York County Talkgroup Description

From The RadioReference Wiki


The flexibility of a trunked radio system allows York County to incorporate a near-endless number of talk groups. Previously, York County's law enforcement, fire, and EMS responders have been congested into a very small number of radio channels. For instance, all EMS users countywide were using a single radio channel for dispatch and operations. Fire users were in the same boat. Police users had far too few channels for their routine operations, and NO ability to expand in the event of a major incident. The new system provides each response discipline with almost ten times the talk group capacity as the previous systems.

Each police dispatch sector is provided a main dispatch group, three tactical groups, a car-to-car group, and a supervisor group. Additional police dispatch sectors have been added to reduce the extreme congestion experienced on the previous police dispatch system, specifically those police agencies in and around the York City metro area. Law enforcement agencies who previously had limited or no radio capabilities (such as District Attorney investigators) now have dedicated talk groups.

Emergency medical service users will enjoy two operational talk groups and two tactical talk groups, as well as the ability to access fire operation talk groups for those instances where EMS units respond on fire-related calls. Additionally, each hospital in the county has been assigned two talk groups for EMS-to-hospital communications.

Fire departments will notice expanded talk group capabilities as well. Previously, the county's nearly seventy fire departments had only one radio channel on which to communicate with the fire dispatcher, and five low-power channels to accommodate fire ground communications. The new system will give fire departments four talk groups for routine unit-to-dispatcher communications, and an additional ten talk groups for fire ground operations, ensuring that each working incident will retain it's own dedicated talk group. Having fire ground communications occur on system talk groups adds the safety factor of enabling a dispatcher to monitor the fire ground radio traffic, and also allows units responding from a distance to receive updates and orders from the fire ground commander via portable radio.

The county's emergency management agency (which operates the Hazardous Materials Response Team) has mirrored it's previous channel plan on the new system, including EMA communications, as well as Haz Mat operations and entry groups. Two additional talk groups allow the county's emergency management and 911 officials to directly and instantly communicate with officials at the Three Mile Island and Peach Bottom nuclear power stations.

Interagency and interoperability solutions have been built into the talk group plan as well. Three interagency talk groups enable police, fire, and EMS users to communicate with one another for routine and emergency matters. An additional four special event talk groups enable all county users to communicate during multi-discipline events.

Additionally, the county will be able to communicate with non-system users via microwave and VOIP patches made to mutual aid talk groups on the system. The plan is to enable this level of interoperability to each non-system user bordering or transiting York County, including Cumberland County, Dauphin County, Lancaster County, Adams County, Harford County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, PA State Police, and PA Turnpike Authority.

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