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Thread: Radio problems cited in deaths of 19 firefighters in Arizona

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    Default Radio problems cited in deaths of 19 firefighters in Arizona

    From Associated Press:

    Radio problems cited in deaths of 19 firefighters in Arizona
    September 28, 201

    PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) -- A three-month investigation into the June deaths of 19 firefighters killed while battling an Arizona blaze cites poor communication between the men and support staff, and reveals that an airtanker carrying flame retardant was hovering overhead as the firefighters died.


    The 120-page report released Saturday found that proper procedure was followed and assigned little of blame for the worst firefighting tragedy since Sept. 11, 2001. All but one member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots crew died June 30 while protecting the small former gold rush town of Yarnell, about 80 miles northwest of Phoenix, from an erratic, lightning-sparked wildfire.


    While maintaining a neutral tone, the investigation found badly programmed radios, vague updates, and a 33-minute communication blackout just before the flames engulfed the men. Investigators did not consider whether better communication might have saved the men.


    The report provides the first minute-to-minute account of the fatal afternoon. The day went according to routine in the boulder-strewn mountains until the wind shifted around 4 p.m., pushing a wall of fire that had been receding from the hotshots all day back toward them.


    After that, the command center lost track of the 19 men. The firefighters either ignored or did not receive weather warnings. They left the safety of a burned ridge and dropped into a densely vegetated valley surrounded by mountains, heading toward a ranch. The report states that they failed to perceive the "excessive risk" of repositioning to continue fighting the fire.


    The command center believed the hotshots had decided to wait out the weather change in the safety zone. They did not find out the men were surrounded by flames and fighting for their lives until five minutes before they deployed their emergency shelters, which was more than a half hour after the weather warning was issued.


    Without the guidance of the command center, the men bushwhacked into a location that soon turned into a bowl of fire. The topography fostered long flames that bent parallel and licked the ground, producing 2,000 degree heat. Fire shelters, always a dreaded last resort, begin to melt at 1,200 degrees.


    As the flames whipped over the men, a large air tanker was hovering above. But perhaps because of an early miscommunication about where the hotshots were headed, the command center did not know where to drop the flame retardant, the report said.


    "Nobody will ever know how the crew actually saw their situation, the options they considered or what motivated their actions," investigators wrote.


    Though the report points to multiple failures, investigators approached the incident "from the perspective that risk is inherent in firefighting." They recommend that Arizona official review their communications procedures and look into new technologies, including GPS, that might help track firefighters during chaotic situations.


    The Arizona State Forestry Division presented the roughly 120-page report to the men's families ahead of a news conference Saturday morning in Prescott.


    When it began June 28, the fire caused little immediate concern because of its remote location and small size. But the blaze quickly grew into an inferno, burning swiftly across pine, juniper and scrub oak and through an area that hadn't experienced a significant wildfire in nearly 50 years.


    The fire ended up destroying more than 100 homes and burned 13 square miles before it was fully contained on July 10.


    No other wildfire had claimed the lives of more firefighters in 80 years, and it was the deadliest single day for fire crews since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The Granite Mountain team was unique among the nation's roughly 110 Hotshot crews as the first and only such unit attached to a municipal fire department.


    At one point, officials asked for half of the available western U.S. heavy air tanker fleet -- six planes -- to try to control the blaze. Five weren't deployed because of the limited number in the nation's aerial firefighting fleet and the dangerous weather conditions at the time. One plane was heading to Arizona from California but engine problems forced it to turn back.

    Some family members hope the investigation will bring closure. Others say it will do nothing to ease their pain.


    "No matter what the report says, it won't bring him back," Colleen Turbyfill said of her son, Travis. "I miss him, and it's unbearable pain. It doesn't go away. Sometimes I can't breathe, but this report isn't going to help that one way or another."


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    This is the reason why we're so anal around here about calling people out, when it's obvious they have no idea WTF they're doing. A public safety radio is a responder/officers' lifeline to other emergency services workers and their communications center. If it's not working properly/optimally, people get dead.

    Those who do not understand what they're doing when it comes to programming/configuration, should not be touching radios.

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    I agree with mars. These are not toys they are vital peices of equi[pment no different than a police officers firearm or a fire fighters air mask. Radio equipment should be maintained at the same level of software and firmware with intercomaptabilty between services verified on a regular basis.

