We’ve all done it! You’re dispatched for the AFA to the nursing home, warehouse or business that you run, what feels like 100 times a year. Every time you get put in service in route or shortly after you arrive you quickly discover it is a false trip. Typically this all occurs on Fire 1. Typically we engage our V-TACs on such structures. What if the next time you show up, normal conditions from Side A, you and your team head in to investigate, still on Fire 1. This time you actually encounter a fire! You’re going to need a Talk Group! At this point though you are locked on to your V-TAC, no way easy to switch Talk Groups!
It is easy to say, “It’s just another AFA, no need for a Talk Group, we won’t be here long”. Would you send your firefighters in without airpacks on the standard AFA? No, because as responders we must always be prepared for the unexpected! So don’t send your firefighters in without a Talk Group.
When we were still using the low band system, it was alright to wait to request a channel, considering we had a limited amount of channels. Now that we are using the 800MHz system DPS is encouraging all responders to request a Talk Group on calls to structures where they know V-TAC’s are needed and there is potential for an emergency that may warrant the need of a Talk Group. Before you send your teams into the building, if Headquarters has not assigned a Talk Group request it! Switch to the assigned Talk Group on the mobile radio in the unit that will engage the V-TAC, and then engage the V-TAC.
V-TAC management is still a new concept in our county and something we all need to continue to train on. Looking for a topic for a company training night? Try V-TAC management! If you are interested in ideas or assistance for in house V-TAC training or have questions in general regarding V-TAC's please contact DPS!