Fireground Radio Operations

Should we wear our radio under our coat or outside our coat?

Where should the First Due Company Officer be on a Working House Fire? What is the most important First Due Tactic on a Working House Fire? Does the Officer on the Front Lawn make it safer? Listen to Chief Salka’s opinion. Click on LINK BELOW. It is only Two Minutes long.

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5 thoughts on “Fireground Radio Operations

  1. Small town, small department, one channel for 99% of radio traffic. I went radio inside every time. When I needed to talk on another freq, I was outside anyway and I generally used the extra portable assigned to the apparatus. I remember one night I had my personal radio on Fire, one rig portable on PD, and a third on Mutual Aid. Rockin the radio straps like a Bandito.

  2. Radio strap…personal preference. You can argue it either way. I wear mine inside because it seems to keep it in place better for me. The radio is lower than my coat so knobs are accessible, and the mic is clipped to my bunker collar (same place every time, near my neck to make trainsmitting easy).

    As far as passing command, definitely establish it on arrival. That being said, I don’t think that necessitates having the first in officer remain outside. With pre-assigned first alarm duties, crews know what they’ll be doing, allowing the first-in officer to oversee the fire attack. Even without strong SOPs, command (first-in officer) can effectively manage/assign the first alarm companies during initial size-up, with the first-in chief assuming it on arrival. This way, you’re maintaining safety and accountability while also getting to the job done.

  3. Radio strap inside the coat. Keeps the strap in place, keeps it from becoming another entanglement issue, and keeps it semi-protected from the elements thus keeping it in better shape. I usually fish my mic in between where the zipper ends and the neck flap begins and clip it on my mic loop on my bunker coat.

    As far as first due company officers going inside or staying outside and giving orders, I personally think it’s better for them to go inside with their crew. The CO can give orders to initial first alarm units as they are doing their 360 size up and determining the appropriate initial tactics and strategy.Where I am at, by the time the CO does a 360, the crew deploys and charges the line and masks up, there is another company or chief officer arriving on scene or in close proximity who will assume command immediately upon arrival. This is where training and strong SOPs come in. They set the expectations for everybody so that the next arriving unit knows what their role will be. Again, in my opinion, inside “getting it” is where the first due CO does the most good.

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