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    Fire camp is absolutely the worst for this type of situation, too. You get huge inrushes of people from different forests. They all have radios, and of course, they all insist that their radios are programmed for the correct frequency already. Some are, some are not. Even locally, between departments here, I see radios that are STILL wideband, on frequencies that are NO LONGER available for mutual aid (one of them is now an INPUT for a statewide radio system) and other such foolishness, simply because keeping track of radio programming, especially in the fire service, seems to be dedicated to some poor schmuck in the station.

    Sometimes its someone who really takes interest and CARES whats going on, or someone who actually takes the time to gather the correct information, but a lot of the time, you see someone who just does what the Chief says, and nothing additional.

    Some departments are good, though, and won't TOUCH the programming in their radios. They send them to the shop, or make the radio shop come out and update them. A lot of the time, that may or may not help either, if the radio shop doesn't have up to date information. Fire service personnel have monthly meetings. Tactical band plans and assignments, especially in large areas like California where CalFire and the Fire Chiefs coordinate so heavily, they might change channel assignments for a region four or five times a SEASON, simply due to either equipment changes or better frequency management. It behooves EVERYONE involved in radio programming (especially ANY of you COMLs out there) to pay close attention to minutes of any of these meetings, and to any of the bulletins coming from other agencies about radio changes.

    Something as simple as a PL change could have been the cause of this disaster. I haven't read the report yet.

    Suffice it to say, that NO ONE wants the thought of 19 firefighters in 'hot pockets' to be on their conscience for the rest of their life, simply because they didn't do their due diligence.
    "God as my witness" - Jeremy Dewitte - Felon

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    Anyone have an actual link to the report the news media are referring to? I would really like to read it in it's entirety. I have Googled but can't find it.

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    http://www.thunderclap.it/tipped/4908/twitter

    Got to this through Wildlandfire.com

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    Ok not being cloned in base camp is an issue if your channels were programed incorrectly. But I expect they were using BK DPH or GPH, have not seen or heard of a firmware or programming update ever. I always tell the guys to get cloned in base camp. Cause if the clone has an error in it everyone on that fire has the same error and will most likely be able to deal with it.

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    Sorry click on the report then go to file then download

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    Here's the report Detch linked to, in case the link goes bad/gets removed.
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars View Post
    This is the reason why we're so anal around here about calling people out, when it's obvious they have no idea WTF they're doing. A public safety radio is a responder/officers' lifeline to other emergency services workers and their communications center. If it's not working properly/optimally, people get dead.

    Those who do not understand what they're doing when it comes to programming/configuration, should not be touching radios.
    I agree people need to be called out and have a beat down session. No lives are suppose to be lost because of poorly programmed radios. I can really see why its so important to have certified radios. Thanks to MARS on getting Motorola involved on cleaning up the APX 7000 ALT radio problems out there and shaddy people selling pieced together radios. This is the reason why Motorola needs to be heavily involved in the clean up of these radios. Get EBAY cleaned up too and get those junk radios off of this earth and put them all thru a grinder ASAP.

    I just sold one of my APX radios to a small police department and I felt very comfortable that my radio is going to be in the right hands and will perform properly for their needs. It has a legit serial number and tags and has been through the mill at the Depot and been tested. There would be no way I could sell something to an agency that was either pieced together or was a ALT or have a bogus serial number entered into the radio. I just could not sleep at night with myself if I did that. Ever human being is pre-wired to know what is right from wrong.

    Hopefully no more police or fire people die because of radios not working right.
    Remember to not take life so seriously. Nobody ever gets out alive....

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    I for one think it is admirable that we take the stance we do about inexperienced, unqualified persons making ANY changes to public safety subscriber radios. What amazes me are the "shadetree mechanics" that usually show up on "the other" two sites asking really retarded questions, usually like "I just bought this XTS5000 off Ebay and need to know how to program it on my county system. I am a firefighter..."

    I just stop and shake my head right there. First, you are buying a USED, of UNKNOWN origin, non-certified by any QUALIFIED personnel (you know, a proper radio shop with modern test equipment, software, tools, competent technicians on staff, liability insurance...you get the idea), and you have ZERO experience with the ART of radio programming, zero TRAINING from the manufacturer (there's a reason the classes cost what they do), and zero EXPERIENCE, yet the attitude of alot of these guys is:

    SO WHAT. I WANT TO DO IT MYSELF.

