Wildland Fire Safety & Health Reporting Network

SAFENET Event Information
Create Agency Corrective Action

Event Start Date:
09/13/2017 1400
Event Stop Date:
Incident Name:
St Lawrence
Fire Number:
Local Unit:
Wind River Agency
Incident Type:
Incident Activity:
Line, Support
Stage of Incident:
Initial Attack, Extended Attack
Position Title:
Management Level:
Resources Involved:
Contributing Factors
Contributing Factors:
Human Factors:
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.
While the St. Lawrence fire was the catalyst for this SafeCom this issue has been going on for the past two months. Cody Dispatch has experienced multiple issues when transmitting on the Wind Rvier Agency repeaters. The majority of the time it takes dispatchers several times to key up the repeaters in order to transmit information. This delays relaying information and causes concern that if an emergency happened dispatch would not be able to provide immediate help. During the Solar Eclipse this was a major concern that the dispatch center had as communication was very unreliable. Many times dispatch could not contact fire resources on the radio and were not kept in the loop in order to relay information to the duty officer. Cody Dispatch opened a radio ticket on our system as we weren’t sure if it was on our end or not. The Forest Service Radio Technician went through the dispatch system and could not find any issues with our equipment. Cody Dispatch is not experiencing these issues with any of the other federal agencies that are dispatched out of Cody. The FS technician seemed to think that once the Solar Eclipse traffic had left the communications would get better. However that has not been the case. Currently Cody Dispatch cannot transmit on the Signal Hill repeater and the Boysen Peak/Black Mountain repeaters are very intermittent and unreliable. Cody Dispatch cannot maintain the expected level of service to those firefighters out in the field.

This is a major safety concern. It has been extremely frustrating trying to establish and maintain radio communications with the St Lawrence fire. This weekend the dispatcher would call Ft. Washakie to get a hold of the fire. The dispatcher here could hear them try on Black Mtn repeater as well with no luck. Ft. Washakie would call back with the requested info. When Ft. Washakie was asked how they were getting a hold of the fire they said they were calling them on tac. This is not a good way to conduct business and the concern is if there were a medical situation or an emerging weather update where time is is of the essence dispatch would need direct contact with the incident.

In discussions with field going personnel they have indicated that they have had a visual of the Boysen and Black Mtn repeater and still could not key it up.
Immediate Action Taken
Reporting Individual : please describe actions you took to correct or mitigate the unsafe/unhealthful event.
Tickets have been submitted. In discussions with the local fire management they will be ordering a portable repeater to establish communications with the field until the repeaters get fixed.

Relaying through Ft. Washakie while not ideal is working in the short term. Often times the field personnel are requested to hike to where there is cell phone coverage to call dispatch for needed information sharing.

Return to Top