit Leader Type III)
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Name____________________________________ FCC Call sign____________
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How do I
USE a 2-way Radio?
• DIFFERENT MAKES and
models of radios vary, so…
• READ the INSTRUCTIONS
• BECOME FAMILIAR with the
controls on YOUR radio!
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Portable Radio “Anatomy”
Power On-Off, Switch
• Is combined with volume
control on some models
• Or “push-button on others
• First of all, make sure
the radio is “turned on”
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Portable Radio “Anatomy”
Channel Selector
(If your radio has one)
• Select your “channel”
– Develop a plan ahead !
• “Up-Down” arrows
• Or a rotating “knob”
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Portable Radio “Anatomy”
Volume control
• Adjust the volume
control until you can
“hear” other users.
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Portable Radio “Anatomy”
“Squelch” control
• Either a concentric ring
– under the Volume control
• Or a separate knob of its own
• “Open” until you hear “white noise”
• “Close” just until noise disappears
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Portable Radio “Anatomy”
“Push-To-Talk”
(PTT) Switch
•
•
•
•
PUSH to TALK
Let go to LISTEN
LISTEN more than you talk!
If somebody seems in control of
things, LISTEN to them!
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Portable Radio “Anatomy”
Speaker-Microphone
•
•
•
•
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To SPEAK, Push-To-Talk
SPEAK in a NORMAL tone
To LISTEN, Just LET GO
LISTEN more than you talk!
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Portable Radio “Anatomy”
Batteries or
Battery Pack
• Use AA or AAA alkaline
• Or a rechargeable pack
– If supplied with the radio
– Make sure the pack is charged
• Carry spare batteries!
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Portable Radio “Anatomy”
Antenna (flexible or telescoping)
• Extend fully
• Hold vertical (best reception)
• Replace or repair
– If visibly damaged
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A 2-way radio is not
“Like a telephone...”
BECAUSE:
•
•
•
•
•
You can’t hear anyone if YOU are talking!
So, no one else can speak when YOU talk!
If EVERYONE talks, NOBODY understands!
Which results in CHAOS %^~#&*!
SO…
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When Do You Speak?
• Speak ONLY if you have to
– Then KEEP IT SHORT
• The MOST important in using
2-way radio effectively is…
• LISTENING, Not TALKING!
• If someone seems in control
of things, LISTEN to them!
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What is a “Controlled Net?”
• Some one “takes command” to
control / manage what is going on
– Radio users must call “Control” to get
permission before calling anyone else.
• Use a Controlled Net when more
than four people are “on the air”.
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Why?
It enables “Control”
(the person in charge) to:
• PRIORITIZE resource requests
• QUICKLY handle multiple situations
• RECORD what happens
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WHO is “Control?”
It could be ANYONE, even you!
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“CONTROL’S” JOB IS TO:
• MAINTAIN radio discipline by:
– Setting the example
– Prioritizing messages and requests
– Handling all radio traffic efficiently
• TRACK what’s going on…
– Write down everything that happens...
• REPORT to the Team Leader or
Incident Commander
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You MUST write things down!
• Because you can’t remember
everything in your head
• Especially when it gets busy!
• Nor can you effectively brief the
Incident Commander from memory
• Or accurately reconstruct what
happened some time days later...
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“CONTROL” LOG
• WRITE down names of officials for whom
you send messages
• Make a log line entry for each item
– This is absolutely necessary
• In case person wanders off before you get a
reply or you need to get more information
– Helps eliminate duplicate requests for the
same resources or information
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List in chronological order...
• Who has a problem or information
• Situation update / tasks assigned
– Problem identification and location
– Status of building search and evacuation
– Resources needed, available, assigned,
out of service or in transition
– Personnel safety / accountability
• Brief Team Leader and Incident Commander
• Becomes part of official incident record.
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Your “Job” as a volunteer who is
an occasional radio user
• PARTICIPATE in training exercises
• LEARN and use correct procedure
• LISTEN to the radio all the time
• PAY ATTENTION to instructions
• Be BRIEF when you talk on the radio
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Participating in a Controlled “Net”
• Respond ONLY to “Control”
– Get permission before contacting anyone
• Answer PROMPTLY
– Monitor the radio continuously
– Answer immediately if called
• Don’t leave the “air” without checking out!
– Otherwise, “Control” wastes time trying to call
or locate you when you are not there
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User Names - “Unit IDs”
Identify yourself by your :
• LOCATION and ASSIGNMENT such as:
“Stairwell Ten, Evac Chair”
• Enables “Control” to manage resources or
tasks without regard to WHO is at any
location, so events can be logged easily
– Use your Unit ID CONSISTENTLY
– Contact “Control” or others by THEIRS
– Listen for YOURS
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Call Correctly:
• LISTEN! before transmitting
– Do not transmit over a contact in progress
• Contact “Control” by saying:
“THIS IS <your unit ID>, Over.”
• Control acknowledges
“<your ID> GO AHEAD”
• Then you can speak… Please keep it brief
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To call someone else
• SAY the unit ID of the person
you want to call,
• Then say ‘THIS IS’ . . .
