Radio Best Practices

This guide describes the best practices for portable radio use on the VHF and 800MHz Trunked Radio System.

Consideration Best Practice
Daily Check
  • Ensure each position has a portable radio assigned to them
  • Check for physical damage to the radio
  • Change battery on radio daily -- especially batteries exposed to heat
  • Check all knobs to ensure proper operation
  • On VHF - check battery charge by depressing the PTT, if red
    light on portable is solid the battery is fully charged


  • On 800's - check battery gauge for level of charge on the battery
  • On 800's - check signal strength indicator for reception
  • If radio is dirty, clean with a damp cloth
  • Test each radio with another radio on a clear channel VHFA12 or 800 K15
  • Face to face communication is always the preferred method
  • Know Emergency Traffic procedures
  • Know May Day procedures
  • Hold radio 1" to 2" from face
  • Speak clearly and slowly


  • On 800's - Speaking loudly can distort the digital audio
  • All radio traffic should be concise
  • Each member must carry a radio into the hazard zone
  • Use the order model for radio communication
  • Know what you are going to say before you say it
  • Call signs for members that are away from their crew
  • On 800's - proper keying of PTT, 1-2 second delay until talk-permit-tone is heard
  • Radios and Speaker mics should be protected from prolonged exposure to water
  • Protect portables from heat by using turnout radio pouch
  • Treat radios like unprotected skin in fire situations -- keep it covered if possible
  • Use speaker mics when possible to minimize damage to radios
  • Be professional
  • Security of our radios is critical
  • Report stolen radio to AHQ immediately
  • Missing radios should be reported to AHQ if not found quickly
  • Inoperable radios should be reported to the Radio Runner @ (602) 261-8030 or AHQ
  • For radio related questions, please call (602) 256-3394  

VHF vs. 700/800MHz

Radio Features

Radio Operations & Channel Plan

MCT Features

Non-Hazard to Hazard Guide

Radio Best Practices



Technical Information‚Äč