Broward County (FL) Overview
From The RadioReference Wiki
Broward County, Florida, provides fire and rescue as well as police services to unincorporated areas of the county and by contract to several municipalities.
As part of an effort to unify the various and sundry pieces under one umbrella, former Sheriff Ken Jenne took over police services for municipalities such as Pompano Beach, Deerfield Beach, and Tamarac. BSO (Broward Sheriff's Office) also provides dispatch and communications services for even more jurisdictions that have their own police departments.
He also took over the county Department of Fire Rescue in October 2003 when all operational and administrative responsibilities were transferred from the Broward County Board of County Commissioners to the Broward Sheriff's Office. As with police services, several jurisdictions contract for fire and rescue services from Broward County rather than maintaining their own fleet and employees.
This overlap can be confusing to the newcomer trying to monitor public safety communications in Broward. BSO law enforcement covers roughly 40% of the populated area of Broward County, but dispatches about 60% of it. Of the remainder, most have their own radio systems, some of which are zones of the Broward SmartZone trunked system. There are a few conventional systems still in use, as well.
Who Is Where
- Broward County - all county owned and operated stations are dispatched on Broward fire North dispatch channel, BSO deputies operate on various talkgroups depending on their beat. See Broward County TRS1
- Coconut Creek - fire on Coral Springs shared trunked system, police on conventional 800MHz system
- Cooper City - fire on Broward North dispatch, police on 5A, both on the Broward County TRS site 1
- Coral Springs - fire and police on Coral Springs TRS
- Dania Beach - fire on Hollywood digital TRS, site 3 of BC TRS, police on 3A on Broward County TRS site 1
- Davie - fire on Broward South, police on 5A, both on Broward County TRS site 1
- Deerfield Beach - fire on Deerfield Beach TRS, which is site 2 of BC TRS, police on 9A on Broward TRS site 1
- Fort Lauderdale - fire and police on Fort Lauderdale TRS, site 4 of BC TRS
- Hallandale Beach - fire on Broward South, police on 4A, both on Broward TRS site 1
- Hillsboro Beach - police on 9A on Broward TRS site 1
- Hollywood - fire and police both on Hollywood digital TRS, site 3 of BC TRS
- Lauderdale Lakes - fire on Broward North, police on 6B, both on Broward TRS site 1
- Lauderhill - fire on Broward West, police on 6B, both on Broward TRS site 1
- Lauderdale-by-the-Sea - fire on Broward North, police on 9A, both on Broward TRS site 1
- Lazy Lake - these four houses are protected by BSO Oakland Park on 6A on the Broward TRS site 1
- Lighthouse Point - fire on Broward West, police on 9A, both on Broward TRS site 1
- Margate - fire and police both on Coral Springs TRS
- Miramar - in transition
- North Lauderdale - fire on Broward West, police on 7A, both on Broward TRS site 1
- Oakland Park - fire on Broward West, police on 6A, both on Broward TRS site 1
- Parkland - fire and police both on Coral Springs TRS
- Pembroke Park - fire on Broward North, police on 4A, both on Broward TRS site 1
- Pembroke Pines - fire and police both on Broward TRS site 1
- Plantation - fire and police both on Plantation TRS, or site 5 of the BC TRS
- Pompano Beach - fire and police both on the Fort Lauderdale TRS, listed as site 4 of BC TRS
- Sea Ranch Lakes - fire on Broward West, police on 9A, both on Broward TRS site 1
- Seminole Reservation - fire on Broward South, police on conventional high band
- Southwest Ranches - fire on Broward North, police on 3A, both on Broward TRS site 1
- Sunrise - fire and police both on Broward TRS site 1
- Tamarac - fire on Broward West, police on 7A, both on Broward TRS site 1
- Weston - fire on Broward North, police on 3A, both on Broward TRS site 1
- Wilton Manors - fire and police both on Fort Lauderdale TRS, site 4 of Broward TRS
1 - TRS = trunked radio system; BC TRS = Broward County TRS
2 - Although Broward County subsumed other trunked systems into its SmartZone plan, for the purposes of the scanner enthusiast you should program each Broward County TRS site as a separate trunked system into your scanner. This will have to be done manually, as the automated web service of RadioReference will glom all talkgroups into the same system on your scanner and you will not hear what you expect to hear. For example, Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach will be heard on the Fort Lauderdale system, which is known as site 4 of the Broward County trunked radio system. However, if you program Fort Lauderdale or Pompano talkgroups into your scanner on Broward's main site 1, you won't hear anything.
3 - Pay no attention to the fire dispatch channel names 'North', 'West', and 'South' as they imply nothing as to which units can be heard on them. They are simply three different dispatch channels to spread the load, that's all.
Fire and EMS
For most fire and major rescue incidents dispatched on Broward fire North, West, and South talkgroups units are switched to the first available of tac A, tac B, and tac C, in sequence. While three tactical talkgroups are allocated, they don't always have three dispatchers available to work each channel simultaneously so you might hear activity on an "unmonitored" tac channel.
On large incidents requiring mutual aid from other fire departments, the zone 12 talkgroups (12A through 12O) might be used or patched over to the primary fireground talkgroup. Beware that sometimes 12B is used for training exercises and other 12 zone talkgroups are used for coordinating special events. Also 12 Oscar often has law enforcement traffic on it, even though the zone 14 talkgroups are set aside for that use. The 12 zone talkgroups must be requested from and assigned by the dispatch supervisor prior to use.
Stations 17/23 (HazMat), 32 (Technical Rescue Team), and Air Rescue 85, are always dispatched on Broward fire North channel.
Wikipedia:Broward County Uniform Station Numbering lists fire stations in Broward County, including municipalities.
Interoperability is provided by the zone 14 talkgroups, 14A through 14O (14 Oscar). These talkgroups may be used for special events, coordination between police departments during chases or investigations, and on those occasions as a backup when a jurisdiction has trouble with its own trunked system, as happens far too frequently with the Fort Lauderdale trunked radio system.
The police helicopter is named the 'Papa' unit and uses BSO 8A as its home channel. When the helo is needed to assist another district he switches to that talkgroup; when finished he returns to 8A. Monitoring the repeater input frequencies for the Broward trunked system often allows the helo to be heard; this can be used as your trigger to monitor the associated talkgroup to hear the full conversation.