When a fire strikes, time is of an essence for the firefighters and those trapped. Being able to have effective fireground radio communications during these situations is vital, but can be proven difficult. Firefighters are engulfed in a hostile environment filled with smoke, water and falling objects, all while in a cloud of ash-filled darkness. They have safety equipment to help combat these conditions, however during these stress-full situations everything needs to work perfectly, even their radios.
Government, public safety and public service agencies relay on digital two-way communication solutions. With such an important purchase, the most current technological and operational features should be available. Many public agencies use P25 products and Icom’s 3rd generation of P25 advances this product line to the next level!
What is P25?
P25 is a set of standards for digital radio communications. It is used by federal, state/province and local public safety organizations within North America, allowing interoperable two-way communications between agencies. With a standard in place, government agencies can choose from multiple products when selecting their communications equipment, ultimately saving money and gaining the freedom to select from the widest range of features.
EMCOMM-1 and its state-of-the-art equipment, large antenna and flashing lights made an appearance this year at IWCE in Las Vegas. Owner Mike Lee and his assistant Phil McElrath traveled over 2,300 miles and across eight states, from Florida to Nevada. It took Lee and McElrath two weeks and nearly 12-15 hours of driving time a day to make the journey. Traveling through heaving winds and rains, and the occasional traffic jam, EMCOMM-1 finally made it to Las Vegas.
The show was a great success, as EMCOMM-1 was definitely a highlight. People all around could not help but stare and inquire about this impressive communications vehicle. Excitement was all around, and it followed Lee and McElrath even as they left Las Vegas.
Earlier this year a contest was introduced, giving Icom Land Mobile dealers the opportunity to earn an all-expense paid trip to Japan for them and a guest. How did they do it? By meeting their purchase goal. Twenty dealers finished in the winner’s group of their tier, and in early November they headed off to Japan for four days.
The trip to Japan was an extraordinary experience for all involved. It was not just a flight to Japan, the awarded dealers were able to visit Icom Inc headquarters, the Wakayama Factory and a number of historic sites.
The way we communicate has changed tremendously over the last two decades. As technology advances in two-way communications, so do our devices. A radio is no longer just a radio. With each new generation, additional features and functions are included. But what do all these features do? How do they fit in real-life situations and who will benefit from them?
With many states now passing hands-free laws, the ability to use a communication device while driving is changing. Two-way radios with built-in Bluetooth® provide hands-free communication. While paired with a Bluetooth® headset, commercial vehicle drivers are able to answer a call hands-free and still be complaint with FMCSA.
I have always known a major strength of Icom is the depth of expertise and experience we are able to bring to every market, every industry and every customer. Ranging from product design to development to customer service, this high level of knowledge allows us to find the right solutions for our customer’s communication needs. Our superior service has contributed to the growth of our largest division, Land Mobile.
Not only has our Land Mobile Division grown, but my position has as well. Still involved within our Amateur Radio Division, I have now added the additional responsibility of our U.S. Sales Team within our Land Mobile Division. It is truly exciting to work with both teams.
When an emergency strikes, people relay on public safety agencies more than ever. They are expected to provide reliable communication not only during, but after an emergency as well. It is therefore imperative to ensure all equipment is functioning properly and up to date with the latest technologies.
Earlier this month at APCO’s 82nd Annual Conference and Exhibition, attendees from around the world arrived to network, research new products and discover emerging technologies in the public safety industry. Now that National Preparedness Month is upon us, it is the perfect reminder to start looking at your agencies’ current communication solutions.
Each year as summer begins to dwindle and the first day of school creeps closer, we start to wonder how prepared is our school for an emergency. Frequently reviewing your school’s emergency plan is a good idea, and the start of a new school year is the perfect chance to review. In efforts to raise awareness on emergency preparedness, Icom encourages schools to consider these five tips when looking over their emergency plan.
Identifying and understanding all the potential emergency situations for an organization is imperative in developing a school emergency plan. What type of serve weather frequents the area, or what are some medical issues students may have? These are common scenarios a crisis management plan should consider. Every situation requires a different reaction, and a school should plan accordingly. Review all the emergency scenarios in the schools plans and determine in anything needs to be re-evaluated or added. Do not wait for the crisis to occur, prepare for it now.
Preparation and training for emergency situations helps reduce chaos and manage behavioral expectations of staff and students should a crisis occur. Review the roles each staff member has been assigned in the schools emergency plan. Provide updated training classes and rehearse the situation. Emergency response education is not just for the teachers, but the students as well. Running emergency drills teaches both students and staff the proper protocol in each situation.
Assess the school’s communication procedures. When an emergency hits how does the school communicate with others in the building or emergency personal? Cell phone communication can be unreliable during an emergency, as networks can become overloaded and fail. Two-way radios allow staff to communicate with a touch of a button, whether they are on the playground, in a classroom or in the hallways. Radios also provide a safe, instant and reliable form of communication with first responders.
Whenever a storm is about to hit, people run to the store to stock up on supplies in preparation for a potential emergency. Same concept should apply to a school’s crisis management plan. Although remember, advance notice of a potential “storm” may not be forecasted. Check the school’s inventory of emergency supplies at least once a year. Make sure all supplies are current and working: first aid kits, batteries, radios and more.
After any type of incident, the school’s emergency plan should be evaluated and updated if necessary. Review all emergency equipment and supplies. If anything needs to be replaced or updated do so immediately. When reviewing an emergency plan always remember it is better to be over-prepared than under.
More information about school emergency plans is available online.
This past weekend I saw the Jurassic World movie for the first time. Just as in all Jurassic Park movies, what starts out as an exciting journey with the possibility of viewing real live dinosaurs soon turns into a disaster. In the movie, a couple of boys are sent to the park by their parents during the holidays. A dangerous new dinosaur escapes as they are riding one of the park’s exciting attractions and the characters are unaware of the danger around them. When their aunt tries to contact them using a cell phone, the signal is unreliable and the call ends up dropping. While it was a great dramatic effect for the movie, it brings to light the need for two way radio communications.