    So you're willing to put not just your life, but the lives of your fellow firefighters, and the public, at risk using some unknown equipment, configured by a totally inexperienced and non-qualified person (you) all to save a few bucks? So what happens when someone gets killed and your radio didn't work, or worse yet, was setup improperly and caused interference on the network, and you are found at fault? You ready to pay out all the claims that will come your way? Your family want to go through the fun task of planning your funeral? The public spotlight and ****storm of epic proportions that follow? How will it make your department look?

    If you got a used SCBA and turnout gear, you would get it sent off to get fully checked out and certified by qualified people, the same with your hoses and nozzles, so why is radio equipment the exception? Aside from your BA, it is the most critical piece of gear used on the fireground, and people take such a low rent attitude towards them...even worse are the morons who would buy the Chinese turd radios like Baofengs or use some modded hammy gear.

    STUPID. STUPID. STUPID.

    If any lessons can be gleamed from these tragedies, it should drive home why EVERY agency should have a QUALIFIED, TRAINED (by the manufacturer or it's representative) and CERTIFIED personnel on staff making programming changes to their communications systems. And they need to not just hand off the task randomly to someone. They should also SPEND THE MONEY to do it RIGHT. No bargain basement bull**** cables, bootleg software, etc.

    You would not buy a garden hose at Wal-Mart and put it on your truck to show up at a house fire? So why would you use some cheap or unknown radio programmed/setup by some "get her done" dude for your life safety communications?

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    MTS2000DES:

    The reason people don't respect/acknowledge the intricacies of communications equipment, is because everyone thinks they're a know-it-all. Even the end-users. It's much like computers: Everyone claims to know WTF they're doing, but reality dictates otherwise. And for the most part, we live in a very passive society; no one wants to be assertive enough to stand up to people who are being clowns/fraudulently representing themselves, and take charge of stupidity or incompetent implementations. Anyone who takes a stand is seen as a "troublemaker" or "bad guy" -- even "criminal hacker".

    Where I live, we have a criminally negligent system manager who oversees our provincial EMS communications and Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). While I cannot attest to his knowledge/competency of the PSAP operation, I do know for a fact, he is absolutely clueless, careless and negligent when it comes to competently managing the communications center and programming of the end-user radios.

    To make matters worse, we have a provincial government radio shop which creates the codeplug templates. There are two persons working there whom I used to work with at a private shop, more than a decade ago. They are both competent at repairs/troubleshooting, but do not understand trunking or the advanced options in a XTS/XTL codeplug. As a result, there are several critical programming errors which are putting lives of paramedics and flight medics (rotary wing) at-risk. I have reported the faults to the PSAP/Communications system manager, and he was more concerned about "who told me" or "how did you find out". He is a piece of garbage. He wanted to harass/fire/discipline anyone who had permitted me to investigate the problems. This was in Nov. 2011, and it is still not resolved.

    In Canada, when a manager/supervisor is aware of something which may put lives at risk, and they fail to act to remedy the concern, it becomes a criminal matter:

    Quote Originally Posted by Criminal Code of Canada
    Duty of persons directing work
    217.1 Every one who undertakes, or has the authority, to direct how another person does work or performs a task is under a legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to that person, or any other person, arising from that work or task.
    Now what codeplug errors could cause loss-of-life, you ask? Here is what I cited to him and others who work around him:

    - Emergency Button (Trunking) programming sends EMERGENCY signal, however the communications manager (referred to above) has intentionally programmed the dispatch consoles to IGNORE emergency button activations, because he has not come up with a "protocol" of how to appropriately handle such activations. He has had 23-months from the time I notified him, and corrective action still has not been taken. Paramedics in the field have been told to hit their orange button if they're in danger, etc. There have been several incidents (documented) where buttons have been activated, but there has been no acknowledgement or help sent. Dispatch DOES NOT monitor the talkgroups; they must be RTT'd (trunking "message 1") or otherwise requested to a talkgroup. Yes, this in itself, is very dangerous on a public safety implementation.

    - RSSI roaming values are not set correctly. The ASTRO25-family radios have RSSI sampling capable of reading up to 148 (dec). The ASTRO-family radios only went to 87 (dec). The MTS2000/MCS2000s only went up to about 125 (dec). The idiotic phone company who runs this system, took the "optimized" values from the XTS3000 and put those same values into all of these product-families. 87 (dec) on the XTS3000 is the strongest RSSI -- but on a MTS/MCS or ASTRO25-family radio, this value is WEAK. As a result, the radios are all sitting on weak sites and will not roam. Poor RF coverage means communications are unreliable.

