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Chapter 19— Fire Department Communications

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1 Chapter 19— Fire Department Communications

2 Chapter 19 Lesson Goal After completing this lesson, the student shall be able to communicate effectively by radio, telephone & through various reports

3 Communication Responsibilities: Telecommunicator
Has a role which is different from but just as important as other personnel Usually full-time professional communications specialists (Continued)

4 Communication Responsibilities: Telecommunicator
Must process calls from unknown & unseen individuals (Continued)

5 Communication Responsibilities: Telecommunicator
Must be able to obtain complete, reliable information Commonly known as telecommuicators Must gather information from the caller, then dispatch emergency responders By speaking clearly, slowly & with good volume (Continued)

6 Communication Responsibilities: Telecommunicator
Must know where emergency resources are in relation to the reported incident Need to know not only which units to assign but also how to alert

7 Communication Responsibilities: Telecommunicator
Must know location of incident Must know type of incident Must stay in contact with the Incident Commander (IC) Must keep records of each request for assistance

8 Customer Service Consumer of emergency services is the general public
Telecommunicator has first contact w/ public during an emergency Often receive calls from people in the community seeking assistance or information Should politely direct them to appropriate agency

9 Necessary Traits or Personal Characteristics
Able to adjust to various levels of activity Handle multi-tasking Make decisions & judgments based on common experience & values Maintain composure/calm Form conclusions from disassociated facts (Continued)

10 Necessary Traits or Personal Characteristics
Handle unhappy people Remember & recall information Deal w/ verbal abuse Function under stress Maintain confidentiality Speak clearly, slowly & w/ good volume

11 Communication Skills Basic reading skills Basic writing skills
Ability to speak clearly Ability to follow written & verbal instructions Use plain, everyday language

12 Map Reading Critical to be able to look at a map & locate specific points (Continued)

13 Common Communications Equipment
Two-way base radio Tone-generating equipment Telephones Direct-line phones (Continued)

14 Common Communications Equipment
Computers Recording systems or devices Alarm-receiving equipment

15 Alarm-Receiving Equipment
Telephones Commercial phone systems Direct lines Wireless (mobile) (Continued)

16 Alarm-Receiving Equipment
Fax machines Radios Base radios, mobile radios, portable radios

17 Radio Guidelines Realize that all radio transmissions can be monitored
Use self-discipline & good judgment (Continued)

18 Radio Guidelines Plan exactly what is intended to be said
Do not use slang or jargon It is inappropriate to use anyone’s name in a radio message

19 Recording Information
Information recorded should be: Complete Accurate Permanent Covers all responses Maintained at communication center (Dispatch) (Continued)

20 Recording Information
Voice recorders Document information Accurate account of operations Protect in case of litigation Document evidence Continuously running Intermittently running (Continued)

21 Recording Information
Radio logs Record the incident & location of each activity A manual system written on paper Usually a chronological recording Include incident information

22 Basic Telephone Courtesies
Answer calls promptly Be pleasant & identify the station & self Be prepared to write down messages accurately (Continued)

23 Basic Telephone Courtesies
Never leave the line open or a caller on hold for a long period of time Post the message or deliver the message promptly End calls courteously; always allow the caller to hang up first

24 Basic Telephone Courtesies
If call is not for FrPD, try to direct caller to proper department or person Give them the number if possible Be polite

25 Receiving Emergency Calls from the Public
Identify the agency Control the conversation Ask questions to get the information needed Assertive voice Follow SOPs (Continued)

26 Receiving Emergency Calls from the Public
Gather information Incident location Type of incident/situation Number of people injured or trapped Get the exact location of the victims Location is most important piece of information (Continued)

27 Receiving Emergency Calls from the Public
Ask the caller if it is safe to remain on the phone If it is safe, keep caller on the line & get Name Location if different from the incident location Callback telephone number Address (Continued)

28 Receiving Emergency Calls from the Public
Record the answers to all questions Maintain communications w/ all units until call has been terminated

