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       Updated: August 6, 2017   
  CAPE COD Area Live Fire Radio 
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  NANTUCKET Fire Radio
 Broadcastify Massachusetts
  Broadcastify Live Scanner Feeds
  Radio Reference.com Freqs
Cape Cod Times Online
CapeCod.com/Cape Wide News
Cape Cod Today News
Hyannis News.com
Cape Cod Online .com
Scan New England
Daily Dispatch
Mass Fire Trucks .com
Northeast Fire News
Firehouse.com
Fire Engineering.com
Firefighter Close Calls
CIEMSS.org
Mass Dept Fire Services
CapeCodFD on Facebook CapeCodFD on YouTube BrittCrosbyPhotos.com
DISPATCH CENTER
RADIO COMMUNICATIONS & SCANNING
 


See Cape Area Dispatch Centers

 
On This Page Dispatch Center

CONTENTS

Communications Center
Scanner Listening
Ordering Radios
Listening Live
Radio Frequencies
More Radio Links
Cape Cod Area Communications
 

THE LATEST


 

 

 

 

                        




 
     
   
Radio Communications
 


 

Remember...
Behind every incident,
every radio transmission,
every 911 call,
there is a Dispatcher
trying to do their best to
send you help.
Be nice to them!
 

Cape Cod Live

We recommend



Cape Cod Fire Radio Live
Live Fire Radio Feed now on
Broadcastify brought to you
by CapeCodFD.com!
As of Dec 13, 2016
Includes all Cape Cod FDs
plus all Ops channels
and a little from Dukes,
Nantucket, Plymouth,
and Bristol Mutual Aids.


Formerly Provided by
Tim Caldwell of Cape Wide News
on the Broadcastify.com system
Included all Cape Cod 800 Mhz Fire
and much of  Plymouth County
and even Boston Fire

 

Cape Cod Scanner Feed Matrix
Scott Halligan
at Scan-ne.net
has a neat page with live scanners
monitoring Public Safety Fire & Police
Aviation, and Marine

Cape Cod Police, Fire, EMS
Live Feed
By Scan New England

 


 
     "Alone on an Island"
By William Watson

   Some of you may not know Bill, but you would recognize his voice as a dispatcher at Barnstable County Control.
    Bill has published his first book!
Check it out and get your orders in for a first edition copy!

 

RADIO
COMMUNICATIONS

UPDATES ON LOCAL RADIO COMMUNICATIONS
 

Sandwich Dispatch

SANDWICH EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS
The Sandwich Police Department has been the 911 PSAP in town for years.
The police station right next door to the fire department would take calls and
transfer them next door for fire and EMS response. The center was staffed by
police officers, typically 1 per shift on a rotating assignment basis.

Early in 2016 that will be changing. Joint efforts between the fire and police
department are preparing the equipment, policies, procedures, and personnel
to open a combined communications center at the police station.

Currently the 4 civilian fire dispatchers work 24 hour shifts in the fire station
while police officers work the desk on 8 hour shifts. With the hiring of several
more civilian dispatchers, all fire, EMS, and police dispatching will be done
by 2 dispatchers sitting next to each other in communications center. All will
be cross trained to dispatch any type of incident, provide EMD, or greet the
public who come in to file complaints or have other business.

The communications center currently has 2 fully functional consoles
and one the move is made, a 3rd console will be brought over from the
fire station to allow for an extra position should it be needed at some time.

While older consoles were usually made up of steel panels and buttons,
today it is all done with a computer screen and a mouse / keyboard.
Dispatchers can see 911 data, mapping, a log, and status of various
resources directly in front of them and monitor various cameras located
around the station on another tv display. 

Posted January 1, 2016

The present fire dispatch in a small room next to the fire trucks in the fire station.

The modern fire console was installed in 2010.

The 1970's to 2000's version of the fire dispatch

 

 

 

 

LISTEN TO A GREAT
TRIBUTE TO FDNY
BOOKLYN DISPATCHER
102 UPON HIS RETIRMENT

Chatham Fire Dispatch

CHATHAM FIRE
The Chatham Fire Department communications center has literally been boxed up
but will remain operational as their new headquarters is built over the next
18 months or so. This photo taken in the new comm room at the DPW Sept 2014.