    - Channel names (modes) are not consistent throughout the system/agencies. When told to switch to certain mutual aid talkgroups, users are confused as each agency has labeled/located them differently in the programming templates. This is completely unacceptable.

    - TX AUDIO AGC IS DISABLED. Distorted (overmodulated) audio causes units to repeat themselves constantly. Waste of air/battery time.

    - Firmware is outdated. 1998 firmware in MTS/MCS2000s and R12 firmware in XTS/XTL gear. RCMP (not part of my bitching) is using R09.xx.xx Some of these firmware versions do not support Noise Suppression features, only available in newer firmware. An air-ambulance helicopter is using XTS2500s with AGC disabled, and no Noise Suppression whatsoever. Their communications are inaudible and they repeat themselves 2-4x on average. Errors such as GPS coordinates, remaining fuel, ETA to facility, souls-on-board, are always garbled. I made the agency aware this problem and how to fix it (I even included a picture of the CPS settings) but they refuse to acknowledge it. The communications/system manager has informed them I am a problem. Considering we're coming up on ASTRO25 release R20.xx.xx, this 2007-2009 firmware has to go.

    - Failsoft programming is 100% wrong. If the system were to go down, they would not have conventional repeater access.

    --

    Anyway, it should be no surprise here, but the system/communications manager guy I'm referring to is a ham radio operator who thinks he's proficient because he went to a few training courses at Motorola and no one questions his authority.

    I'm done my rant, but it's getting to the point where I'm about to name names, so when the first paramedic is murdered on a native reservation after their emergency button activation was ignored, after a violent patient pulled a weapon on them in the back of an ambulance, the media will know who to go talk to.

    And one last thing: We need APCO-certified communications technician levels. This would standardize public safety comm's tech training, and would actually mean something. Example:

    - Level 1: Can do basic radio programming
    - Level 2: Can do above, plus repairs to boards/swapping/cases/accessories, etc.
    - Level 3: Can do above, plus installs (maybe this should be included in level 2)
    - Level 4: Network/Systems administrator. i.e. someone who works on the infrastructure and has a clue.

    Etc. Surely this can be standardized at some point in the future, so we can start calling out clowns and wannabes.

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    Well said!!!!

    And I totally hear where you're coming from on that one. Especially the idea of having APCO Certified Comm Techs.





    Quote Originally Posted by Mars View Post
    MTS2000DES:

    The reason people don't respect/acknowledge the intricacies of communications equipment, is because everyone thinks they're a know-it-all. Even the end-users. It's much like computers: Everyone claims to know WTF they're doing, but reality dictates otherwise. And for the most part, we live in a very passive society; no one wants to be assertive enough to stand up to people who are being clowns/fraudulently representing themselves, and take charge of stupidity or incompetent implementations. Anyone who takes a stand is seen as a "troublemaker" or "bad guy" -- even "criminal hacker".

    Where I live, we have a criminally negligent system manager who oversees our provincial EMS communications and Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). While I cannot attest to his knowledge/competency of the PSAP operation, I do know for a fact, he is absolutely clueless, careless and negligent when it comes to competently managing the communications center and programming of the end-user radios.

    To make matters worse, we have a provincial government radio shop which creates the codeplug templates. There are two persons working there whom I used to work with at a private shop, more than a decade ago. They are both competent at repairs/troubleshooting, but do not understand trunking or the advanced options in a XTS/XTL codeplug. As a result, there are several critical programming errors which are putting lives of paramedics and flight medics (rotary wing) at-risk. I have reported the faults to the PSAP/Communications system manager, and he was more concerned about "who told me" or "how did you find out". He is a piece of garbage. He wanted to harass/fire/discipline anyone who had permitted me to investigate the problems. This was in Nov. 2011, and it is still not resolved.

    In Canada, when a manager/supervisor is aware of something which may put lives at risk, and they fail to act to remedy the concern, it becomes a criminal matter:



    Now what codeplug errors could cause loss-of-life, you ask? Here is what I cited to him and others who work around him:

    - Emergency Button (Trunking) programming sends EMERGENCY signal, however the communications manager (referred to above) has intentionally programmed the dispatch consoles to IGNORE emergency button activations, because he has not come up with a "protocol" of how to appropriately handle such activations. He has had 23-months from the time I notified him, and corrective action still has not been taken. Paramedics in the field have been told to hit their orange button if they're in danger, etc. There have been several incidents (documented) where buttons have been activated, but there has been no acknowledgement or help sent. Dispatch DOES NOT monitor the talkgroups; they must be RTT'd (trunking "message 1") or otherwise requested to a talkgroup. Yes, this in itself, is very dangerous on a public safety implementation.

