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District Operations Managers are working with the RRDS project team to plan the transition of their brigades onto the new radio dispatch radio network, known as Regional Mobile Radio (RMR).
Once transitioned to RRDS, all regional brigades will be dispatched by Vicfire. The RMR offers enhanced radio signal coverage and digital audio quality throughout the State.
A briefing at the recent Operations Managers Conference in Ballarat reinforced the need for the RRDS Project Team to work closely with Districts, to work through their local requirements. A crucial task is to schedule the re-programming of every CFA radio to enable them to function on the RMR network.
Stewart Kreltsheim, Operations Manager District 23, said that “…while Districts are excited about the prospect of transitioning to RRDS, the success of the project depends on a close working relationship between the RRDS Project Team and District Operations”.
Regional Radio Dispatch Service FAQs
What is the Regional Radio Dispatch Service (RRDS)?
A contract signed between the State Government and Telstra will now provide a high quality digital radio communications network that will be known as Regional Mobile Radio (RMR) network. This will enable CFA to provide regional brigades with direct radio communications to VicFire. Under this service all CFA brigades will now be dispatched by VicFire.
When is the RRDS being rolled out?
CFA will implement the Regional Radio Dispatch Service as the infrastructure is built by Telstra. The network rollout will begin in November 2013 and be available to all regional brigades by June 2014.
The delivery of training and eventual operational transition will be planned in consultation with the District Operations Managers. When training is complete the whole district will transition at an agreed time.
What are the benefits of the new network?
The Regional Mobile Radio (RMR) network will be a high quality P25 digital network. The audio quality is comparable to the Metropolitan Mobile Radio (MMR) network currently used by the MFB. The network will provide in most instances better coverage than what is currently available.
Are the new CFA Tait radios able to operate on this digital network?
Yes. However an important radio software update needs to be programmed into each and every radio in order for them to be able to operate on the network. Each radio needs to be programmed individually prior to transition.
Would there be a need to change dispatch channels when travelling from one part of a district to another?
No. This is a district based dispatch service, there will be 1 VicFire dispatch channel for each district.
Is it possible for VicFire to isolate a given District during busy times?
Yes. Any district can be isolated when needed. The Vic Fire dispatch operator will normally be able to operate several districts' channels concurrently. If any district gets too busy, it can be assigned to a dedicated operator.
Will current analogue listening sets still work after the change to digital?
No. The current analogue listening sets will not be compatible with the new digital network. A study of this issue is underway and a number of options are being carefully considered. Once this study is completed a decision will be made as to which solution CFA will provide prior to the operational transition in late 2013.
Will Duress be enabled with the RRDS?
Yes. Duress will be enabled on the new dispatch network, however all radios will require a software update.
It is vital that all radios are made available for the software upgrade when the RRDS team is in your area.
Will Duress replace the May-Day procedure?
No. The normal May-Day procedures still apply. The Duress feature is designed to assist a person in distress to make a May-Day call. Pressing the Duress button provides priority access to the network and alerts the network that someone is in distress. Activating the Duress feature provides an open microphone transmission for 10 seconds without the need to hold down the Press-To-Talk (PTT) button.
Will Motorola radios operate on the new digital network?
No. The old analogue Motorola radios will not operate on the new digital network.
If you still have a Motorola radio, there is a requirement that it be returned to your District HQ ASAP.
Arrangements have been made with each District HQ to assist in the process for returning all Motorola radios. A small number of SMR enabled Motorola radios are being retained only where an operational requirement has already been identified for operational communication with DEPI.