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RADIO OPERATION

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RADIO OPERATION Powered By Docstoc
					RADIO OPERATION - QUESTIONS / ANSWERS


Can we have this radio on all day and listen?
Yes, it will help you to become familiar with the equipment as well as the types of conversation
(or traffic) on the radio. Remember to use plain English when you talk to any of the dispatchers
throughout the COUNTY.

Should we keep the radio on all the time?
Absolutely. Keep it in a place where the radio traffic can be monitored all during the school day.

How do you charge the radio?
Turn the radio OFF and put it in the charger overnight, is the best way. It generally takes about
1-2 hours to recharge. You should always charge your battery fully with the radio off before
initial use. Charging the battery then using it till it runs down, is considered one charging cycle.
Do not leave the radio on as it sits in the charger; this will alter the charge capabilities and
lessen the lifespan of the battery.

Can I use this radio instead of 911?
No. The 911 System is preferable for the widest possible range of first responders, i. e., police,
fire or ambulance, in an emergency situation because the 911 telephone network is specifically
routed to the appropriate first responder agencies based upon BellSouth‟s own geographic
assignment protocol.

Is this radio being monitored by the Press?
The media has limited access to our network that primarily limits them to the Sheriff's dispatch
talk groups. They do not have your talk groups just they do not have ROAD and BRIDGES' talk
groups. However, you should realize that most analog radio traffic, like cell phones, can be
monitored. The local media has their own scanners that they use in addition to the radios they
use to listen to the Sheriff's Dispatch talk groups.

What is "EOC"?
Brevard County Office of Emergency Management Office (BCEM) -"Emergency Operation
Center” or as it was once referred to as the old Civil Defense Office dates from the 1960‟s.
Today, it is often referred to as the COUNTY Hurricane Command Post and is physically located
at 1746 Cedar Street in the City of Rockledge. The phone is 637-6670. http://embrevard.com/
The reason this is important to you as a radio user is because the Countywide 800 MHz radio
network was transferred to the „operation and control‟ of the COUNTY by the Sheriff‟s Office
back in 2006. The COUNTY has logically assigned control of the radio network to the Brevard
County Emergency Management Office and the 800 MHz Admin unit is located at the BCEM or
EOC.


800 MHZ Admin Notes
Brevard County
Office of Emerg. Mgmt.                    2/3/2010                                          1
Is there a difference between a talk group and a channel?
The difference is how the radio operates. A radio channel implies you remain on the same
frequency throughout the whole conversation back and forth between users (like a telephone
call), but our 800 MHz trunking system does not work that way. The radio system is operated by
computers that randomly choose available frequencies from the tower/system that the radio is
selected upon (that‟s the trunking part of the equation) so really, no two parts of the same
conversation work off the same frequency. In other words, the original caller may be on one
frequency and the responder on another but the radio knows to „seek‟ the right one because the
tower/system sends it the proper tuning „cues‟. That may be more technical than most users
need to know for basic operation so we try to break the process down to the nitty gritty.

ALWAYS remember we refer to "talk groups" on these 800MHz radios, not channels. If you
are referring simply to the actual order of your talk groups on your radio „selection knob or
button‟, they should be in a standardized format. The order in which the groups are listed is
known as a radio's profile. If you are uncertain as to what talk groups you have in your own
radio, simply scroll through the talk group list on the LED (screen) and write them down. Most
agencies have a standardized format for their radios (some have more than one depending on
the need). If you do not have the right talk groups in your radio‟s profile, you cannot talk to
them; it‟s that simple.

This is the School Board’s generic radio profile. All of the newer radios have the following
profile:

1. School wide area – i.e., SCHOOLWA
2. Area Talk Around group for school board – tower/system related
3. Countywide – all Brevard agencies on the network
4. EOC – COUNTY Fire Rescue‟s statewide warning point group (all agencies have it also as
part of mutual aid communications)
5. Brevard Sheriff‟s dispatch (north, east, west or south)
6. Alert 1 - all Brevard agencies
7. Alert 2 - all Brevard agencies
8. Alert 3 - all Brevard agencies
9. Alert 4 - all Brevard agencies
Every radio is now programmed in the same configuration.

Where do we buy the batteries?
The school should purchase them from our local radio shop vendor, Communications
International Inc. (CII). The COUNTY has maintenance/purchasing contract with them to obtain
equipment/service, which the other users in the COUNTY share by way of their original contract
with the Sheriff. CII is located at 571 Haverty Court (1'' traffic light south on Murrell Road from
the intersection of Eyster and Murrell), in Rockledge. Their phone number is 636-9885. The
Office of District & School Security does have batteries in stock for the older model Ericsson
(aka GE, Com-Net Ericsson, or now, M/A COM) LPE model portable radios.