    - RSSI roaming values are not set correctly. The ASTRO25-family radios have RSSI sampling capable of reading up to 148 (dec). The ASTRO-family radios only went to 87 (dec). The MTS2000/MCS2000s only went up to about 125 (dec). The idiotic phone company who runs this system, took the "optimized" values from the XTS3000 and put those same values into all of these product-families. 87 (dec) on the XTS3000 is the strongest RSSI -- but on a MTS/MCS or ASTRO25-family radio, this value is WEAK. As a result, the radios are all sitting on weak sites and will not roam. Poor RF coverage means communications are unreliable.

    - Channel names (modes) are not consistent throughout the system/agencies. When told to switch to certain mutual aid talkgroups, users are confused as each agency has labeled/located them differently in the programming templates. This is completely unacceptable.

    - TX AUDIO AGC IS DISABLED. Distorted (overmodulated) audio causes units to repeat themselves constantly. Waste of air/battery time.

    - Firmware is outdated. 1998 firmware in MTS/MCS2000s and R12 firmware in XTS/XTL gear. RCMP (not part of my bitching) is using R09.xx.xx Some of these firmware versions do not support Noise Suppression features, only available in newer firmware. An air-ambulance helicopter is using XTS2500s with AGC disabled, and no Noise Suppression whatsoever. Their communications are inaudible and they repeat themselves 2-4x on average. Errors such as GPS coordinates, remaining fuel, ETA to facility, souls-on-board, are always garbled. I made the agency aware this problem and how to fix it (I even included a picture of the CPS settings) but they refuse to acknowledge it. The communications/system manager has informed them I am a problem. Considering we're coming up on ASTRO25 release R20.xx.xx, this 2007-2009 firmware has to go.

    - Failsoft programming is 100% wrong. If the system were to go down, they would not have conventional repeater access.

    --

    Anyway, it should be no surprise here, but the system/communications manager guy I'm referring to is a ham radio operator who thinks he's proficient because he went to a few training courses at Motorola and no one questions his authority.

    I'm done my rant, but it's getting to the point where I'm about to name names, so when the first paramedic is murdered on a native reservation after their emergency button activation was ignored, after a violent patient pulled a weapon on them in the back of an ambulance, the media will know who to go talk to.

    And one last thing: We need APCO-certified communications technician levels. This would standardize public safety comm's tech training, and would actually mean something. Example:

    - Level 1: Can do basic radio programming
    - Level 2: Can do above, plus repairs to boards/swapping/cases/accessories, etc.
    - Level 3: Can do above, plus installs (maybe this should be included in level 2)
    - Level 4: Network/Systems administrator. i.e. someone who works on the infrastructure and has a clue.

    Etc. Surely this can be standardized at some point in the future, so we can start calling out clowns and wannabes.

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    @Mars:
    Wow. That was just a wild read. Criminal negligence at the least. And I thought that the people I deal with were bad!

    The sad thing is that the situation you had at the end of your post of a death or critical injury is exactly what has to happen to make changes happen. I've seen it everywhere I go. People don't want to "make waves", people don't want to step on the wrong toes or take those to task who fail to perform their jobs.

    I can't count the number of situations I've been involved in where everything all around was horrible, from radio comms to dispatching to supervision, yet somehow the lowly boots on the ground get **** done and save the day and the next day it's good jobs all around. As long as nobody dies (or more importantly in the PS world, nobody looks bad in the media), then all is good and any suggestions for improvement fall on deaf ears.

    @MTS2000DES:
    My response to your post isn't an insult, just something to think about. Your passion to me shows that you care, but I would refrain from beating down too much on the end users you speak of. I live and work in a rural Texas county and a lot of the guys I see (especially the vollies) really are just barely trying to get by in terms of equipment.

    Instead of coming down on the end users who sometimes have to purchase PS gear out of pocket, we should be going after the system salespeople that somehow convince small, out of the way jurisdictions (that could probably stay forever on conventional VHF) that they need to upgrade to the mostly wildly expensive system that can be funded by a DHS grant writer.