 

Dukes County Dispatch



The new Dukes County Communications Center opened in 2013.
June 2014

 

COMM Fire Dispatch



COMM Fire recently upgraded radios and console.
March 2014

 

 

 

RADIO NEWS
RECENT RADIO CHANGES
 

PREVIOUS NEWS

Falmouth Fire began being dispatched from the communications room at the Falmouth Police Station in the Winter of 2017.  Fire and police dispatchers are cross trained to do either position.
 

CAPECODFD.COM - Now Live Radio Feed on Broadcastify!  All Cape Cod FDs, plus Ops channels, as well as some other mutual aid centers.  Dec 14, 2016

Sandwich Fire Dispatch is gradually transitioning next door into the Sandwich Police comm center. Equipment, policies, procedures, and personnel are being brought up to readiness for an expected transition early in 2016. Civilian dispatchers from the SFD and new hires will replace police officers who currently dispatch for the police. Changes will include dispatchers who currently work 24 hour shifts in the fire station going to 8 hour shifts on a 4 on, 2 off work week schedule. All will be cross trained to answer 911 calls, dispatch fire, EMS, or Police to various incidents in town.
Jan 1, 2016

Falmouth Fire Department and Falmouth Police Department may be combining dispatch centers. The town is trying to determine where the best site for a combined center would be.  The discussion has gone from the Gus Canty building (out of both police and fire stations), to using a larger space within the fire station, to using a smaller space within the police department. There are a number of concerns and costs involved with any of the choices.  More to follow.  Oct 2015

Sandwich Fire and Police Departments are planning to have a combined dispatch within the police station.  Oct 2015 

Chatham Fire Department moved their Comm center into a trailer at the DPW while the department builds its new fire headquarters. September 2014

Dukes County (Martha's Vineyard) new Comm Center opened in 2013. Photos from June 2014 visit.

COMM New radios and rearranged console. Note COMM has new Rescue tone sound. March 2014.

Yarmouth Fire Dept new Dispatch console July 2013

Harwich FD being dispatched by Barnstable County Sheriff's Office as of April 15, 2013

New Call Sign... Nov 2012
Harwich Fire......WQMA 607

New Call Signs... April 2012
Brewster Fire.... WQON 307
Orleans Fire...... WQOP 426
Wellfleet Fire...  WQBB 922

Recent 400 Mhz Freqs...
Brewster Fire... 453.550  PL 114.8
Dennis Fire....... 453.325  PL 103.5
Harwich Fire.... 460.550  PL 85.4
Chatham Fire.... 453.375  PL 103.5
Orleans Fire..... 453.125  PL 114.8
Eastham Fire.... 453.800  PL 114.8

Barnstable County will begin dispatching for Wellfleet Fire Department on Monday March 26, 2012.

Rebanding is underway across the Cape... Expect changes in place before summer 2012!

Photos of Dispatch Centers
June 1, 2011

UPDATED LISTEN LIVE
April 5, 2010

DENNIS FIRE
Dispatched now by BSO Nov 2, 2009

COMM & COTUIT
New 400 Mhz frequencies for a backup / paging system include 453.7375 with PL 173.8 and 460.6375 167.9 for COMM and 453.3875 with PL 173.8 for Cotuit. COMM will also be adding a new conventional 800 mhz frequency for backup purposes 853.2625. 9/09  




 

 

 

 

 

COMM CENTERS
AREA COMMUNICATION CENTERS
 

Yarmouth Fire Dispatch


New Console Yarmouth Fire Dispatch July 2013

 

Falmouth Fire Dispatch

FALMOUTH FIRE
Communications center at the Falmouth Fire Headquarters.

Motorola Centracom Elite Dispatch is typical of the modern radio
dispatch console with mouse / touch screen radio control rather than the
traditional older console buttons.

