Tuesday, January 24, 2012


· Dependable and effective communication is necessary for the safe and reliable operation of TriMet’s bus and light rail systems. Therefore, a radio system and pagers are provided for instant communication between employees working in the field to stay in direct contact with the Operations Command Center (OCC).

Statement of Principles:
· Field Operations personnel will follow essential protocol, procedure, and best practices when using 800 MHz radio communications.
Duties and Responsibilities:
· Operations Command Center coordinates the communication of all employees in the field.
· Field Operations Supervisors and Inspectors will be equipped with portable radios and pagers.
· The OCC is designated a “quiet zone” so employees in the area are not distracted from their work, and transient voices and radios are not heard over the Controller/Dispatcher’s microphone, disrupting communication.
Note: Portable radios will be turned to low volume upon entering the OCC.
· Federal Communications Commission
All radio communication systems in the United States are under the jurisdiction of, and regulated by, the Federal Communications Commission.  TriMet and its employees are governed by the following FCC operating rules:
· Radio transmission must be identified. (Unit/line train numbers are acceptable, as the radio system has automatic call sign identification.)
· No transmission shall be made when the channel is already in use, except in an emergency.
· Employees shall not transmit a false distress communication, false call letter, unnecessary, irrelevant, or personal communication; nor employ indecent or profane language over the radio.
· Only those employees specifically authorized to do so shall make any adjustments to a radio set.
· It is a violation of federal law to willfully damage or permit others to damage radio equipment.
Any violation of the above rules will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
· Field Operations Personnel
· Field Operations personnel will report for duty on his/her resident talkgroup by stating that they are 10-8.
· When OCC calls your unit number, you are to answer stating your unit number and give your location.
· When directed to a tactical talkgroup, will announce their arrival by stating their unit number.  When back on your resident talkgroup, you will announce that you are back.
· When OCC announces for “All non-emergency off the air”, every unit will hold regular calls until OCC announces they are taking regular calls.
· You do not have to announce that you are leaving your resident talk group to perform an R-check.  You should perform the R-check and then promptly return to your resident channel.
· When ending your shift, all field Operations personnel will go 10-79 on their respective talkgroup.
· Any radio/pager malfunction must be reported to a Field Operations Lead as soon as possible.
· OCC will make every effort to replace malfunctioning equipment as quickly as possible to assure a complete communication system.
· Radio Operation
Employees using a radio should:
· Be certain that a clear channel is available.
· Begin the message with appropriate identification. OCC need not repeatedly identify themselves.
· Keep transmission brief and to the point while including all necessary information.  In general, the radio system should remain open and available for priority traffic.
· Refrain from using radio communication for purposes not related to system operation.  Use of private calls shall be held to an absolute minimum.  Avoid informality and undisciplined calls.  Excessive private calls are prohibited.
· Answer calls promptly.  If more time is needed before responding, reply “standby” immediately and provide a full response as soon as possible.
Note:  Improper use of, and/or misuse of, any radio channel will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

· No Answer Policy
· Expectations are that Field Operations personnel will answer their radio whenever called.  It is understood that on occasion the employee may not be able to hear a transmission.
· If no contact was made after three attempts, OCC shall call a “No Answer” on the air.  The Lead Supervisor for that district will immediately be notified of the “No Answer”.  It will be the responsibility of the Lead Supervisor to contact the unit that is not answering his/her radio.
· Excessive violations of the “No Answer” policy may lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
· Emergency
· It is the policy of OCC to manage radio communications and Field personnel during emergencies.  OCC may direct Field personnel to tactical channels and/or specific locations as first responder.  Field personnel shall provide frequent, accurate updates.
· Field personnel shall be prepared to function as Incident Commander at any incident.
· When directed by OCC to another channel, Field personnel shall announce their arrival to that channel.
· Remain on the directed tactical channel or scene until cleared by a Field Operation Manager, Lead, or OCC.
· If “Non-Emergency” traffic is declared by OCC, Field personnel will hold all
non-emergency/non-incident related traffic until regular “air” is returned and announced by OCC.
· Use of clear voice in radio transmissions is preferred to the use of radio call codes.  Only use the following approved radio call codes.
· Radio Call Codes
The radio call codes approved for use on TriMet radio channels are:
10-4 Acknowledged/situation under control
10-8 In service/clear
10-11 On company property
10-19 Return to office
10-22 Inter-unit communication
10-23 Arrived on the scene
10-74 Servicing of equipment
10-79 Out of service/end of shift, supervisory
Code 33 – Baker Bomb threat
Code 9 All trains stop and hold your position at next platform
12-34 Mentally unbalanced individual

· Pagers
· Field personnel will carry their company-issued pager at all hours while on duty in the field.  The pager must be on and carried in such a manner as to be noticed immediately by the field unit when a page is received.
· The pagers will be monitored for urgent or emergency information from OCC/Leads/Managers.  This information will be of both safety and service concerns and may be for notification purposes or instructional purposes.
· Any instructions listed on the pager will be of communications orders and may require the field unit to respond on a radio channel, telephone, or to a location. The response must be done in a timely matter dictated by the urgency of the information.


Erik H. said...

The radio call codes approved for use on TriMet radio channels are:
10-4 Acknowledged/situation under control
10-8 In service/clear
10-11 On company property
10-19 Return to office
10-22 Inter-unit communication
10-23 Arrived on the scene
10-74 Servicing of equipment
10-79 Out of service/end of shift, supervisory
Code 33 – Baker Bomb threat
Code 9 All trains stop and hold your position at next platform
12-34 Mentally unbalanced individual

Wow, talk about confusing. TriMet isn't the LAPD for Pete's sake!

Simplify, man, to this:

Code Red: Fire
Code Blue: Medical
Code Black: Mechanical
Code Green: Biohazard
Code Yellow: Service disruption
Code White: Disturbance/Police Needed
Code Brown: Bomb

Code Adam: Found a missing or unattended child

The other 10-codes are really unnecessary. It is not necessary to use the ten codes for brevity as radio users will use short phrases to identify what they mean; there's nothing really secretive that happens on TriMet's radio frequencies; and in the next year or so it'll all be digital which will make it damned near impossible to listen to on a police scanner (and probably encrypted, too, making it impossible.)

punkrawker4783 said...

Here, we have no codes, we just tell them whats up.

Max said...

This looks like the result of TriMet writing a document following PPB's use of the radio.

TriMet's practical procedure:
- always announce unit number & (sometimes) location

- sometimes "10-4" but otherwise no 10 codes are used.

- don't swear or make inappropriate comments

- announce when you're available for duty & signing off

... and that's basically it.

Generally speaking you won't hear 10 codes, you won't hear "no answer" or "non-emergency traffic off the air", etc -- that's all stuff that you find with the PPB, not TriMet.