No comms, NO panic, No signals-PANIC

Every company doing this business does not have a cache of radios and if you do like we do, you’ll find that as soon as you are convinved to but the latest and greatest, they are out of date as soon as you get the receipt.  The other thing your radio rep doesn’t tell you is that they need to be periodically sent back to be serviced.  There is a cost associated to certain service.  Bottom line is radios and their up-keep is expensive.  The solution that is often used is renting the radios.  There is no up-keep and service with renting.  The second plus to this is that you can often rent the newer models that are out.  If you already have radios and need more a good radio rep can freq the rental radios to your already existing frequency.

One of the other issues with radios is 2 wires or surveillance kits.  Many specialists have their own kits but all 2 wire kits do not fit every radio.  The best way to alleviate the problem is have your own pig tail and earpiece.  That way all you have to do is snap it on to the existing 2 wire.  The next issue is hiding all the wires.  I have a system that I use to keep all of my comm gear in one unit and out of the way.

Now that I have gone through the ups and downs of buying and renting radios let me get to the alternative.  When we teach our course at TheMTMS we teach how to operate sans radios.  Why?  Whenever you rely on comms you will be like a deer in headlights when yours goes out.  What happens is that you’ll see someone on the shift talking and you’ll hear nothing in your ears-you panic.  Or someone will come up to you with “that look” on their face and say, “Did you copy my last?”  The bottom line is that private sector radios are often a crutch for the average specialist.  Even America’s most elite warriors have been inserted across the lines of safety and have had problems with the most expensive and highly technical equipment.  If you do not train to work without them, you will find yourself in a panic when they go bad.  Trust me, they will go bad on you.  UHF, VHF and digital will go south on you.  Think about your cell phone.  “Can you hear me now?” How many times have you heard, “You are broken and unreadable.” Just because someone says, “You’re lima charlie [loud and clear to the unitiated] at the beginning of the detail doesn’t mean you’ll copy them 5 minutes later.

So what’s the solution to the doom and despair scenario? You never know who’s radio is going bad unless you end your transmission with, ” all stations.”  Who ever doesn’t respond is probably the one who’s radio is failing or in a bad area.  The person closest to him needs to try to relay the message and ascertain if location is the demon.  I am NOT a fan of the push to talk solution.  The old nextel solution is not the way to go.  It’s not only intrusive, it is not professional.  Open radios or phones are very minor league in an industry of professionalism, notwithstanding the fact that everyone in earshot can hear what you are doing.

When working the formation I prefer using subtle hand signals.  Whispering commands are often not heard amidst other background noises coupled with the fact that you don’t want to be overheard.  When you have a well oiled machine of experienced specialists thee signals and radio transmissions are limited anyway because everyone is on point.

Think about this and try using signals as a back up to

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