 

SEE CAPE AREA COMMUNICATIONS CENTERS

Barnstable County Sheriff's Office Communications Center

 

See Cape Area Dispatch Centers

HERE

 



 

 

 

LISTENING LIVE ONLINE
Check out Links to
Live Scanners

Use a site called Broadcastify.com
and RadioReference.com
to get the best information
on programming scanners
or Listening live online.

 

 

 

Scanner

800 MHZ TRUNKING SYSTEM RE-BANDING

The Mass State Police Motorola Type II Trunking System that Cape Fire and Police Departments have utilized since the late 1990s was re-banded and activated in Feb 2013.

The re-banding program is a nationwide effort to reallocate radio frequency assignments due to improved technologies and increased demands for frequencies.

As a result, much of the radio communications devices, including personal scanners may need to be reprogrammed in order to work properly.

Scanning, which has been a popular hobby since the first scanners came out in the 1970s, has become significantly more complicated, but also in many ways improved as long as you have the right technology.

It is pretty much a given that you must have a Trunk Tracker type scanner to monitor local fire and police radios. It is also pretty important to utilize a computer and software to properly program the scanner correctly.

One of the alternatives to using a scanner is to utilize some of the online scanners that others may provide free or at a very reasonable price.

For those who have scanners locally, you may need the frequencies.

GO TO FREQS

Updated Sept 2014

 

NARROW BANDING CMED

A little radio news for you all....

Those who monitor CMED and the EMS channels may have noticed some changes recently.

Massachusetts CMEDs have under gone a "narrow banding" of radio frequencies and all must utilize these new frequencies by January 1, 2013.

Essentially, narrow banding takes a radio spectrum or band of frequencies assigned to a certain purpose (ie CMED) and because of improvements in radio technology is able to squeeze additional frequencies into the same band width.

Rather than renumbering all the channels however, those common channels that have been narrow banded are simply called Med 2-N, Med 3-N, etc.
In-between each set of channels is a secondary 'new' frequency that has been added to the pool of possible channels. These are called 2-2, 3-2, etc.

So here on the Cape, where CMED previously used Med 2, Med 4, Med 5, Med 7, and Med 8 - the NEW set of channels that will be utilized are Med 2-N, Med 3-N, Med 4-N, Med 7-N and Med 8-2.

SEE FREQUENCIES

 


 

 
 
 

Scanner Listening

Recommend


Scanner

Cape Cod Area Scanning
     There are a number of important things to keep in mind when scanning public safety agencies in the Cape Cod area. First of all, to really listen to the fire and police activity you will need a TRUNK TRACKER RADIO. The Cape is on the Massachusetts State Police 800 mhz Motorola Type II Trunked Radio system. An ordinary scanner will not provide the control or scanning ability you need to hear the action.
    That being said, there are plenty of frequencies of interest in the area from 33mhz low band fire simulcast, to air and marine frequencies, to 400 mhz EMS radio, and much more.
    The Islands utilize 150 mhz high band and in Plymouth County it's mostly 400 mhz UHF.
    Listening to a good scanner (or two...) is a great way to keep track of what's going on.  This page will help you understand how best to listen, what the frequencies are, and more.
   
 
Listening Live
     One of the greatest things about the internet is the ability to Listen Live to scanner radio traffic that you would not be able to hear normally from where you live since scanners can only pick up within a certain distance. Online listening is a great way to enjoy your favorite departments.
    This page will help you listen in to the Cape Cod area. It will also introduce you to other areas such as Boston, Providence, Worcester, New York City, and more.
 
Frequencies
     We have several pages of frequencies that can be printed for your refrerence and scanner programming. There are also plenty of links to find frequencies for other areas you may visit.
 
