Thursday, December 10, 2009


We are still looking for your feedback concerning the emergency button function on the Fire radios. Be sure to read the blog posted December 4th. Please post comments regarding your thoughts on our concerns with the button, if the button should be reactivated, training on the button etc. All comments posted are anonymous, unless you choose to sign your name.

All services (EMS, Police, Fire Police), with use of the button are welcomed to send along there thoughts and ideas as well.

This blog is a great opportunity for you, the user to communicate to us your concerns and thoughts and again we encourage you to post comments!



  1. Yes, I believe the emergency button should be turned back on. This was one of the innitial selling points and promises of the 800 system. Secondly, the decision to disable the emergency button was based upon the results of a drill conducted with the current portables with very little training or use at that time. The new 7200 series portable has been touted as being better engineered and more user friendly and, because of this, I believe you would see fewer accidental tripping of the button. Third, the other users of the system (EMS, Fire Police, Police, ect.) have continued to operate since the beginning with their buttons active and, as I'm aware, have had very few accidental activations. Lastly, this is a safety feature that, if it were to only make the difference one time in 20 years, would be worth the headaches of the occasional accidental activation. The solution to the problem of accidental activations isn't by comprimising the safety of our personnel by deactivating the emergency button, but rather through reengineering and training, both of which DPS appears to be prepared to address with the P7200 series rollout.

    D/C T.J. Silverstrim
    Vigilant Hose Co #1
    Shippensburg Fire Department

  2. These Buttons Have been included into the system and are currently used by thousands of firefighters daily. Good Training, and accountability are what is required of our users in order to make the button work properly. 1 good activation is well worth the accidentals. Is it possible to do like other jurisdictions and lock out the open mic part? Bring it back like we agreed when we bought the system and it was used as a selling point.

  3. Accidental activations are going to happen. If there is a button someone is going to push it, knock it or bump it. Having the EA on top of the portable somewhat recessed is a good configuration. Ill attach a picture of the Motorola Radio that we use.

    If the only reason for deactivating the EA is because it is annoying then that is not valid. If the reasoning is how it affects the radio system then we need to find a way to work within the system to have this tool available. That being said can our system handle the activation ? I think it is an end user training problem more than it is a system problem. The EA is a tool not a be all end all to Maydays. What if you cant reach your button because of collapse or how you handle things in a panic situation ?

    If a mayday is transmitted with activation there needs to be a procedure in place for all other units on the scene to switch to a set different channel like the regional TG's or another ops TG. This is something that needs to be incorporated into the comm manual and set in stone so that everyone knows the alternate TG prior to one of these incidents happening not as the incident is happening. Leave the mayday, RIT, and command teams on the TG assigned to the incident. The incident has to continue, remember the fire still has to go out before anything gets better. Are companies training on how to communicate a mayday now without the EA button ?

    Tim Hanson
    Asst. Chief North Middleton

  4. Great feedback and please keep it coming! One thing to keep in mind, the EA button was not turned off because of accidental activations. The problem was with multiple intentional activations for the same emergency, causing nearly a minute of dead air time on the radio.

    All of your thoughts and ideas are being considered so please keep posting and let us know if there are any other discussion topics you would like to see on the blog!