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Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) (CA)

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Statewide Mutual Aid Radio Plans and Systems

Cal OES owns and operates three interconnected mobile relay radio networks for mutual aid coordination and oversees a number of communications channels for field-level coordination purposes. The Statewide Mutual Aid Radio System (SMARS) is the overarching program encompassing the interconnected networks: the California Emergency Services Radio System (CESRS), California Law Enforcement Radio System (CLERS), and Cal OES Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid Coordination Network (FIRE Net).

CALCORD

Users: All California local government public safety agencies
The California On-Scene Emergency Coordination System (CALCORD) provides a common radio frequency to be used by State and local public safety and special emergency agencies during emergencies where interagency coordination is required. The CALCORD channel is only to be used in mobile and portable units at the scene of any emergency incident requiring coordinate action by more than one agency. These agencies must be eligible to operate in the Public Safety or Special Emergency Radio Services. Base stations are not authorized on CALCORD. Use of this system is limited to emergency operations, with the exception of tests and drills

CESRS

Users: Cal OES and county-level emergency services
CESRS (California Emergency Services Radio System) is the network Cal OES uses for direction and control/mutual aid coordination. It connects Cal OES Regions, field staff, and many Operational Area Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) via two-way radios.

CLERS

Users: Law enforcement agencies
CLERS is the law enforcement community’s mutual aid coordination radio network. It supports dispatcher-to-dispatcher communications at any level (City to Operational Area to Region to State) and is not intended to be used by field units.

CALAW

The California Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Radio System (CALAW) is designed for necessary day-to-day operations, provided such use does not interfere with a higher priority need in the area. The National Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Radio System (VLAW31 formerly called NALEMARS) is one of the channels included within the CALAW pool of frequencies, allowing for communication with similarly equipped units from agencies in other parts of the United States. Law Enforcement agencies must inform other area (line-of-sight) user agencies when they are involved in high priority usage of CALAW channels.
CALAW9 and 9D: Due to special license restrictions, this channel is available only to Law Enforcement agencies located north of (and including) the counties of Monterey, Kings, Tulare, and Inyo.
CALAW5D: Due to special license restrictions, this simplex channel is available only to Law Enforcement agencies with base stations located within 50 miles of Los Angeles City Hall (mobiles and portables within 80 miles).

Cal OES Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid Coordination Network

Users: Fire Mutual Aid Coordinators at the State, regional, and Operational Area levels.
The Cal OES Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid Coordination Network is known as FIRE Net. It was formerly known as the Office of Emergency Services (OES) FIRE. FIRE Net is a dedicated radio network to support the Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System. Cal OES FIRE Net supports the 65 Fire Operational Areas and the six Mutual Aid Regions as well as all Cal OES fire engines and support vehicles.

VFIRE

Users: Fire agencies.
The six VFIRE channels are designated by the Federal Communications Commission as "Intersystem" channels, and are intended solely for interagency fire operations, i.e. mutual aid. VFIRE21 may be used under special conditions for alerting or warning and for announcements of special interest and is Command only otherwise. In California VFIRE22 and VFIRE23 are intended for on-scene use only.

CAFIRE

Users: Fire and EMS agencies.
The California Fire and Medical Mutual Aid Radio Systems (CAFIRE formerly FIREMARS) consists of two repeated channels (one statewide, CAFIRE1, one usable in the 48 northern counties CAFIRE2) in the 800 MHz spectrum for fire and emergency medical services (EMS) communications. Fire Department UHF Mutual Aid (FDUMA) is the implementation of CAFIRE UHF in Los Angeles County. It was named to differentiate it from other CAFIRE channels without having to resort to using a numeric identifier after the channel name. Use of FDUMA is restricted to Los Angeles County.

VMED28

Users: Any agency that delivers medical services.
The basic usage of VMED28, (formerly called Hospital Emergency Administrative Radio - HEAR) is limited to communications between hospitals and ambulances or, in cases of large-scale and disaster operations, between hospitals intended for emergency traffic. Certain areas of California have established separate operational plans that supersede the basic plan.

Cal OES HF

Users: All California state agencies that have emergency assignments during periods of disasters and have a requirement to communicate with other California agencies.
The Cal OES High Frequency (HF) system is a fixed omni-directional simplex radio system maintained at the Regional Emergency Operation Centers and State Operations Centers.

STACOM

Users: State civil defense and emergency management agencies
As part of Cal OES HF, the State Communications System (STACOM) HF (2-8 MHz) system is designed to provide point-to- point emergency radio communications coverage across the state. This system implements the FCC "State Emergency Capability Using Radio Effectively" (“Operation SECURE”) capability and is licensed and operated in accordance with FCC Rules Part 90 - Private Land Mobile Services and in accordance with FCC Public Notice 2419. STACOM is not used for routine operation.


References

Cal OES Public Safety Communications