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Digital comes to outer metro

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CFA’s outer metropolitan districts will soon transition from using analogue channels to using digital dispatch channels when communicating with VicFire. 

Digital comes to outer metro

DRUP aims to further enhance brigades’ capacity to carry out their duties.

As part of the Victorian State Government’s Digital Radio Upgrade Program (DRUP), CFA’s outer metropolitan Districts (7, 8, 13 and 14) will soon transition from using analogue channels to using digital dispatch channels when communicating with VicFire. 

The Program, facilitated by EMV, will bring CFA’s outer metropolitan districts up to the same quality of dispatch communications enjoyed by CFA regional districts, and Victoria Police, MFB, and Ambulance Victoria in metropolitan Melbourne. It is seen as an important step to further enhance brigades’ capacity to carry out their duties. 

The upgrades will see an additional 33 towers built across the four Districts as well as the introduction of 25 VicFire-allocated fire ground channels. 

These new channels will use the new tower network to improve communications, providing better audio quality dispatch communications between CFA and VicFire. 

When implemented, brigades will be advised of their allocated fire ground channel on their pager and by VicFire when turning out. 

“The State Government has invested heavily in the enhancement of the RMR digital network which will see improved communications capabilities across CFA’s Outer Metropolitan Districts,” CFA’s DRUP Project Director Shane Peacock said. 

Current planning will see a staggered roll-out of the network:

• District 8 in late November 2018
• District 14 in mid-December 2018
• District 13 in early February 2019
• District 7 in early March 2019

To allow time for members to get used to the transition to digital, both the digital and analogue dispatch channels will be patched together at VicFire for a period of time after transition. 

Train the Trainer sessions will start in August with facilitators providing one-hour information sessions on the changes to each brigade and station in the four districts. Districts have each nominated an Operations Officer who will liaise with Groups and Station OIC’s to plan the timing of these sessions.

Brigades will still have access to their current simplex (radio to radio) fire ground channels as a redundancy and for use as part of regular training and exercises.

If you require and further information, please contact your District Headquarters.