When bad weather strikes, fire departments rely heavily upon communication systems to keep their members informed on emergency events. This blog includes the best 8 tips to ensure a successful communication system during emergencies.
1.Know the weather threats
Weather information is vital for firefighters and for your communication system. Knowing what kind of conditions are threatening you can take precautions that will enable your crew to be prepared should an emergency arise.
Know the equipment
A good communication system relies on quality equipment. Communication devices like radios need batteries and working headsets. Other items include handheld hand-held transceivers (HHTs) with enough power to communicate across long distances.
The HHTs must be in tune with the frequencies being used and have enough power to carry long distances through walls, trees, and buildings. It is worth spending money on good quality kit—this reduces the likelihood of interference from external or internal sources.
Make sure your crew are trained
Your crew will need training in the use of the equipment. They also need to know about how the equipment works and how to operate it in different situations.
You must decide what training is required for each member of your team and then make sure that they receive it . Ideally, all members of your team will receive training in how to use a specific piece of equipment—this ensures that everyone knows how best to use it in different circumstances.
You should also consider training volunteers who have no previous experience but who wish to help in an emergency.
Identify the frequency that your crew will use dismis
It is important that you identify the frequency on which you will communicate with your crew during an emergency. It is vital that the radio channel chosen is not being monitored by any other group.
You should never use this same frequency for normal communications. If you do not specify the channel, this can cause confusion especially if there is interference from another emergency situation arising. In such cases, your crew may not be able to communicate when needed.
Check your local laws for restrictions
Although many organisations require you to keep a special licence, most areas have their own rules about what happens if you use the radio without permission.
Local authorities may impose fines and, depending on where you live, you might even face arrest if you use a radio without a licence.
A well planned program enables your crew to get ready for any eventuality at short notice. As part of your planning process, you must set out procedures for using your radio channels.
These are usually stored as a manual.8. Use the most up to date manuals and reference guides Available. Your manuals should be kept up to date and reference guides should be available that are relevant to the type of communications equipment in use.
These provide guidance on how to change and manage the software settings on your equipment.
Establish a point of contact with your organisation
A point of contact ensures that you and your crew have an individual responsible for emergency response.
Have regular drills
Regular drills help ensure that your crews are fit and well equipped to cope with emergencies. Such training activities should occur at least once every two weeks.
These exercises should test the reliability of your communication systems and plan a realistic response to an emergency.
Emergency services rely on effective communication between them and their members if they want to achieve anything worthwhile. There are good reasons for making sure that your communication system works really well.
You should take time to research the weather threats before establishing your communication system. Then you should focus on planning a plan for communication and on ensuring that every member of your crew has appropriate equipment. Finally, regular training will improve safety and efficiency.