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Function Tags


Function tagging allows frequencies and talkgroups to be placed into general category-based groups. Do not be concerned that the wording of the function tag names does not exactly match what you believe to be the use of the frequency or talkgroup. Function tags should enable novice users to easily "filter" the frequencies or talkgroups for which they are searching.

Some examples of how this data is used includes:

  • Queries of individual service uses within a specific area (e.g., display all fire dispatch frequencies and talkgroups in Dallas County).
  • Program a scanner with all police dispatch channels in Southern California.


Tags and Guidance for Use

  • Aircraft – For civilian aircraft and air traffic control operations most typically in the 118-136 MHz and 225-380 MHz bands in AM mode.
  • Business – For most business related entities not covered by other tags. Please note that the following tags override the "Business" tag and should always be used instead when they are applicable: Media, Railroad, Security, Transportation and Utilities.
  • Corrections – For jail/prison operations and other corrections activities, including federal prisons.
  • Data – For data, paging, telemetry and most non-voice operations. Do not tag encrypted voice frequencies or talkgroups as "Data" (they should be tagged with the more specific tag).
  • Deprecated – This tag denotes a frequency or talkgroup that is no longer used. This tag should be used only temporarily during transition/migration periods for new radio systems. Frequencies and talkgroups should be deleted when they are truly obsolete.
  • Emergency Ops – For Emergency Operation Centers and similar emergency management or disaster related operations.
  • EMS Dispatch – For EMS dispatch (including Rescue Squads).
  • EMS-Tac – For EMS on-scene communications, tactical operations and secondary channels. Please note that EMS-to-Hospital communications should be tagged with "Hospital."
  • EMS-Talk – For EMS talk-around, car-to-car and supervisor operations.
  • Federal – For all federal government operations (except corrections, traditional law enforcement patrol and fire/EMS operations which should be tagged using the more appropriate tags).
  • Fire Dispatch – For fire dispatch, including combined fire/EMS dispatch.
  • Fire-Tac – For fireground, tactical and on-scene communications, including combined fire/EMS operations.
  • Fire-Talk – For fire talk-around and car-to-car operations, chiefs, supervisors, etc., including combined fire/EMS operations.
  • Ham – For any amateur radio assignment.
  • Hospital – For EMS-to-Hospital communications and patient reports (e.g., "Med" or "HEAR" channels). Please note that hospital operations, maintenance, etc. should be tagged with "Business."
  • Interop – Interoperability communications, cross-agency communications, mutual aid, etc.
  • Law Dispatch – Law enforcement dispatch.
  • Law Tac – Law enforcement tactical, SWAT, on-scene, surveillance and specific sub-agency communications.
  • Law Talk – Law enforcement talk-around, car-to-car and supervisor operations.
  • Media – Newspapers, television and broadcast radio operations (most commonly in the 450/455 MHz and 161 MHz bands in the USA).
  • Military – All military operations (e.g., range control, air-to-air combat, etc.) including Civil Air Patrol in the USA. Military law, fire and EMS should be tagged with the appropriate law, fire or EMS tag.
  • Multi-Dispatch – For combined law enforcement and fire/EMS dispatch.
  • Multi-Tac – For combined law enforcement and fire/EMS tactical and on-scene communications.
  • Multi-Talk – For combined law enforcement and fire/EMS tactical talk-around and car-to-car operations.
  • Other – Anything not covered by the other tags. Note: This tag should rarely – if ever – be used, so in general pretend like it does not even exist. Administrators sometimes incorrectly use the "Other" tag on frequencies and talkgroups that should be labeled "Public Works."
  • Public Works – Public agency non-public safety communications. This includes any non-public safety government services, such as trash, streets, roads, sewer, zoos, administration, maintenance, animal control, community initiatives, code compliance, etc. Please do not use the "Other" tag for government services. Exceptions: Public transportation and government security services should be tagged with "Transportation" or "Security" respectively.
  • Railroad – All common carrier railroad communications.
  • Security – Non-law enforcement security operations, including private security companies, non-commissioned government agency security, school security, etc.
  • Schools – School-related communications (schools, school buses, football games, etc.). Exception: Security should be tagged with "Security" and law enforcement should be tagged with the appropriate law enforcement tag.
  • Transportation – Public and private bus, taxi and public passenger rail (isolated rail systems not connected to a common carrier railroad network) communications (except school buses).
  • Utilities – Private electric, water, natural gas, phone, cable TV, etc. operations. Note: Utility services provided by a government agency should be tagged with "Public Works."


The complete list of all function tags and their designated usage is also found in the Database Administrator Handbook.




Return to Wiki pages: Tags, Database Help


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