Emergency Communication Plan - SECTION 20
Binghamton University maintains an extensive communication system for emergency situations. All policy and equipment issues are managed by the New York State University Police Department (NYSUPD), with considerable input from internal departments (i.e. Environmental Health & Safety, Physical Facilities, etc.)
Harpur's Ferry Student Volunteer Ambulance Service (HFSVAS) manages it own set of emergency frequencies, separate from university licensed frequencies managed by the NYSUPD.
The NYSUPD operates two-way radio frequencies on the ultra-high (UHF) radio band:
- Channel 1 – Dispatch/Normal Operations (458.05 mHz)
- Tac 1 – Tactical Operations (frequency confidential )
- Tac 2 – Tactical Operations (frequency confidential )
NYSUPD maintains one very-high (VHF) frequency that is ‘cross-banded’ with UHF Channel 1. This cross-band allows transmission made by the dispatch base radio on UHF Channel 1 to be heard on VHF Channel 1. UHF transmissions from mobile and portable radios cannot be heard on this frequency.
- Channel 1 – Dispatch (154.115 mHz)
Harpur's Ferry Ambulance operates on both UHF and VHF frequencies so as to be able to communicate with University Police as well as external agencies.
- Operations – (460.4125 mHz)
- EMS Tac – (458.10 mHz)
- VHF Dispatch – (155.205 mHz)
Use of Radio Channels
Use of university radio frequencies shall be for the sole purpose of official university business and shall follow all appropriate FCC guidelines and policies.
Radios with the ability to transmit on a NYSUPD or HFSVAS frequency shall be limited to the following departments/agencies:
- University Police personnel & vehicles
- Environmental Health & Safety personnel & vehicles
- Emergency Response Team (ERT) Officers
- Harpur's Ferry Ambulance Officers & Vehicles
- Broome County Office of Emergency Services (OES)
- Any other agency or individual as approved by the NYSUPD Chief of Police (for NYSUPD frequencies
- Any other agency or individual as approved by the HFSVAS Chief (for HFSVAS frequencies
NYSUPD Channel 1 : Shall be used as the primary frequency for day-to-day operations of emergency responders on the Binghamton University campus (not including HFSVAS). Transmissions should be brief so as not to interfere with the primary purpose of the frequency, which is the dispatching of emergency services.
NYSUPD Tac 1 & Tac 2 : Shall be used to conduct non-standard communications that could otherwise interfere with operations on Channel 1. Prior to use of a Tactical frequency, the user should request permission to use that channel from the NYSUPD dispatcher. Operations appropriate for Tactical channels include, but are not limited to the following uses:
- Police Operations
- ERT rescue operations
- Fire protection system testing
- Emergency responder training
- Special event operations (i.e. concerts, athletic events, etc.)
- Other emergency incident
Gateway Radio (Radio Inter-Operable System = RIOS)
The university’s gateway radio (radio call signal = BASE) may be used during emergency incidents and planned events. The gateway radio allows for the ability to communicate between any type of dissimilar communications systems, e.g. radios, telephones, computers and other forms of communications systems may be connected into “Talk Groups”. The communications between the radios is controlled through the use of a laptop computer. The gateway radio will allow for the full capabilities of a dispatch center (telephones, radios and data). The computer functions both as the database and recorder server.
Any member of the command/general staff, unit director or group leader that wishes to communicate on any other radio frequency may contact BASE and request a link be established. When a link between agencies / frequencies / bands has been established, the BASE operator will transmit a message stating that the link has been established. Prior to breaking a link, the BASE operator will transmit a message stating that the link will be discontinued.
See Section 14.02 Interoperable Radio Plan for further information.
- Every effort shall be made to limit radio traffic on all radio frequencies. Only essential communications shall be made over the airwaves.
- Think before you transmit. Know what you want to say. Say it, and get off the air. Speak distinctly; be brief & concise and do not mumble.
- If possible, have face-to-face communication
- Keep your radio turned down to a level that allows you to hear the transmission, but not so loud that everyone around you can hear the transmission. This is for security reasons as well as common courtesy.
- Prior to transmitting a radio message, depress the push-to-talk button and wait approximately two seconds. This will ensure your message is not accidentally ‘cut-off’. Hold the microphone portion of the radio approximately one inch from your lips and speak slowly and clearly in a normal to loud voice. Do not hold the microphone directly in front of your mouth, but slightly to the side, and at an angle of about 45 degrees so you talk across the face of the microphone instead of "blowing" into it.