 

SCANNERS I'VE LOVED
My scanner story
 

 

 

RADIO REFERENCE.COM
BROADCASTIFY.COM

LIVE RADIO FEEDS
FROM ACROSS AMERICA

 

Cape Cod Fire Radio Live
By Tim Caldwell / Cape Wide News
Dual channel feeds
Left = Cape Cod Fire Depts 800 mhz
including OPS channels
Right = Islands, Plymouth County,
and Boston Fire
RECOMMENDED FOR
 BEST OVERALL COVERAGE

 

Cape Cod Fire & Police Radio Live
By Scan New England.com
Scott Halligan 4 feeds Matrix  to
 RadioReference.com includes
Cape Police & Fire, MSP Troop D,
Cape Aviation, and
Dukes County Public Safety
 

Same Feed via
RadioReference.com

 

Dukes County
Martha's Vineyard Public Safety
Fire, EMS, Police
Radio Reference.com
 

Nantucket County
Nantucket Fire, EMS, Police, Aviation
Radio Reference.com
 

 
 


 

Greater Providence Fire
Includes Bristol County and
Greater Providence area
Radio Reference.com

 

 
 

Listening Live

Local Freqs

 

LISTEN LIVE PAGE UPDATE APRIL 2010

About Live Scanner Feeds
    CapeCodFD.com does not provide live scanner feeds.... but is glad these other folks do. Please give full credit for these feeds to the folks who pay to put them on the air. It is a great service and we appreciate them doing it for all of us to enjoy. Click the links below and enjoy the radio!

                 
LISTENING LIVE   


Cape Cod Fire Radio Live
Live Fire Radio Feed now on Broadcastify brought to you by CapeCodFD.com!
As of Dec 13, 2016
Includes all Cape Cod FDs
plus all Ops channels
and a little more from Dukes,
Nantucket, Plymouth, and Bristol County Mutual Aid channels.

Cape Cod Fire Radio Live
Formerly Tim Caldwell's Cape Fire Radio including OPS & 800mhz
Tim also fed a second radio into the feed that hears much of Plymouth County and even Boston. Great background listening!
Tim also does CAPEWIDE NEWS AT WXTK  and CALDWELL'S ANTENNA

Scan New England - Cape Cod Live Matrix
Scott Halligan's Scan New England feed for Radio Reference
providing 4 channels: Cape Fire EMS Police, Vineyard Public Safety, Cape Aviation, and Mass State Police Troop D.

Cape Cod Police, Fire, EMS
Live Feed
By Scan New England

 

SCAN NEW ENGLAND HOME
Scott Halligan's expert communications information

           
RADIO REFERENCE.COM
Scanning Across the USA Live Feeds

RADIO REFERENCE.COM USA MAP
Use to select live sites by states, counties, and cities

Scan Sandwich
Local communications site

Eastern Mass Mutual Aid & Buffs
Includes major incident channels
for Barnstable, Bristol, Plymouth,
Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk (Boston),
and Fire Buff Groups

Plymouth County / South Shore
Fire Departments

Includes Abington, Bridgewater, Carver, Duxbury, E Bridgewater, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Kingston, Middleborough, Norwell, Plymouth, Rockland, W Bridgewater, Whitman, Brockton area Fire/EMS
Radio Reference.com

Duxbury Fire Area Live
Radio Reference.com. Duxbury Firefighters

Scan New Bedford, MA
Fire, Police, and EMS radio

Fall River Fire & Police
Radio Reference.com

Greater Providence RI Live Scanner
Great Scanning includes all of RI, and most of eastern mass including the Boston Metro area.

Greater Providence Fire
Includes Bristol County and
Greater Providence area
Radio Reference.com

Norfolk County Fire
Includes Plymouth & Bristol Mutual Aid
Radio Reference.com

Boston Fire
Radio Reference.com

Boston EMS
Radio Reference.com

Worcester, Middlesex, Essex,
Norfolk, Bristol, Plymouth, RI
Fire & Police

Radio Reference.com

ScanWorcester.com    Worcester
Fire and Police feeds from Worcester, MA

Worcester Fire & EMS
Radio Reference.com

ScanCT.com
Scanning Connecticut area

Southwestern New Hampshire Fire Network
By NH Fire News.com. Also Manchester Fire.

