PROWORDS Prowords are a special set of words used for clarity and brevity in communications. Most commonly used prowords are: • AFFIRMATIVE Yes. • AVAILABLE Used when a unit is ready for assignment. • AVAILABLE AT SCENE Used when a unit is still committed to an incident, but could be dispatched to a new assignment if necessary. • AVAILABLE AT RESIDENCE Used by personnel to indicate they are available and on-call at their residence. • AT / ON SCENE Indicates units have arrived at the scene of an incident. • BREAK I hereby indicate the separation of the text from other portions of the message or you are trying to interrupt a radio transmission. • CAN HANDLE Indicates that the resources on scene of the incident are adequate. • COMMAND Incident Commander. • COPY, COPIES Used to acknowledge message received. Example: Search Team 1 Copies. • CORRECTION An error has been made in this transmission. Transmission will continue with the last word correctly transmitted. An error has been made in this transmission (or message indicated) The correct version is__________ That which follows is a corrected version answer to your request for verification. • DISREGARD LAST MESSAGE Self explanatory. • DISREGARD THIS TRANSMISSION This transmission is in error. Disregard it. (This proword shall not be used to cancel any message that has been completely transmitted and for which receipt or acknowledgment has been received). • EMERGENCY TRAFFIC Term used to gain control of radio frequency to report an emergency or an emergency in progress. All other users will refrain from using that frequency until cleared for normal use. • EN ROUTE Normally used by personnel to designate destinations. En route Is NOT a substitute for responding. • FIGURES Numerals or numbers follow (Optional). • FIRE CONTAINED Self explanatory.
I READ BACK The following is my response to your instructions to read back. I SAY AGAIN I am repeating transmission or portion indicated. I SPELL I spell the next word phonetically. LOUD AND CLEAR Self explanatory. MESSAGE A message which requires recording is about to follow (Transmitted immediately after the call). MINIMIZE Please limit your transmissions to essential traffic. Emergency operational traffic is in progress. MINIMIZE is imposed by Net Control or by the Incident Commander. MINIMIZE LIFTED Minimize is lifted by Net Control or by the Incident Commander. MORE TO FOLLOW Transmitting station has additional traffic for the receiving station. NEGATIVE No. OUT This is the end of my transmission to you and no answer is required or expected. (Since OVER and OUT have opposite meanings, they are never used together. OVER This is the end of my transmission to you and a response is necessary. Go ahead; transmit. READ BACK Repeat this entire transmission back to me exactly as received. RELAY (TO) Transmit this message to all addresses (or addresses immediately following this proword). The address component is mandatory when this proword is used. REPEAT Do not use this word. (This proword is used in US Army Artillery to request another artillery round be fired). RESPOND, RESPONDING Used during a dispatch – proceed to or proceeding to an incident. RESUME NORMAL TRAFFIC Opens the frequency back up to normal traffic. RETURN TO ________ Normally used by a dispatch center to direct units to return to their original location. For example: Triage Team 1, return to staging. ROGER I have received your last transmission satisfactorily. SAY AGAIN Repeat all of your last transmission. SPEAK SLOWER Your transmission is at too fast a speed. Reduce speed of transmission. STANDBY Indicates a need to wait for further information by either the sending or receiving party. STOP TRANSMITTING Self explanatory.
THIS IS This transmission is from the station whose designator immediately follows. TIME That which immediately follows is the time. UNKNOWN STATION The identity of the station with whom I am attempting to establish communication is unknown. UNREADABLE Used when the signal received is not clear. In most cases, try to add the specific trouble. Example: Unreadable, back ground noise. WAIT I must pause for a few seconds. WAIT OUT I must pause for more than a few seconds. WHAT IS YOUR LOCATION Self explanatory. WILCO I have received your signal, understand it, and will comply. (To be used only by the addressee. Since the meaning of ROGER is included in that of WILCO, the two prowords are never used together. WORD AFTER The word of the message to which I have reference is that which follows. WORD BEFORE The word of the message to which I have reference is that which precedes. WORDS TWICE Communication is difficult. Transmit each phrase twice. This proword may be used as an order, request, or as information.
Phonetic Alphabet Letter Phonetic Letter Phonetic A Alpha B Bravo C Charlie D Delta E Echo F Foxtrot G Golf H Hotel I India J Juliet K Kilo L Lima M Mike N November O Oscar P Papa Q Quebec R Romeo S Sierra T Tango U Uniform V Victor W Whiskey X Xray Y Yankee Z Zulu
1. To distinguish numerals from words similarly pronounced, the proword "FIGURES" may be used preceding such numbers. 2. When numerals are transmitted by radiotelephone, the following rules for their pronunciation will be observed: Numbers will be transmitted digit by digit except that exact multiples of thousands may be spoken as such. However, there are special cases, such as anti-air warfare reporting procedures, when the normal pronunciation of numerals is prescribed for example, 17 would then be "seventeen." The figure "ZERO" is to be written "Ø," the figure "ONE" is to be written "1" and the letter "ZULU" is to be written "Z." 3. Difficult words may be spelled phonetically using the four-step method. Abbreviations and isolated letters should be spelled phonetically without the proword "I SPELL.”