    But that's just my outside looking in, end user opinion.
    When in danger,
    When in doubt,
    Run in circles,
    Scream and shout.

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    ETA International offers the current defacto certifications for our field. The base level is Associate Certified Electronics Technician (CETa) this covers general electronics. That plus a journeyman option gives you a CET Journeyman (CET) there are options for many things but the standard for what we do is wireless communications (WCM) and a more LMR specific (USMSS) options. Score higher than 85% on both the associate and your journeyman and you get Senior CET (CETsr) if you have enough years in the industry.

    Motorola also uses them for certification tests offered after select classes that consist of a written exam and a hands on exam sch as

    R56 Site Instalation
    Astro 6.x/7.x Repeater Site Technician
    Astro 6.x/7.x Master Site Technician

    I'm sure there are a few more, but the main point is they are out there but people need to demand certified people. Our shop is 100% certified for all full time techs, and we have 2 trainees who don't touch customer equipment alone until they are certified. Yet we lose bids to our union competition based on the fact they are "skilled labor" which means they have a union card but haven't been able to pass a single dam test in the 7+ years they have been around. They don't have a single CET.
    "Don't worry about what I am, cause I'm a state agent so what you need to do is make sure your doing the right thing **** boy" -J. Dewitte

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    I am in the process of getting permission to take some of the Motorola classes on the APX radios. I have access to MOL and working on their radio solutions site to gain access to the classes. This seems like it will be easy once i talk to the right people. But try to get a COMT class in California and good luck. Oh they happen but with my luck i see find them after the fact. I got my firmware from R08 to R10. I try to just set up the channels for how they work best for us. I try to leave the little details to the experts or get my code plug looked at by radio techs when possible. So yes there are end users who know their limitations and that they need more training. Some times it is a little frustrating trying to find it. I work with a simple VHF repeated system voted but similar to Cal Fire. I KNOW to not touch a trunked system with out a lot more training.

  18. #17
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    Having lived in this town for 23 years and knowing 3 of the dead hotshots makes me sick of this town and our useless politicians and the crap equipment that they had.

    Remember that this was not a federal fire fighting agency either but a little local city hotshot crew that while they were very experienced unfortunately had a higher than usual turnover rate due to the cheap city government not wanting to make the majority of them full time workers but instead electing to make most of them seasonal fire fighters so that they could get away with paying most 12 to 15 dollars an hour.

    Also federal guidelines require at least 7 individuals to be full time status to obtain federal reimbursement money when fighting fires off the city boundaries but of course our cheap city govt tried to save a few dimes and only had 6 of these boys on full time status and now the cheap morons are running around in circles trying to cover their arses and not wanting to pay benefits to most of the families.

    Here in prescott we seem to re-elect morons as our mayor and city council only to find out after the elections that they are the lowest of lifeforms but again the next year we seem to forget and re-elect them again.

    We pay these useless govt officials over 150K a year, while the cheap A$$es downgraded the majority of the hotshots status to seasonal employees just so they only had to pay the non full timers 12 to 15 dollars an hour, well it is no wonder that they had crap useless, un-programmable on the fly, radios.

    As for the quality of RF service you get in this town well try taking your radio to our useless local radio shop and have it re-programmed or try to have your FF aircrafts Technisonic's, NAT or Wulfsberg radios reprogrammed while in the air, it ain't going to happen and whether or not these were also contributing factors we will never know simply because in this state and this town nobody seems to have any integrity or accountability, they are only good at passing the blame on to poor dead souls who can't stand up for themselves.


    In prescott the public servants are far better off buying their own radios simply because the equipment, when provided by the city, is of such poor quality being old hand me down junk that it would be in your best interest to purchase your own radios but what with being paid only 12 to 15 dollars an hour due to the seasonal status for most of these individuals it's a wonder that they even had radios to begin with.

    If it wasn't for one wife of one dead boy the entire city weasels would have put all the blame on 19 dead souls and this report would have never been finished either.

    The one wife stood up to these useless politicians on the courthouse steps for a week and then and only then did the true investigation takeoff but even now none of these POS politicians will take any responsibility.


    I am so sick of these people that I'm really glad that I now spend 90% of my time at my Oregon house and infrequently visit my Prescott house.

    It makes me sick to go by the church where one of the hot shots was a youth pastor and even then the useless mayor and other city council members were still trying to lay the blame on him and other supervisors, all the time thinking that the dead cannot stand up for themselves well they didn't know how determined this one widow was but of course even she couldn't stand up to these corrupt idiotic morons.