Scan Central Maine
Fire radio

Scan Portland Maine
Fire & Police radio

Police Scan.us
Lots of Police & fire links around the country

ENJOY
    Hope you enjoy the above links and listening to those departments. There is much more out there and more to come!

 

 
FDNY Scanner
Brought to you by
TheBravest.com
 
The Bravest.com

FDNY Live Radio
The Bravest

FDNY Fireground
The Bravest

FDNY Bronx
The Bravest

FDNY Brooklyn
The Bravest

FDNY Manhattan
The Bravest

FDNY Queens
The Bravest

FDNY Staten Island
The Bravest

FDNY Citywide
The Bravest
 
 
FDNY Radio
on
Broadcastify
 

FDNY - All Boroughs
on Broadcastify.com

FDNY - Citywide
on Broadcastify.com

 FDNY - Bronx
on Broadcastify.com

FDNY - Brooklyn
on Broadcastify.com

FDNY - Manhattan
on Broadcastify.com

FDNY - Queens
on Broadcastify.com

FDNY - Staten Island
on Broadcastify.com
 

 
 
 

 
Welcome
   Here are some links to Cape Cod area radio frequencies.
 
Cape Area Radio Information
Cape Cod Fire Radio................   
General Info
Cape Cod Police Radio.............  
General Info
Cape Cod EMS Radio..............   
General Info
Vineyard  & Nantucket Radio ...
General Info
 
Print your own frequency lists
Cape Cod Frequencies
Island Frequencies
Plymouth County Freqs
Bristol County Freqs
 
Caldwell's Antenna Frequencies
Caldwell's Antenna  
 
RADIO FREQUENCY REFERENCE
Radio Reference.com
Information on radio
Radio Reference.com
USA Scanner Frequencies

Cape Cod Frequencies
Radio Reference.com
 

 

 

 

 

 


INFORMATION ABOUT RE-BANDING
AND PURCHASING SCANNERS
Some Updated Radio Freqs 9/25/06
Rebanding Info
Radio Reference Rebanding
Radio Rumors
FCC On Rebanding
800 Rebanding.com

SOME BUYING OPTIONS


BCD996T
BCD996T

BCT15 (Preliminary) - Click image to view in full
BCT15

Bearcat BCD396T digital Trunktracker IV

 

 

 

 

 

 
Radio Information Pages
 

Some Favorite Radio Links

APCO - Association of Public Safety Communications Officers International
BC780XLT Scanner......................................Strong Signals 780 Radio Club
Caldwell's Antena...........................................Tim's list of radio info
Cape Cod Info Center....................................Scanner Freqs - Dan Hamilton
Massachusetts Fire Freqs................................Caldwell's Mass Freqs List
NEFNN - LIVE RADIO FEEDS....................Many Live Radio Links
Providence Citywide Fire Network..................To hear Providence FD Live
Public Safety Broadcasts.................................Fire, Police, Other live radio links
Radio Shack....................................................Scanner page
Scan Boston.com.............................................Great site for Boston Metro area
Scan Boston Trunk Tracker LIVE FEED.........Live Boston area radio
Scan Cape Cod...............................................Scott Halligan's great site.
Scan Cape Cod LIVE FEED...........................Scott Halligan's Live Scanner Online
Scan Cape Cod Message Board......................Scott Halligan's Message Center
Scan Cape Cod Software Data Files................Scott Haligan's Computer Software
Scanner Master...............................................Freqs and more
Scannerworld.com...........................................Order Scanners & stuff
Scan Plymouth.................................................Plymouth County Freqs
South Shore Radio Freqs..................................Mostly Plymouth County
Strong Signals Home Page................................Great info on scanners
The Bravest.com...............................................Live FDNY, Boston,Prov FD radio
The Bravest Boston...........................................Live Radio
The Bravest Brooklyn........................................Live Radio
The Bravest Bronx.............................................Live Radio
The Bravest Manhattan......................................Live Radio
The Bravest Providence.....................................Live Radio
The Bravest Queens...........................................Live Radio
The Breakroom.................................................For Public Safety radio people 
Trunk Tracker.com............................................Large Trunking data base

 

 

1

CAPE COD COMMUNICATIONS

FIRE COMMUNICATIONS

Cape Cod Fire Departments have traditionally operated on the low band in the 33 mhz range. At one time all departments were on a single channel....33.70 mhz. As departments got busier and communications more frequent, many departments switched to their own "fire alarm" frequency. The 33.70 mhz channel continued to be used as a common "county" frequency for inter-department and mutual aid communications. By the late 1970's all departments were off the "county" frequency and operating on their own channels. The county frequency continued to be used, and is still in service today, for mutual aid purposes.

