It is important to acknowledge the conditions under which you may find yourself having to transmit information over a two-way radio. Communications can be affected by conditions such as, amongst others, when:
- Dealing with an emergency situation
- Working within a noisy environment
- Receiving dual radio training from an Instructor
Radio communication challenges also include:
- Interference from external sources such as electrical appliances.
- Weather related phenomenon such as the wind or advancing thunderstorms.
- The serviceability of the transceiver itself.
Ongoing training and On-the-Job proficiency assessments helps in minimizing work challenges that ultimately can have a negative impact on the outcome associated with two-way radio transmissions.
While transmitting on a radio may seem straightforward, knowing the number of members listening and acting on the information transmitted can be an intimidating experience for any individual, regardless of age, rank or experience. It is therefore important to master proper radio procedures and be proficient in the application thereof..
Proper radio transmission procedures ultimately begin with the correct way of using a two-way radio. Keying the Push to Talk (PTT), first and allowing the channel to “open” avoids clipping the beginning or end of a message. When using a handheld transceiver for example hold the radio upright with the antenna pointing skyward.
Formulate the information you want to transmit before speaking. Information must be important, timely and projected in a clear and controlled voice. The five C`s of radio communication serve as a helpful guide to delineate the key points for how to use a two-way radio and they follow in no particular order:
- Conciseness – be brief
- Clarity – be clear in your message
- Confidence – have confidence in the information you are sharing
- Control – stay in control of voice communications
- Capability – practice speaking on the radio to develop your radio capabilities
To maintain safety when communicating on frequency, the radio device needs to be reliable and the Operator needs to maintain these 5C`s as mentioned in order to maintain a professional application of two-way radio management.
NOTE: Any message transmitted via a two-way radio must also follow your department’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).