29 Public Alerting Systems
Telephone Emergency number is 1-1-0 By mobile: RT DH AB JD YN TN

30 Public Alerting Systems: Radio
Likely to come from FrPD personnel or ISO who happen upon an emergency Gather the same kind of information that would be taken from a telephone caller (Continued)

31 Public Alerting Systems: Walk-ins
Citizens may walk into a fire station & report an emergency Whoever greets the citizen should find out location & type of incident (Continued)

32 Public Alerting Systems: Walk-ins
Get the reporting person’s name, address, & telephone number Local policy dictates what steps should be taken once information has been obtained Do you respond? Do you notify dispatch? (Continued)

33 Public Alerting Systems: Telephone Fire Alarm Box
A fire alarm box equipped w/ a telephone for direct voice contact w/ a telecommunicator May be used in combination w/ telegraph circuits

34 Public Alerting Systems: Radio Fire Alarm Box
Contains an independent radio transmitter with a battery power supply Some include a small solar panel for recharging the unit’s battery (Continued)

35 Public Alerting Systems: Radio Fire Alarm Box
Some are designed to allow a person to select fire, police, or ambulance service May be located along roads, highways, & in rural areas & have two-way communications capabilities

36 Reporting a Fire or Other Emergency by Telephone
Dial the appropriate number 1-1-0 Fire department 7-digit number (Continued)

37 Reporting a Fire or Other Emergency by Telephone
State the address where the emergency is located If no address, give the nearest cross streets or describe nearby landmarks (Continued)

38 Reporting a Fire or Other Emergency by Telephone
Give telephone number from which call was made State nature of emergency State name & location Stay on the line if requested to do so by the telecommunicator

39 Reporting a Fire From a Local Alarm Box
Send signal as directed on box Also notify fire department by telephone

40 Alerting Fire Department Personnel: Staffed Stations
Computerized line printer or terminal screen with alarm Voice alarm House bell or gong House light (Continued)

41 Alerting Fire Department Personnel: Staffed Stations
Telephone from telecommunicator on secure phone line Telegraph register Radio w/ tone alert Radio/pagers

42 Alerting Fire Department Personnel: Unstaffed Stations
Pagers Cellular telephones & other devices w/ text-messaging capabilities (Continued)

43 Alerting Fire Department Personnel: Unstaffed Stations
Home electronic monitors Telephones Sirens Whistles or air horns

44 Guidelines for Radio Communications
Radio use is regulated by Ministry of Interior Use plain English or clear text without codes of any kind Clear text : standardized set of fire-specific words & phrases Use a moderate rate of speaking (Continued)

45 Guidelines for Radio Communications
Use a moderate amount of expression in speech Use a vocal quality that is not too strong or weak Keep things such as gum & candy out of the mouth (Continued)

46 Guidelines for Radio Communications
Be concise & to the point Think about what should be said before keying the microphone Avoid shouting (Continued)

47 Guidelines for Radio Communications
Everyone on the fireground should follow two basic rules: Units must identify themselves in every transmission The receiver must acknowledge every message (Continued)

48 Guidelines for Radio Communications
Do not transmit until the frequency is clear Any unit working at an emergency scene has priority over routine transmissions Do not use profane or obscene language on the air (Continued)

49 Guidelines for Radio Communications
All radio frequencies are monitored Hold radio/microphone 1 to 2 inches (25 mm to 50 mm) from mouth (Continued)

50 Guidelines for Radio Communications
On the emergency scene Avoid laying the microphone on the seat of the vehicle – keys the mike Do not touch the antenna when transmitting – gets hot With SCBA Hold microphone to your throat/voice emitter Do not broadcast breathing sounds

51 Arrival Reports Also called a report on conditions or situation report
Establish a time of arrival & inform other responding units of what actions might be needed (Continued)

52 Arrival Reports Contains Situation evaluation – condition on arrival
Rescue & exposure problems Water supply Nature & extent of fire Actions taken – what you are doing Interior attack, protecting exposures, rescue, etc Person in command – who is in charge Location of IC & ICP (Continued)

53 Arrival Reports Some situations require more detail
Address, if other than the one initially reported Building & occupancy description Nature & extent of fire or other emergency Attack mode selected (Continued)

