Binghamton University maintains an extensive communication system for emergency situations. All policy and equipment issues related to public safety radio frequencies and equipment are managed by the Binghamton University Emergency Management Program, with input from internal departments (i.e. New York State University Police, Environmental Health and Safety, Facilities Management, etc.)
Harpur's Ferry Student Volunteer Ambulance Service (HFSVAS) manages its own set of emergency frequencies, separate from University-licensed frequencies managed by the Emergency Management Program.
Emergency Management operates two-way radio frequencies on the ultra-high (UHF) radio band. The radio system is a Motorola MotoTrbo digital/analog system.
The radio repeaters will operate on the following frequencies:
- This information is confidential and shall only be released to individuals with need-to-know status. Written requests for this information may be submitted to the director of Emergency Management. The director shall evaluate the request to determine if the information may be released.
The radio system operates the following channels:
- 1-1 SUNY Dispatch
- 1-2 Ops A
- 1-3 Ops B (LEO)
- 1-4 Ops C-NoRptr
- 1-5 SUNY Talkaround
- 1-6 EH&S/ERT
- 1-7 Parking Services
- 1-8 HF Ops
- 1-9 HF Tac
- 1-10 Facilities Management
- 1-11 Escorts
- 1-12 Bldg Admin
- 1-13 Rec Inside
- 1-14 Rec Outside
- 1-15 AndersonCtr
- 1-16 OCCT
The radio system is capable of integrating with analog UHF radio frequencies. The following radio channels are integrated into the Binghamton University public safety radio system:
- Harpur’s Ferry Operations/Dispatch
- Harpur’s Ferry Tactical
- Western Broome Fire Channel 1 (UHF continuous crossband)
- Events Center
- Building Administrators
- Facilities Management
- U-TAC 1
- U-TAC 2
- U-TAC 3
- Broome County Hazmat Channel 1
- Broome County Hazmat Channel 2
- Binghamton Fire Department
- Johnson City Fire Department
- Broome County Event UHF Channels 1-6
- Broome Security
- SUNY Broome Public Safety
SUNY Dispatch – Frequency Patches
Binghamton University emergency services dispatchers are capable of establishing “patches” between frequencies in the UHF and VHF bandwidths. Patches may also be established between two-way radios and telephony. To establish a patch, SUNY Dispatch must be contacted and the patch must be requested. When the patch is no longer required, SUNY Dispatch must be immediately notified and the patch will be disabled.
Use of Radio Channels
Use of University radio frequencies shall be for the sole purpose of official University business and shall follow all appropriate FCC guidelines and policies.
Radios with the ability to transmit on a NYSUP or HFSVAS frequency shall be limited to the following departments/agencies:
- University Police personnel and vehicles
- Environmental Health and Safety personnel and vehicles
- Emergency Response Team (ERT) Officers
- Harpur's Ferry Ambulance Officers and vehicles
- Broome County Office of Emergency Services (OES)
- Any other agency or individual as approved by the NYSUP Chief of Police (for NYSUP frequencies)
- Any other agency or individual as approved by the HFSVAS Chief (for HFSVAS frequencies)
SUNY Dispatch: Shall be used as the primary frequency for day-to-day operations of emergency responders on the Binghamton University campus (not including HFSVAS). Transmissions should be brief so as not to interfere with the primary purpose of the frequency, which is the dispatching of emergency services.
Ops A, B and C: Operations channels are for the use of public safety personnel while operating at the scene of an incident or when transmissions may be long and could potentially disrupt or interfere with normal dispatch operations on channel 1-1. Ops channels may be assigned by NYSUP dispatchers if necessary. Ops B shall be restricted to law enforcement use only and shall be limited to use on NYSUP radios. All Ops channels shall be encrypted.
Parking Services: Shall be reserved for Parking Services staff.
Escorts: Shall be reserved for NYSUP student escorts.
Environmental Health and Safety and Emergency Response Team: Shall be reserved for EH&S staff and for ERT staff for operations and/or training.