800 MHZ Admin Notes
Brevard County
Office of Emerg. Mgmt.                   2/3/2010                                         2
When do I use the radio?
Radios can be used daily for administrative messages on the school wide channel, and it can be
used as an alternative emergency contact system for law enforcement or fire rescue, when 911 is
not available and the emergency is life threatening or imminent. Be sure you know in advance
which talk group to use BEFORE the emergency occurs. It is recommended that you utilize it at
least once a month during your mandatory evacuation drills by contacting the Office of District
Security for a “radio check”.

Whom does this radio reach?
Depends on the talk group you use and what the policy is regarding their use. You can talk to
other principals and to the others who have the same talk group. Every talk group has two
purposes; they allow you to direct your conversation to one or more listeners of a select group of
users, while permitting you to hear what they are saying to everyone else on the same group. For
example, the talk group COUNTYWIDE permits you access to various law enforcement
agencies, BREVARD COUNTY Road & Bridge, BREVARD COUNTY Waste Water and Utilities,
just to mention a few; while, the EOC talk group allows you direct access to BREVARD
COUNTY Fire Rescue Dispatch. You may use your SCHOOLBOARD talk group to discuss
issues with other schools. The radios are also capable of communicating directly with the Office
of District & School Security.

DO NOT SHY AWAY FROM USING THIS EQUIPMENT – the more you utilize it, the more
familiar and comfortable it becomes to you and your staff. This ease of use and familiarity will
serve you well in a bonafide emergency situation.

Where are the towers and why do I need to know?
For the best transmission/reception on your radio, you must make sure that your radio's system
is set on Titusville (System 1), Rockledge (System 2), Melbourne (System 3), or Palm Bay
(System 4) tower (depending on your actual geographic location).

Who repairs the radios?
Under our contract, each school should use Communications International Inc. They are the
ones with the trained authorized technicians who are familiar with our radios and the
COUNTY‟s radio system. We operate a private radio network, which means you must use only
the authorized vendor. We realize there are other repair shops in the County who claim they
have knowledge of the equipment, but you run the risk of violating our contract with the
COUNTY unless you use CII.

Who pays if the radio needs repair?
Each school is responsible for the maintenance/repair of their radio. The Office of District and
School Security needs to be apprised if a radio needs repair; we can assist you in facilitating the
repair, and give you a loaner radio in the interim.




800 MHZ Admin Notes
Brevard County
Office of Emerg. Mgmt.                   2/3/2010                                         3
What if I lose or misplace my radio?
You need to let the Office of District and School Security know IMMEDIATELY! You also are
required to make a police report of loss or theft, notifying Communications International Inc.
and Lisa Morgan at the Brevard County Emergency Management Office as well (637-3811). We
do not want a radio in unauthorized hands, so it needs to be disabled as soon as it‟s determined
that it‟s not under our control. Then, follow your usual procedures for lost stolen property in
your school, Risk Management, etc. The school will replace the radio if it is stolen.

What is the red butttton on the top of the radio near the antenna?
              red bu on
The red button is an emergency button. It is a safety feature designed primarily for law
enforcement and/or fire rescue use. When the red button is pushed, it sends an audible alert
signal to all the 38 dispatch consoles in the network that the person operating that radio has an
emergency and needs help. A visual LED signal is also transmitted every dispatch console on the
network (i.e., all the police agencies, the SHERIFF and the COUNTY FIRE RESCUE consoles.
This requires that a certain procedure be followed in order to silence the alarm and reset the
signal. Simultaneously, the button also permits the user to have roughly 6-9 seconds of an open
mike to every user on the radio system after the button is depressed. This allows the user to try
and convey what the problem is or have the listeners determine if the alarm is genuine or not.

To test this button before it may be used in an emergency situation you will need to call the sheriff’s dispatch
(321) 264-5100, ext. 5, or your local law enforcement dispatch center and let them know you are going to conduct
a test of this emergency button. This should be done periodically to insure that this feature is operating properly.

Do I really need to know a lot of radio jargon to use this radio?
You need to know some of the concepts in order to properly operate the radio. If you call any of
the dispatch offices to ask a question, they may not know what you are saying if you begin
referring to channels, doodads, and thing-a-ma-bobs. It helps to be an informed user.

If you ever have any questions about your radio or how it operates, you need to direct your
questions to the 800 MHz Network Administration Office located at the Brevard County
Emergency Operations Center or the BCEM. Our COUNTY radio network manager is Mrs.
Lesley Lewis. However, one of her staff is Lisa Morgan and she is our original contact for all
things radio-related. For your convenience, Lisa‟s direct office number is 637-3811.

                                                           The photo (from M/A COM document #)
                                                           shown displays some of the models of radios
                                                           standard to the Brevard County School Board.
                                                           The far left model is the 300P, the one in the
                                                           middle is an LPE or Prism scan model and
                                                           the far right is the Jaguar P7150 scan model.
                                                           Keypads come in either “Scan” or “System”
                                                           models and this term is an important
                                                           descriptor when you need assistance from a
                                                           tech and they ask you which model.



800 MHZ Admin Notes
Brevard County
Office of Emerg. Mgmt.                          2/3/2010                                                  4

				
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