The Phoenix Regional Radio Network (PRRN) utilizes several voice radio communications systems. These include the "A" Deck channels which are VHF Conventional Simplex and used for all Hazard Zone Incidents. The Hazard Zone is defined as any incident which may require a firefighter to utilize a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).
The "K" Deck Talk Groups which are in the Regional Wireless Cooperative (RWC) are on a 700/800mhz trunked radio network. This system is used for non hazard zone incidents, such as Emergency Medical Service (EMS) incidents.
This web page is designed to give you up-to-date information on a variety of topics to help you understand the 800MHz radio. Any question or concerns you have should be directed to any member of the Phoenix Regional Network Team at Fire Technical Services.
- Technical Services Main Line - 602-256-3394
- Division Chief Doug Mummert - 602-534-5358
- Captain John Dean - 602-277-1500
800 MHz Survival
Things you need to know about the Phoenix Regional Radio Network 800 MHz portable radios:
- Use simplex VHF radios in the Hazard Zone.
- Use the trunked 800MHz radios for all Non-Hazard Zone incidents (EMS calls).
The Motorola XTS trunked 800MHz radio has a yellow antenna.
- The Motorola XTS VHF radio has a black antenna.
- The Motorola ATX XE Dual Band radio has a black antenna and a green impact housing.
- Dispatches will direct you to the correct talk group/channel.
- The Mobile Computer Terminal (MCT) and station printout will signify what talk group/channel you to operate on.
- Companies will need to manage two kinds of radios (VHF and 800MHz) until we are able to complete our Dual Band portable transition.
You have support to assist you with questions/problems. Please call (602)262-1830 for help.
Why did we change?
In a sentence - There are a limited number of radio frequencies available with our current VHF radio system. Imagine a line that stretches from 1 to 1,000, each number along the line represents a radio frequency - there are only so many available. This span of frequencies is called "spectrum." The FCC controls spectrum and public safety agencies face tremendous competition from wireless service providers (e.g., pagers, cell phones, television, etc.) for spectrum (frequencies).
Several frequencies of spectrum that lie close together in spectrum are called "bands." Historically, the FCC distributed these bands as technology made them available. This practice resulted in consumers being spread throughout spectrum. Currently, public safety communications cover more than 10 different bands. This is a problem because there isn't a commercially available radio that can cover several bands, much less 10 bands. Basically, one radio can't communicate with all public safety communities - you would have to carry 10 separate radios to communicate with all of them.
We know that big emergencies require big support and coordination. Fire, Police, Emergency Medical Services, automatic aid, mutual aid, other city & state agencies, etc. need to communicate with each other to solve problems and ensure the safety of personnel. Simply put, we require the ability of two different agencies to communicate with each other, on demand, and in real time. Chief Khan would say that Mrs. Smith has an expectation from the Phoenix Fire Department, it doesn't matter where she's at or what type of services she needs, that firefighters will show up and they'll be able to coordinate their efforts and talk to each other to solve her problem.
So, why the 800 MHz band? The 800 MHz band of contains enough spectrum (close to 150 frequencies) for the entire valley to operate on a single radio system. If the entire City of Phoenix, and all of the regional fire departments we dispatch for are on one system, then we can talk to each other by utilizing a single portable radio.
VHF vs. 700/800MHz
Radio Operations & Channel Plan
Non-Hazard to Hazard Guide
Radio Best Practices