Gateway Radio (Radio Inter-Operable System = RIOS)
The University maintains a portable gateway radio. This system is capable of being mobilized and delivered to an incident that may otherwise be beyond the reach of the University’s radio system.
The University’s gateway radio (radio call signal = BASE) may be used during emergency incidents and planned events. The gateway radio allows for the ability to communicate between any type of dissimilar communications systems, e.g. radios, telephones, computers and other forms of communications systems may be connected into “Talk Groups.” The communications between the radios is controlled through the use of a laptop computer. The gateway radio will allow for the full capabilities of a dispatch center (telephones, radios and data). The computer functions both as the database and recorder server.
Any member of the command/general staff, unit director or group leader who wishes to communicate on any other radio frequency may contact BASE and request a link be established. When a link between agencies/frequencies/bands has been established, the BASE operator will transmit a message stating that the link has been established. Prior to breaking a link, the BASE operator will transmit a message stating that the link will be discontinued.
- Every effort shall be made to limit radio traffic on all radio frequencies. Only essential communications shall be made over the airwaves.
- Think before you transmit. Know what you want to say. Say it, and get off the air. Speak distinctly; be brief and concise and do not mumble.
- If possible, have face-to-face communication.
- Plain language terminology shall be used. 10-Codes or other coded systems shall not be utilized.
- Keep your radio turned down to a level that allows you to hear the transmission, but not so loud that everyone around you can hear the transmission. This is for security reasons as well as common courtesy.
- Prior to transmitting a radio message, depress the push-to-talk button and wait approximately two seconds. This will ensure your message is not accidentally ‘cut-off’. Hold the microphone portion of the radio approximately one inch from your lips and speak slowly and clearly in a normal to loud voice. Do not hold the microphone directly in front of your mouth, but slightly to the side and at an angle of about 45 degrees so you talk across the face of the microphone instead of "blowing" into it.
- Do not shout or yell into the microphone; it will cause an extremely distorted signal.
- When hailing someone, identify yourself first and then identify the person whom you are calling. Example: “Command to EMS Director” or “Safety to Hazmat.”
- When answering a hail, identify yourself and acknowledge the caller. Example: “Planning on. Go ahead Operations” or “Strike Team Leader on. Go ahead Strike Team 2.”
- When communicating essential information, have the information repeated back from the person receiving the information to the person sending the information. This allows the information to be confirmed and minimizes the potential for misunderstanding the message.
- Never use obscene language on the radio. Remember that our transmissions are monitored by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
National Incident Management System (NIMS):
During emergency incidents and large, planned events, a significant number of radios and radio frequencies may be utilized to manage the incident.
Personnel will be assigned frequencies on which they are allowed to operate during this event and will be expected to refrain from using any other frequencies. NIMS form ICS-205 shall be used to document and track the frequencies assigned during the incident.
The following call-signals shall be used for all radio communications during emergency incidents and large planned events:
COMMAND Incident Commander
SAFETY Safety Officer
PIO Public Information Officer
LIAISON Liaison Officer
OPS or OPERATIONS Operations Chief
PLANNING Planning Chief
LOGISTICS Logistics Chief
Group / Unit Leaders
POLICE SUPERVISOR Police Group Supervisor
EMS SUPERVISOR Emergency Medical System Group Supervisor
FIRE SUPERVISOR Fire Group Supervisor
FACILITIES SUPERVISOR Facilities Management Group Supervisor
TRAFFIC UNIT LEADER Parking Services/Traffic Unit Leader
CODE Code Compliance Unit Leader
HAZMAT Hazmat Unit Leader
VESTAL FIRE Vestal Fire Department Unit Leader
TREATMENT EMS Treatment Unit Leader
TRIAGE EMS Triage Unit Leader
EMS SAFETY EMS Safety Officer
EMS STAGING EMS Staging Unit Leader
TRANSPORT EMS Transport Unit Leader
HOSPITAL LIAISON Hospital Liaison
STRIKE TEAM LEADER Strike Team Unit Leader
STRIKE TEAM 1 BLS Two-person team – Geographic region 1
STRIKE TEAM 2 BLS Two-person team – Geographic region 1