• Followed by “<your ID>
• Then say, “OVER>”
Example: “P2 Garage, this is P2 North Elevator, Over”
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Acknowledge Calls Correctly:
When you hear a call to you reply:
• “THIS IS” followed by “<your ID>”
• Then tell the unit calling you that it is OK to
proceed with their message by saying:
• ‘GO AHEAD’
“THIS IS P2 GARAGE, GO AHEAD”
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RADIO OPERATING PRACTICE
Practice the “ABCs:
” ACCURACY+ BREVITY= CLARITY!
• Avoid idle chatter!
• Establish initial contact with ‘Control’
by stating your unit ID only
• Wait for ‘Control’ to recognize you
before transmitting any further
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RADIO OPERATING PRACTICE
(continued)
• THINK BEFORE you speak
– Keep transmissions short
• STOP transmitting if you stop talking
– Release Push-to-Talk, otherwise you make
“dead air” so that no one else can speak
• DON’T call repeatedly
– If Control doesn’t answer you, wait for other
traffic to finish before trying again
• If truly urgent, disregard
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RADIO OPERATING PRACTICE
(continued)
• WAIT a few seconds before pushing to “talk”
and between phrases so others can break in
• It’s OK to interrupt, IF you have important info
– That's why you leave gaps between transmissions
• When necessary to interrupt, speak only long
enough to “IDENTIFY AND SAY WHY”
Example: “Stairway Ten with info.”
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RADIO OPERATING PRACTICE
(continued)
• Use PLAIN LANGUAGE ONLY
– No 10-codes or jargon !
– Avoid technical terminology unless it is
OPERATIONALLY NECESSARY!
• USE short simple phrases
– Short transmissions help the listener
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RADIO OPERATING PRACTICE
(continued)
• CLARIFY
• REPEAT Critical
Information
• CONFIRM correct
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RADIO OPERATING PRACTICE
(continued)
• WAIT to be recognized before speaking
• Don't relay information that must be copied
until certain that you have the other's attention
• ACKNOWLEDGE transmissions to you
– ‘Control’ then knows you are ready to continue
with your assignment, releasing the frequency
– This avoids having to repeat the message.
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RADIO OPERATING PRACTICE
(continued)
• Answer questions directly; do not explain
• If more information is vital to ensure that your
information is fully understood, then be brief
• Let ‘Control’ or the requestor ask for details
• ASK who a message is for if you don't know
• Let third parties speak directly to each other
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RADIO OPERATING PRACTICE
(continued)
• Wait a fraction of a second after
pushing the “talk” button and
before speaking
• This avoids “clipping” off first
syllable as radio changes over
from its receive state to transmit
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Don't speak louder
in a noisy environment
If you speak louder than
is needed for normal
speech, the radio will
distort your voice,
reducing intelligibility.
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In Noisy Environments
Preventive Steps:
• Use earphone or headset (if you have one)
• Turn down volume - don’t add to noise level!
• Shield microphone from the wind
• Speak ACROSS the microphone
– Use a normal speaking voice
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Use Procedural Words
Correctly
• “Prowords” help expedite radio
messages and reduce copying errors
• They are effective ONLY if everyone
understands and uses them correctly
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The “Basic Four”
Everyone who uses a 2-way radio
should learn and use these:
• “THIS IS” - Used to identify who is calling
• "OVER" - Means “I have finished speaking and
it’s now your turn”
• “GO AHEAD” - Means “I’m ready to copy”
• "OUT" - Means - “I am finished and expect no reply’
The station who initiates the call always TERMINATES it.
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Proword Recap
• “OVER”
- Leaves no doubt whose turn it is…
• “OUT”
- Tells everyone the contact has ended.
Using “Over and Out” together is unnecessary,
use either one, or the other.
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Some More Prowords...
)
• "COPY" - Means OK, received and understood
• "AFFIRMATIVE"or "NEGATIVE" Use
instead of "yes" or "no" because its sound is
distinctive and meaning clear, even under noisy
operating conditions.
• “SAY AGAIN” Used to request a word or
phrase be repeated from the last known word
preceding or referenced, for example:
‘SAY AGAIN ALL AFTER…<known word>’
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More Prowords...
)
• “CORRECTION” - I made an error and
am transmitting again from after the last
correct word...
• “CORRECT?” - Am I Correct?
• “CORRECT (AFFIRMATIVE)”- You are correct.
• “WAIT”
• Cease transmission until told to“Go Ahead”
by ‘Control’
• Example: “Fourth floor acknowledged,
WAIT,... Evac Chair make your call”
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Yes, more useful Prowords...
But, thank goodness we are almost done!
•
•
•
•
“I SPELL” - Copy as I spell phonetically
“FIGURE(S)” - Copy numbers following
“INITIAL” - Single letter follows
“MIXED GROUP” - following Group
contains both numbers and letters
• Speak SLOWLY and DISTINCTLY!
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International Telecommunication
Union (ITU) Standard Phonetics
A - Alpha
B - Bravo
C - Charlie
D - Delta
E - Echo
F - Foxtrot
G - Golf
H - Hotel
I - India
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J - Juliet
K - Kilo
L - Lima
M - Mike
N - November
O - Oscar
P - Papa
Q - Quebec
R - Romeo
S - Sierra
T - Tango
U - Uniform
V - Victor
W - Whiskey
X - Xray
Y - Yankee
Z - Zulu
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TIME FOR QUESTIONS
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Directed Net Fundamentals