The IAFC Portable Radio Best Practices presentation has just been posted for download to the IAFC website at www.iafc.org/digitalproblem. Publication of this guide follows a year of extensive study of current practices supported by laboratory testing. A summary of the background on this report follows.
Last year, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) formed a working group composed of fire-service personnel, other public-safety representatives, wireless-radio manufacturers, manufacturers of fire apparatus and equipment and consultants to address potential problems found in digital radios in the presence of loud background noise. The IAFC has been working in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Commerce to develop reliable data to address the extent and nature of the problem.
A meeting of the IAFC working group was held in Boulder, Colo., May 21-22 at the NIST/NTIA laboratories to review the data presented by our federal partners.
A final report from the IAFC will be published in June to put the laboratory data into public-safety context, with observations and recommendations for fire chiefs, EMS directors and law-enforcement leadership. It’s important to recognize that while raw data from approved, scientific laboratory procedures is invaluable, the technical results need to be fully understood as to how they pertain to emergency-services operations.
Prior to the final report being released, the IAFC is moving forward with this PowerPoint presentation to share operational best practices related to portable radios. These best practices will provide useful information for the most effective and safest use of portable radios in a fire-service environment. While originally focusing on digital radios, it was determined that the presentation had valuable information for all types of portable radios, both analog and digital. The guide is located at www.iafc.org/digitalproblem