STRIKE TEAM 3 BLS Two-person team – Geographic region 1
STRIKE TEAM 4 BLS Two-person team – Geographic region 1
EXTRICATION STRIKE TEAM 5 BLS Two-person team – Geographic region 1
STRIKE TEAM ALPHA BLS Two-person team – Geographic region 2
STRIKE TEAM BRAVO BLS Two-person team – Geographic region 2
EXTRICATION STRIKE TEAM CHARLIE BLS Two-person team – Geographic region 2
GATOR TEAM X-RAY BLS Two-person team – Geographic region 2
GATOR TEAM ZEBRA BLS Two-person team – Geographic region 2
Facilities Division (examples)
MAINTENANCE Maintenance Unit Leader
SHUTTLE LEADER Shuttle Bus Unit Leader
EVENTS CENTER Events Center Mgt. Staff Unit Leader
WEST GYM West Gym Building Staff Unit Leader
Section 1. Introduction
Binghamton University is located in Broome County in south central New York and is bounded by the state of Pennsylvania to the south, Tioga County to the west, Delaware County to the east and Cortland and Chenango counties to the north. The population of Broome County is just under 200,000 and is divided into one city, seven villages and sixteen towns. The topography is rolling with three major valleys; two north to south and one from northeast to southwest.
Law enforcement in Broome County is provided by the Broome County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, one city police department, one town police department and four village police departments. Other law enforcement agencies that are present in the county are the New York State Park Police, New York State University Police, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police, New York State Forest Rangers and Broome County Security.
The county is also protected by three career fire departments and 33 volunteer fire companies, one airport CFR eepartment, one private fire brigade and a University Emergency Response Team. Emergency medical service is provided by one totally proprietary ambulance, four private/volunteer ambulance corps and six volunteer ambulance corps.
All public safety agencies in the county are served by the Broome County Office of Emergency Services consolidated 911 Center that receives and dispatches all calls for service, both hard-line and wireless; this includes the direct dispatch of New York State Police and New York State Park Police in the closest car concept for all 911 calls. The dispatch function utilizes computer-aided dispatching, direct-radio dispatching, mobile data terminals and automatic vehicle location with mapping. In the event of a communications failure, the county utilizes three back-up sites as well as a complete back up of all 911 telephone lines and non-911 lines in remote locations. In the case of a major incident or event, the Office of Emergency Services has two mobile command/communications/operations vehicles that can be utilized to completely “take over” all on-scene communications. The Broome County 911 Center also has the capability of communicating with the following agencies: local highway departments, American Red Cross, State Emergency Management Office and surrounding county fire control centers.
The Broome County 911 Center utilizes six hilltop transmitter sites and one local transmitter site. All sites are linked by a 5 GHZ microwave system that allows radio and data transmission. Utilizing this arrangement, the dispatch center has 100% mobile radio coverage, 90% portable radio coverage and 95% pager coverage. The radio systems range from low band, high band and UHF for fire agencies to high band for EMS agencies and high band repeater for law enforcement agencies. The majority of public safety communications is in clear language with no codes utilized.
As communication equipment is purchased, every attempt is made to coordinate purchases so that all equipment is interchangeable by make and model.
1.2 Included Agencies
This plan shall include all emergency service agencies that operate within Broome County (town, village, county, state, and federal). These agencies include but are not limited to the following organizations:
- Fire departments (career and volunteer)
- Career (3)
- Volunteer (39)
- Airport CFR (1)
- Fire Brigade (2)
- Law enforcement agencies
- Broome County Sheriff’s Office
- Binghamton City Police Department
- Town police department (1)
- Village police department (4)
- New York State Police
- New York State University Police
- New York State Park Police
- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police
- New York State Forest Rangers
- Broome County Security
- Federal police agencies
- Emergency Medical Service (ambulance) agencies
- Private/volunteer ambulance corps (4)
- Private ambulance corps (1)
- Volunteer ambulance corps (6)
- State University of New York (Binghamton University)
- Emergency Response Team
- