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Radio Communication Problems in 2005 Related to Narrow Banding, and Resulting NMAC Strategy

Radio Communication Problems in 2005 Related to Narrow Banding, and Resulting NMAC Strategy

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Radio Communication Problems in 2005 Related to Narrow Banding, and Resulting NMAC Strategy

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  1. Radio Communication Problems in 2005 Related to Narrow Banding, and Resulting NMAC Strategy Martin Maricle AK-Division of Forestry Originally presented By Dan Smith- NC Forestry

  2. Fire Season 2005 Narrow Band Radio Communications Conflicts • Fire fighter safety issues • Increasing number of reports concerning communication issues through SAFENET and SAFECOM prompted the National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group (NMAC) to charter a Fire and Aviation Safety Team (FAST) in August, 2005

  3. Federal Mandate to Narrowband • Restructure of Federal Radio Frequency Spectrum required federal agencies to transition to narrowband FM frequencies(162.0000 to 174.0000) by January 1, 2005. • State and local governments: 2013

  4. NMAC Charters FAST • FAST to validate and elaborate on problems and report • Interviewed 70 sources • Findings: -narrowband versus wideband conflicts -users incorrectly using radios -poorly maintained radios -federal agencies isolated from cooperators -unreliable communication systems requiring workarounds

  5. Aviation Safety Technical Assistance Team (ASTAT) • Aviation Safety Alert distribution almost simultaneous with FAST report • Mixed narrowband and wideband frequencies • aircraft on wideband volume much louder • wideband to narrowband signal becomes choppy (inaudible at close range) • wideband to narrowband repeater results in lock up

  6. NMAC Assigns Area Command Team • Area Command Team 4 (Rounsaville) • 6 core team members of which 3 are state employees • First time an Area Command Team was mobilized for a special assignment • Delegated to produce long and short term solutions

  7. Area Command Radio Communication Review Assignment • Research fact finding • Validated the problem and FAST report • Produced Firefighter Safety Advisory for NMAC that was distributed August 24, 2005

  8. Developed NMAC Group Strategic Plan for Wildland Fire Radio Communications • 15 Action Items Short and long term • Strategic Plan and Action Items approved and supported by NMAC • Reports on USFS Fire and Aviation Management web site

  9. Action Items • Fire Season 2005 Field Training • Interagency Communications Work Group • Annual Electronic Equipment Inspection and Testing Protocol • List of Narrowband compatible radios

  10. Action Items • Radio Problem Reporting System • Annual Communications Refresher • Radio Technical Support • Distribution of Safety Alerts • Workload analysis

  11. Action Items continued • Radio Management Hierarchy • Coordination with Fire Departments • State Forestry Survey • Fireline Communications of the Future • Standard Contract Language • Incident Radio Coverage

  12. What’s Going on Now ?What’s been implemented? • Fire Season 2005 field training - coordinated with GACCS • More information on web sites • http://radios.nifc.gov • http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/ • Implementation of NMAC Strategic Plan • Implementation of 15 Action Items

  13. Radio Narrowband Implementation Task Group • Chartered 11/17/05 by National Fire and Aviation Executive Board and operates under it’s authority • Implementation of short term recommendations identified by Area Command Team • State reps are Jim Lundsted (Missouri) and Dave Dalrymple (Utah) • Assigned issues that must be addressed prior to 2006 fire season

  14. RNITG Objectives • Develop training outline to improve community knowledge of narrowband • Develop process for dissemination of information and feedback • Develop 2 tier training program for communication techs and users

  15. RNITG Objectives • Determine status of radios used in dispatch to ensure correct configuration • Develop and distribute a convention for the creation of frequency plans, ICS-205s, ICS-220s and aviation resource orders that designate narrowband / wideband status of a frequency

  16. Radio Communications Task Group • October 2005 NWCG and NMAC made decision to charter The Radio Communications Task Group under the National Fire and Aviation Executive Board • Address long term wildland fire communication issues • Improve coordination of federal, tribal, state and local fire and aviation programs

  17. Advisory role to NFAEB-monthly meetings • Don Artley represents NASF • USFS, BIA, BLM, Fish and Wildlife, NPS, NIICD, National IC/AC representative

  18. National Task Force in D.C. • National “high level “ task force being assembled in Washington D.C. to address interoperability issues Fire, LE, Homeland Security • Result of Office of Inspector General Review of federal agency radio communication program, Assistant Secretary DOI review of NMAC Wildland Fire Communication Review

  19. National Task Force in D.C. • Interoperability issues during 2005 hurricane response • Efforts to implement-plug in wildland fire communication issues • elevate to higher level

  20. What does all this mean to state Forestry agencies? • Lessons learned as states transition to narrowband • Serious operational issues • Interoperability-analogue, digital, different bands, trunking systems, etc. • National VHF Interoperability Frequencies • Mitigation options

  21. Funding Support for Transition to Narrowband • Availability of special federal funds not reliable • State Fire Assistance • Volunteer Fire Assistance • National Fire Plan • Homeland Security • FEMA All Risk

  22. Radio Communication Problems in 2005 Related to Narrow Banding and Resulting NMAC Strategy • Short term and long term issues • Progress being made • NMAC ensuring recommendations carried out and implemented

  23. Task Forces / Work Groups Active • Information available and under development that will be helpful to states • Questions ????