800 MHz Voice/Radio: VRS Training MCFRS Technology Training
7-71-72N: What is VRS? • What: VRS is short for Vehicular Repeater System – All the Battalion Chiefs’ buggies have had repeaters installed in them and a few engines in border areas. • Why: With a VRS on-site, we can add to existing coverage by bringing a conventional channel to the repeater. • Where: The VRS may be used in areas where coverage is weak for portable radios, including near the river and (to some degree) parking garages and other underground structures. • When: The VRS won’t be needed very often, but it provides another tool for life safety.
How Does the VRS Work? User switches to the VRS Channel (Repeat Mode)
What Happens If You Can’t Reach the VRS? User Switches to Direct Radio Receives on Direct Mode Like the Scan Feature User Switches back to Repeat User Switches to Direct
VRS Channel • Similar to FDTA, VRS is a simplex channel on which you can talk with other personnel on direct mode. • This channel cannot be heard by ECC. • This channel is only scanned by other radios on 7N, 71N, 72N.
What About the EB? • Personnel using the VRS channel (7-71-72 N) must remember that the EB is not effective unless the Battalion Chief’s VRS is on site. • Pressing the EB will activate the VRS (if it is not already running within the incident). • ECC will note that the Battalion Chief’s radio has activated the EB. ECC and the Battalion Chief will need to determine who is experiencing an emergency. • Personnel who are out of VRS range (e.g., several floors deep within a parking garage) will not be able to use the EB (because they’re out of range) and should use the radio as if the VRS was not part of the incident.
How to Switch between Repeat and Direct Modes? • The concentric ring switch (the key pad lock/unlock ring) will enable you to toggle between direct and repeat modes • 7-71-72N (November) Concentric Ring Switch Repeat Mode Direct Mode
What Are the Basics to Remember? • Personnel on an incident who cannot reach the repeater (pre-VRS) should use FDTA (7-71-72 O). • If the Battalion Chief decides to use the VRS when (s)he arrives onscene, (s)he should switch to the primary incident talkgroup and then announce to personnel that the VRS is available and in use. • Personnel who have been using FDTA may switch to the VRS channel (7-71-72 N) and use Repeater Mode. They will know they are in repeater mode (not Direct Mode) because they will not see the direct symbol (->) on their radios. The Concentric Ring Switch allows the user to change between Direct and Repeater mode. • Some personnel may still be out of range (in the extreme cases) and will need to communicate with others on VRS Channel using Direct Mode (similar to FDTA).