    Also this is not the first time that radios were programmed improperly and obviously the powers to be in this country have not learned even from this tragedy.

    After the Yarnell fire, during the Yosemite fire, the same things occurred with improperly programmed tones and frequencies reversed in radios to the point where some crews had radios sent back to comm centers to be reprogrammed after the errors were found.

    Let's face it with budget cuts everywhere and mayors and other politicians getting paid 150k or more a year simply to be pains in the A$$es it's a wonder that there are any RF individuals left anywhere to fix this mess.

    Personally I know of several seasoned RF techs and engineers who left this town simply because damn Internet idiots were placed in charge of RF decisions as opposed to hiring and keeping real RF individuals.




    Mike in flagstaff this week,

    Heck this tells you how much I hate these cheap idiots in this town, I don't even want to stay over at my Prescott house even for a weekend, instead choosing to stay at a family members house in Flagstaff.


    OK sorry i'm off my rant now,

    An yes if you can tell I'm still pissed off because nothing will ever change in this town or this state, none of these idiots will ever be held accountable and 19 boys, 3 who my family knew, are now dead.
    Last edited by mikem; Oct 08, 2013 at 08:27 AM.

  19. #18
    flecom No Longer Registered

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars View Post
    This is the reason why we're so anal around here about calling people out, when it's obvious they have no idea WTF they're doing. A public safety radio is a responder/officers' lifeline to other emergency services workers and their communications center. If it's not working properly/optimally, people get dead.

    Those who do not understand what they're doing when it comes to programming/configuration, should not be touching radios.
    While I agree remember in some larger agencies there are also a lot of politics to deal with... in fire departments light duty officers may be assigned to do tasks they are not even close to qualified to do just because "well it should be easy enough" or "they can sign on to gmail so they can program a radio!" or something equally as insane...

    even the end users don't take the importance of their terminals seriously until they really need them...

    it's really unfortunate that these 19 guys passed regardless of the reason

  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by flecom View Post
    While I agree remember in some larger agencies there are also a lot of politics to deal with... in fire departments light duty officers may be assigned to do tasks they are not even close to qualified to do just because "well it should be easy enough" or "they can sign on to gmail so they can program a radio!" or something equally as insane...

    even the end users don't take the importance of their terminals seriously until they really need them...

    it's really unfortunate that these 19 guys passed regardless of the reason
    I acknowledge what you're saying is unfortunately factual in some circumstances, but there's also the concern about liability. If someone assumes a task, and does so negligently, they may be held liable. I wouldn't want to be held liable if things went south. There's always the option of respectfully declining a task if insufficiently trained to do so, and outlining why one would be refusing the task, and how with proper training, one could do it, blah blah blah.

    In the real world, say no, and they'll find someone else to do it and you end up on the **** list.

  21. #20
    flecom No Longer Registered

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars View Post
    I acknowledge what you're saying is unfortunately factual in some circumstances, but there's also the concern about liability. If someone assumes a task, and does so negligently, they may be held liable. I wouldn't want to be held liable if things went south. There's always the option of respectfully declining a task if insufficiently trained to do so, and outlining why one would be refusing the task, and how with proper training, one could do it, blah blah blah.

    In the real world, say no, and they'll find someone else to do it and you end up on the **** list.
    if you knew the stores I knew man... if you only knew...

    lets just say agencies do some really messed up stuff, sometimes (often) knowingly putting their people in danger...

    fortunately I myself have never been put in that place but I agree I would probably also walk away.. I could not sleep knowing that I may have had a hand in some disaster like this

    but then again, I know what I don't know... a trait a lot of highly technical (or quasi-technical whatever the case may be) persons lack... if you ask me to program your harris radio, no problem, I can make them do just about anything (even the whiz-bang stuff!) a /\/\oto radio for conventional, sure I can manage... /\/\oto trunking? I would have to defer to someone else

    reading articles like this then hearing about how P25 will fix interoperability (when P25 phase 1 & 2 are incompatible) makes me wonder what the future will hold.. it seems that things are more fragmented than ever... P25 1 & 2, conventional, trunking of all sorts, DMR, NXDN, blah blah blah... yet these guys couldn't even get conventional analog w/PL right?

    [Note by Mars: The P25/DMR/NXDN talk has been split to a new thread.]