- Do not shout or yell into the microphone; it will cause an extremely distorted signal.
- When hailing someone, identify yourself first and then identify the person whom you are calling. Example: “Command to EMS Director” or “Safety to Hazmat” .
- When answering a hail, identify yourself and acknowledge the caller. Example: “Planning on. Go ahead Operations” or “Strike Team Leader on. Go ahead Strike Team 2” .
- When communicating essential information, have the information repeated back from the person receiving the information to the person sending the information. This allows the information to be confirmed and minimizes the potential for misunderstanding the message.
- Never use obscene language on the radio. Remember that our transmissions are monitored by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
National Incident Management System (NIMS):
During emergency incidents and large planned events, a significant number of radios and radio frequencies will be utilized to manage the incident.
Personnel will be assigned frequencies they are allowed to operate on during this event and will be expected to refrain from using any other frequencies. NIMS form ICS-205 shall be used to document and track the frequencies assigned during the incident.
The following call-signals shall be used for all radio communications during emergency incidents and large planned events:
- COMMAND ~ ~ ~ Incident Commander
- OPS or OPERATIONS ~ ~ ~ Operations Chief
- PLANNING ~ ~ ~ Planning Chief
- LOGISTICS ~ ~ ~ Logistics Chief
- SAFETY ~ ~ ~ Safety Officer
- PIO ~ ~ ~ Public Information Officer
- POLICE DIRECTOR ~ ~ ~ Police Unit Director
- EMS DIRECTOR ~ ~ ~ Emergency Medical System Unit Director
- FIRE DIRECTOR ~ ~ ~ Fire Unit Director
- FACILITIES DIRECTOR ~ ~ ~ Physical Facilities Unit Director
- TRAFFIC ~ ~ ~ Parking Services / Traffic Group Leader
- CODE ~ ~ ~ Code Compliance Group Leader
- HAZMAT ~ ~ ~ Hazmat Group Leader
- VESTAL FIRE ~ ~ ~ Vestal Fire Department Group Leader
- TREATMENT ~ ~ ~ EMS Treatment Officer
- TRIAGE ~ ~ ~ EMS Triage Officer
- EMS SAFETY ~ ~ ~ EMS Safety Officer
- EMS STAGING ~ ~ ~ EMS Staging Officer
- TRANSPORT ~ ~ ~ EMS Transport Officer
- HOSPITAL LIAISON ~ ~ ~ Hospital Liaison
- STRIKE TEAM LEADER ~ ~ ~ Strike Team Group Leader
- STRIKE TEAM 1 ~ ~ ~ BLS Two-person team – Geographic region 1
- STRIKE TEAM 2 ~ ~ ~ BLS Two-person team – Geographic region 1
- STRIKE TEAM 3 ~ ~ ~ BLS Two-person team – Geographic region 1
- STRIKE TEAM 4 ~ ~ ~ BLS Two-person team – Geographic region 1
- EXTRICATION STRIKE TEAM 5 ~ ~ ~ BLS Two-person team – Geographic region 1
- STRIKE TEAM ALPHA ~ ~ ~ BLS Two-person team – Geographic region 2
- STRIKE TEAM BRAVO ~ ~ ~ BLS Two-person team – Geographic region 2
- EXTRICATION STRIKE TEAM CHARLIE ~ ~ ~ BLS Two-person team – Geographic region 2
- GATOR TEAM X-RAY ~ ~ ~ BLS Two-person team – Geographic region 2
- GATOR TEAM ZEBRA ~ ~ ~ BLS Two-person team – Geographic region 2
- MAINTENANCE ~ ~ ~ Maintenance Group Leader
- SHUTTLE LEADER ~ ~ ~ Shuttle Bus Group Leader
- EVENTS CENTER ~ ~ ~ Events Center Mgt. Staff Group Leader
- WEST GYM ~ ~ ~ West Gym Building Staff Group Leader
Methods of notifying students, staff and faculty:
- Campus web site ( www.binghamton.edu )
- Campus ALERT phone line (777-7700)
- Traditional media outlets (TV, radio, etc.)
- Campus TV & radio
- Broadcast voice mail message to all campus phones
- Campus email list-serves
- Emergency Test Messaging Service (i.e. RAVE)