First Responder Information

This section is intended to provide first responders on SERS a quick reference for how to handle potential system failure modes.  Refer to your complete training documents and procedures for more information.

Contents

  1. System Congestion
  2. Site Trunking
  3. Failsoft
  4. West Simulcast Failure
  5. East Simulcast Failure

System Congestion (busies; brief, rapid and repeating ‘bonk’ tone)

In this scenario all talk groups will operate normally, but the system is operating at full capacity.  It is critical that the below mitigation plan be considered to relieve system loading:

  1. ALL USERS
    1. Reduce the voice channel time taken, by keeping radio transmissions short in duration.
  2. PSAPs
    1. Consider operational options for reducing radio usage.
      1. Disable Locution under agreed preconditions such as operations moving to level 2 due to system loading.
    2. Change PSAP operational level (level 2)
  1. FIRE USERS
    1. On a fire scene, simplex channels could be used for operations with incident command talking to dispatch from a mobile radio on the specified talk group.  As a reminder, EMER functionality is not available while on simplex.
  2. LAW ENFORCEMENT
    1. Law enforcement also has simplex channels available and can adopt the same type of changes as listed above.

Site Trunking

If and only when your are instructed to do so, field users need to switch their radios to site trunking mode, which is a preset bank on their radios, identified by “ST”.  For dispatchers at Snohomish County 9-1-1, it is Bank A on the Backup radio at your console and shows “ST” instead of ‘A’.

Users that do not change to their ST banks when instructed to do so will have intermittent or no communication with other users, near and far, and dispatch.

Remain in your “ST” bank until instructed to return to your normal bank.

Failsoft

In this failure mode all users are consolidated onto specific radio groups as the higher level control of the system has become inoperable.  In this mode, air time will be at a premium and every effort to limit use of the radio should be taken.  You will not hear a ‘ready to talk’ when you transmit; simply transmit and talk.

Groups will be consolidated together as follows…

  1. SC-POL 1, SC-TAC 1, SC-POL 2, SC-TAC 2, SC-POL 3, EDM-ADMIN, LYN ADMIN, MT/BR-ADM
  2. FIREDISP 4, FIRETAC 7, FIRETAC 8, FIRETAC 9, FIRETAC 10
  3. FIREDISP 1, FIRETAC 1, FIRETAC 2
  4. EVP DISP, EVP DATA, EVP IO, EVP TAC, EVP OPS 1, EVP OPS 2, EVP OPS 3
  5. SO-SOUTH, SO-S TAC, MPD-POL 1, MPD-POL 2, MPD-TAC 1, SO-CRTHS, SO-DATA, SO-SAR, SO-TAC 4
  6. PSOPS N3, PSOPS N4, MA SNO 1, MA SNO 2, SNO CALL, SNO IO 2-15
  7. SO-NORTH, SO-N TAC
  8. SO-EAST, SO-E TAC
  9. FIREDISP 2, FIRETAC 3, FIRETAC 4
  10. FIREDISP 3. FIRETAC 5, FIRETAC 6, FIRETAC 11-15
  11. All hospitals, Emergency Management, misc.
  12. All encrypted talk groups

West Simulcast Failure

The mitigation strategy proposes moving radio users to other talk groups, which are allowed on the East simulcast, for the duration of this failure. Obviously, radio coverage is reduced, but field testing by SERS has confirmed usable mobile radio coverage in all areas impacted by this failure. Portable radio coverage will be more problematic, but can be mitigated as discussed below.

Suggested re-assignments are:

  1. EVP DISP to SNO OPS 5
  2. EVP DATA to SNO OPS 6
  3. SC-POL 1 to SNO OPS 7
  4. SC-TAC 1 to SNO OPS 8
  5. SC-POL 2 to SNO OPS 9
  6. SC-TAC 2 to SNO OPS 10
  7. SO-CRTHS to SNO OPS 11
  8. FIRETAC 1 to FIRETAC 11
  9. FIRETAC 2 to FIRETAC 12
  10. FIRE DISP 1 remains inoperative
  11. FIRE DISP 4 remains inoperative
  12. FIRETAC 7 to FIRETAC 13
  13. FIRETAC 8 to FIRETAC 14
  14. FIRETAC 9 to FIRETAC 15
  15. FIRETAC 10 remains inoperative

All other talk groups are already permitted to automatically roam onto the East Simulcast and will suffer from reduced coverage in the southwest quadrant of the county, but moving these users is not recommended or useful.

East Simulcast Failure

In this scenario all talk groups that are configured to operate on East Simulcast will continue to function on the West Simulcast but with reduced coverage. These include the following critical talk groups:

  1. SO NORTH, SO NORTH TAC, SO EAST, SO EAST TAC,
  2. SO DATA, SO ERT, SO CID, SO SAR,
  3. FIRE DISP 2, FIRE DISP 3, FIRETAC 3, FIRETAC 4,
  4. FIRETAC 5, FIRETAC 6.
SERS | 14900 40th Ave NE #102 | Marysville, WA, 98271 | phone: (360) 243-9649 | contact@sers800.org