"Skip" used to be a very common problem on the 33. mhz frequencies, particularly the summer. To overcome this extremely irritating condition, all departments added PL (private line) tones (CTCSS) to radios. The common tone in the county is 114.8. This helped greatly in reducing the foreign noise.

As departments continued to grow in recent years, some added additional VHF and UHF frequencies that could be used for administrative purposes. Primary operations however, continued on the 33. mhz channels.

Today all Fire Departments utilize an 800 Mhz Trunked Radio System....See below.

POLICE COMMUNICATIONS

Cape Cod Police Departments originally operated in the high band. The (4) channel 155. mhz police radio system was once utilized by all Cape Police Departments. Ch.1 operated by the Sheriff's Department was used for General Broadcasts (GBCs), General Info broadcasts (GIs), Be On the Look Outs (BOLOs) and other countywide communications. All departments used FCC callsigns. Each department had assigned car designations (Able, Baker, Charlie, David, Easy, etc...).

As communications increased, some departments aquired their own police channels, while others continued to use Ch.2, 3, and 4. Most of the departments continued to stay on 155. Mhz frequencies.

When 800 Mhz radios became available, some departments switched to 800 Mhz "conventional" frequencies with local repeaters. Others remained on VHF high band.

When the 800 Mhz Trunked Radio system came a couple years ago, all the departments still on the VHF high channels joined the 800 Trunked system. Departments which already had conventional 800 Mhz radio channels stayed on those.

Today, all Cape Police Departments are on 800 mhz, some trunked and some conventional.

EMS COMMUNICATIONS

Cape Cod Fire Departments have provided EMS service on the Cape for many years. In 1975 a 400 Mhz UHF EMS CMED radio system was installed providing ambulance to hospital communications for over 60 ambulances operating within the region. The Cape & Islands Emergency Medical Services System (CIEMSS) provided the system and the Barnstable County Sheriff's Department staffs and operates it.

Barnstable CMED is a system of radios, repeater sites, and telephone circuits which connect ambulances to (4) area hospitals. There are (6) repeater tower sites in the area, each having multiple channels available for "patches" to local hospitals. Channel 4 is the primary calling channel for rescue units. Channels 2,5,7 and 8 are available for "patching" an ambulance radio communication via phone line to the area hospital. It is a duplex system allowing two way conversations. Each channel has an input and output frequency. CMED is an active system with over 35,000 incidents per year being handled.

TRUNKED RADIO SYSTEM

A few years ago, the Massachusetts State Police radio system upgrade to 800 mhz trunking began. Cape Fire and Police Departments worked out arrangements to join with the State Police Trunking System. The result has been a considerable change in Cape Cod communications. While not yet 100% completed, the system has been utilized quite reliably now for over (2) years.

The "Trunked Radio System" is someone complex to understand and explain, but basically it is a Motorola Type II system. It presently utilizes a bank of (15) 800 mhz frequencies. Within these frequencies is a "data" channel which allows user radios to track communications by user groups known as "Talk Groups." The system utilizes several repeater sites on the Cape. All radios must reach the repeater site to transmit. A very sophisticated computer controls the whole system. These frequencies are shared by all Cape Cod Fire Departments, most Police Departments, the State Police, Environmental Police, and perhaps more.

Mobile and portable radios issued to fire departments have (3) banks of 16 channels each.