54 Arrival Reports Some situations require more detail (cont.)
Rescue & exposure problems Instructions to other responding units Location of Incident Command position Establishing Command Water supply situation

55 Progress Reports Are used to keep the communications center continually advised Advises incoming units of situation Advises ICP & ECC of situation Progress (or lack of) toward incident stabilization Progress on fire control

56 Progress Report Items Progress (or lack of) toward incident stabilization Direction of fire spread Exposures by direction, height, occupancy, & distance Any problems or needs Anticipated actions (Continued)

57 Command Status Report Transfer of Command
Includes a status report of the incident Change in command post location Any problems or needs Anticipated actions (Continued)

58 Tactical Channels Most often used for large incidents
Small routine incidents usually do not require a tactical channel In many departments, units are initially dispatched on the primary dispatch channel Upon arrival on the scene, units may switch to an assigned tactical channel (Continued)

59 Tactical Channels: Telecommunicator Roles
Assign a tactical frequency Ensure additional responding units are aware of the assigned tactical channel Notify other agencies and services of the incident & the need for them to respond Provide updated information

60 Calls for Additional Resources
Normally, only the IC may call for additional resources Know local procedure for requesting additional resources FFs must be able to communicate the need for team assistance Be familiar with alarm signals (Continued)

61 Calls for Additional Resources
When multiple alarms are struck, a radio-equipped mobile communications vehicle can be used to reduce the load on the communications center (Continued)

62 Emergency Radio Traffic
Has priority over other radio communications Person transmitting message should make the urgency clear Telecommunicator should give an attention tone, advise all other units to stand by, & then advise the caller to proceed (Continued)

63 Emergency Radio Traffic
After the emergency communication is complete, telecommunicator notifies all units to resume normal or routine radio traffic

64 Evacuation Signals Are used when IC decides that all FFs should immediately withdraw All FFs should be familiar with FrPD evacuation signal (Continued)

65 Evacuation Signals Radio broadcast
Similar to emergency traffic broadcast Message is broadcast several times (Continued)

66 Evacuation Signals Audible warning devices
Will work outside small structures May not be heard by everyone Can be confused w/ those being used by units arriving on scene FrPD uses 3 blasts of truck air horns repeated several times

67 Personnel Accountability Report (PAR)
A systematic way of confirming the status of any unit operating at an incident When requested, every supervisor must verify the status of those under his or her command (Continued)

68 Personnel Accountability Report (PAR)
May have to rely on touch or hearing to verify each member’s status Others in the chain of command must rely on radio reports from their subordinates (Continued)

69 Personnel Accountability Report (PAR)
IC can request a PAR at any time, but one is usually requested when: The incident is declared under control There is a change in strategy There is a sudden catastrophic event There is an emergency evacuation A FF is reported missing or in distress

70 Incident Reports Information is used for a variety of purposes:
Justify budgets for FrPD Enforce fire & safety codes Allocation of resources Manpower allocation

71 Incident Reports An incident report should include detailed information Information is used for a variety of purposes: Statistical Record keeping Part of an investigation

72 Incident Reports Report includes: Incident number Time of dispatch
Location of incident Type of incident Number of personnel & apparatus

73 Incident Reports Report should be: Clear, complete & concise
Incorrect information can cause problems Copy kept in Division files Copy submitted to management Copy submitted to LPD

74 Incident Reports Report includes: Number of injuries or fatalities
Type of occupancy, building number Probable cause, fire origin Estimate of loss Narrative

75 Summary Fire alarms or calls for help must be handled expediently & accurately If they are not, incidents can increase in size & severity Fire department communications are a critical factor in the successful outcome of any incident The better the communications, the safer the incident (Continued)

76 Summary FFs must know how to handle both emergency & routine communications, including nonemergency calls for business purposes or public inquiries made directly to the station FFs must know how to correctly & accurately fill & file incident reports (Continued)

77 Skills Handle business calls & reports of emergencies.
Use a portable radio for routine & emergency traffic. (Skill Sheet FF-I-113) Complete an incident report. (Skill Sheet FF-II-211)

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