Wildland Fire Safety & Health Reporting Network

SAFENET Event Information
Create Agency Corrective Action

Event Start Date:
11/03/2016 1659
Event Stop Date:
Incident Name:
UMA Repeater
Fire Number:
Local Unit:
Incident Type:
All Hazard
Incident Activity:
Stage of Incident:
Position Title:
Dispatch Support 
Dispatch And Initial Attack 
Management Level:
Resources Involved:
Dispatch Center, EMS, Tribal PD and field personnel.  
Contributing Factors
Contributing Factors:
Communications, Environmental, Human Factors
Human Factors:
Situational Awareness  
Other Factors:
Describe in detail what happened including the concern or potential issue, the environment (weather, terrain, fire behavior, etc), and the resulting health issue.
Incident Date: 11/03/2016 through 5/10/2017 (current)

Incident Name: Recorded in WildCAD under Miscellaneous Radio/Repeater, (2016 Incident #) CO-UMA-001487 UMA Repeater & (2017 Incident #) CO-UMA-000006 UMA Hermano Repeater

Incident Type: Communication Issue

Effected Individuals: The Dispatch Centers Ute Mountain radio bank, field resource typically cannot hear the traffic, but can if they are on high enough terrain in the area.

Issue / Concern: The Dispatch Centers Ute Mountain radio bank has occasional radio traffic bleed over from Hopi EMS and Tribal PD. This radio traffic bleed over can include: tone outs, dispatched resources, additional resource requests, patient vitals or unreadable static. Transmissions can last anywhere from 6 to 55 seconds depending on the transmission length and are unpredictable in occurrence and timing.

The concern of the Dispatch Center is that this radio traffic bleed over occupies the Hermano frequency which in turn occupies our Ute Mountain radio bank, not allowing local unit traffic to come through. This hinders our communication with the field, fire personnel and emergency traffic. Occasional static can also lead to complacency within the Dispatch Center as writing of traffic due to bleed over.
Immediate Action Taken
Reporting Individual : please describe actions you took to correct or mitigate the unsafe/unhealthful event.
Multiple concerns were brought up from dispatch to the local BIA unit radio technician. It was first explained that the bleed over was a rare occurrence that allowed atmospheric conditions to line up properly and allow clear traffic transmission from Hopi to Durango. As radio traffic bleed over became more frequent, additional concern was brought forward in seeking a solution. After further review, the issue was identified as utilizing the incorrect RFA authorized frequency on their repeater bank. RFA authorized frequencies are mandated to individual groups, Ute Mountain BIA was utilizing frequency 165.6 and was issued RFA frequency 165.0.

What we learned: The issue was identified as an incorrect RFA frequency and is in the process of being corrected. This correction will minimize if not negate the radio traffic bleed over the Dispatch Center was experiencing over the Ute Mountain radio bank. This will also minimize safety concerns brought forward by the Dispatch Center. No matter how small or big the issue is, following the “If you see something, say something” philosophy we can help everyone communicate more effective and provide a better level of self-awareness within the ISO system.

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