The "A" Bank, contains the home department's channel, a mutual aid dispatch channel, 5 neighboring departments, the local police channel, a Capewide Administrative channel, a CIEMSS talkgroup, and (5) common I-Call / T-Tac channels. Channel 1 in the "A" bank is a low power, Direct channel. Radios in the "A" Bank typically can scan the home channel, neighboring departments, and the mutual aid dispatch channel.

The "B" Bank in each radio contains the remaining fire department channels not included in the "A" bank.

The "C" Bank has the home channel, (3) OPS channels for major incidents, and other channels.

The "C" Bank in each radio was designed for use at multi-department incidents. Channel 1 is the Direct channel. The direct channel is a conventional 800 (not trunked). This is paired with the C2 channel which is the home department's primary channel. C1 and C2 scan each other. If for some reason, a portable in a building cannot transmit out (it is unable to hit one of the cape's repeater sites), the person in the building can switch to the direct C1 position to reach command or other units on the scene. The (3) OPS channels are similarly paired....C3 is direct/C4 is OPS 1..........C5 is direct/C6 is OPS 2......etc.... Each pair scans itself for this "backup" for emergency purposes. The direct channel frequency is the same in all positions.

The Cape does not utilize a "regional" or centralized dispatch center. Each of the Cape's Fire Departments have their own dispatch centers, each department uses its own channel (Talkgroup), and all of the departments using the "Trunked" system simulcast radio communications over their 33. mhz frequencies for tone activated pagers. Most dispatch centers have (1) A fire alarm channel for dispatch and day to day operations...simulcast over 33. mhz, (2) a countywide "Mutual Aid Dispatch" channel used for inter-department and mutual aid dispatch purposes. This is strictly used for station to station communications and is not used for mobile or portable communications. Dispatch centers then use mobile radios which can be selected as needed for access to OPS channels during major incident.

Protocol for an incident is basically as follows. Each department dispatches its incidents on their own "fire alarm" talkgroup (A2 and C2 positions on their radios.) These communications, including pager tones, are simulcast on their 33. mhz frequency. When a working fire or major incident is encountered, the fire alarm dispatcher contacts the mutual aid center via phone or the M/A Dispatch talkgroup, and is assigned an "OPS channel" for fireground / incident communications. All units responding to and operating at the incident are instructed to switch to an OPS channel (OPS 1, 2, or 3). Units on scene will stay on the OPS channel until the incident is concluded. Units given coverage / moveup assignments are dispatched by the mutual aid center on the M/A Dispatch talkgroup. As apparatus responds, it remains on its own fire alarm channel until reaching the community to be covered. Upon reaching that community, apparatus switches to the fire alarm talkgroup of the department being covered and remains on that channel for assignments. If additional moveups occur, units switch to the talkgroup of the next community being covered. It is complex and may be confusing to follow... but so far it works.

Monitoring fire communications on the Cape by scanner has actually improved greatly with the 800 trunked system. Obviously, having a newer scanner with "Trunk Tracking" capability helps to provide best control over what you hear. Listening with older, non-trunking radios has also improved, as the process of simulcasting communications has made it possible to hear portable radios as well as mobiles in most cases. Monitoring with a Trunk Tracker scanner involves programming the (15) 800 mhz frequencies and then the 5 digit talkgroups of the departments you wish to hear.

The trunked system is being improved on again at this time with additional repeater sites being installed soon to provide the desired 95%/95% coverage for in building use.

Presently all Cape Fire Departments are capable of using the 800 mhz trunked system. Mobile and portable radios, as well as dispatch center radios are in place. Due to some concerns about "in building" coverage, Hyannis and Yarmouth Fire Departments have not yet made the switch to 100% use. The West Barnstable Department has shared a low band frequency with the Barnstable Fire Department. This creates a situation with simulcasting, so WBFD has not switched to 800 mhz yet pending a new 33. mhz channel to put pagers on. All other departments are on and working well.

The Mutual Aid Center for Barnstable County (Barnstable County Control) is located at the barnstable Sheriff's Department in Barnstable. This is the center piece of Cape Fire Communications.

 

 

 
 





 

 
 



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