I SPELL / FIGURES / INITIALS • Use “I SPELL” for pronounceable words • PIZZA • “I SPELL PIZZA PAPA INDIA ZULU ZULU ALPHA PIZZA” • Use “FIGURE(S)” AND “INITIAL(S)” for non-words • N516F • “INITIAL NOVEMBER FIGURES FIVE ONE SIX INTIAL FOXTROT” CORRECTIONS • Use proword “CORRECTION” to correct a mistake • Example: • “… Turn right at next corner … CORRECTION Turn left at next corner…”
SENDING NUMBERS • Use of Prowords “FIGURES”, “DECIMAL”, “TIME”, “INITIALS” Digit-by-Digit Not “Seven Fifty” 750 “FIGURESSEVEN FIVE ZERO” Niner Not Nine 849 “FIGURESEIGHT FOUR NINER” Decimal Point 14.5 “FIGURESONE FOURDECIMALFIVE” Z Time 1635Z “TIMEONE SIX THREE FIVE ZULU” Initial And Figures E21 “INITIALECHOFIGURESTWO ONE” One Figure and Initial 3-A “FIGURETHREEDASHINITIALALPHA”
Operator Responsibility • The primary responsibility of the radio operator is to pass accurate and timely information from the sender to the receiver and follow through with an accurate and timely response to the sender if needed. • Transmit only when necessary. Use plain English. • Limit your transmissions to no more than TEN seconds each. Anything longer than that will not allow anyone with emergency traffic to use the frequency. Insert breaks in any transmissions that need to be longer. • Never use actual names, or anything else that is sensitive over the air. Never use a personal name over the air. Use the tactical call sign designation such as “Fire Team One.” • Say addresses only when necessary.
Always speak clearly. This should be a given. Never pause on the air. Know what you are going to say BEFORE you key the mike. Know what your response is BEFORE you key the mike. DO NOT pollute the airwaves with unnecessary "ummms", "ahhhhs" and anything else that announces cluelessness over the air. Do not key the mike while looking up some information. Do not key the mike unless you are prepared to speak. Do not "step" on each other. Always say, OVER when it is time for the other person to talk. When two other people are talking to each other, do not jump in unless they call you.
Acknowledge the reception of information with a brief repetition of it. For example, Operations to Command, Fire Team Two ENROUTE your location. Command to Operations, COPIES Fire Team Two ENROUTE to my location. This lets both parties know that each other understands, without any errors or excess. Directions should be given from a specific, unmistakable reference. The other person doesn't always know what you have in mind. If it can be misunderstood, it will be. • Do not get into an argument over the air, with ANYBODY. EVER. PERIOD. • Always know what the other channels are for. Example: channel 14, 38 command; channel 12, 22 Fire Team operations; channel 5, 33 Medical Team Operations, etc….
When communicating patient triage results, the terms “Immediate,” “Delayed,” and “Dead” will not be transmitted. • Use “Red” (Immediate), “Yellow” (Delayed), “Black” (Dead). EXAMPLE: 3 RED, 12 YELLOW, 6 BLACK, 25 GREEN. The term “Green” (walking wounded) can be used to describe someone who is mentally and physically able to remove themselves from the dangerarea. • CAUTION: THE GENERAL PUBLIC AND THE NEWS MEDIA CAN HEAR WHAT YOU ARE SAYING ON THESE FREQUENCIES. THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY AND HOW TO SAY IT!
CALLING ANOTHER STATION • Command is calling Search Team One: • Search Team One THIS IS Command OVER. • Command THIS IS Search Team One OVER. • They conduct their traffic. • When the traffic is completed, they will say OVER. • When done communicating, they will say Command OUT, Search Team One OUT.
CALLING ANOTHER STATION • Search Team Two is Calling Operations • Formulate your transmission. Keep them short and to the point. • Listen to make sure the channel is clear. • Press Push to Talk button, take a breath, and then speak slowly and distinctly. • Operations THIS IS Search Team Two OVER. • Search Team Two THIS IS Operations OVER. • Requesting 2 additional search team and 1 additional triage team OVER. • COPIES 2 search teams and 1 triage team OVER. • Search Team Two OUT. • Operations OUT.
EXAMPLE OF CHANNEL ALLOCATION Channel 8, code 2 - Operations: This is the initial channel to be used by all CERT members. All radios should be set to this channel when arriving at the staging area or incident scene. The Incident Commander will use this channel for communications with those people at the incident scene that he/she needs to contact directly. All members will remain on that channel until they are explicitly told to change to another channel. In many cases, this will be the only channel needed for communication among team members. Channel 16, code 23 - Search and Rescue (SAR), Recon, RIT: This channel will be used as it becomes convenient to separate communications to/from search and rescue or recon teams from other traffic. Use of this channel will generally be for communications between the SAR Group Leader and the search and rescue or recon teams or between the teams deployed at the incident scene. The SAR Group Leader will also use this channel to dispatch the Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) as needed. This channel will not be used until authorized by the Incident Commander.
EXAMPLE OF CHANNEL ALLOCATION Channel 12, code 38 - Medical: This channel will be used if it becomes convenient to separate communications to/from the medical team from other traffic. Use of this channel will generally be for communications between the Medical Group Leader and the various medical teams performing triage, treatment, and transportation of patients. This channel will not be used until authorized by the Incident Commander. Channel 14, code 3 - Command: This channel is only for use between the Incident Commander and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). It will not be used for any other communication. Requests for support by other groups will be made through the EOC on this channel.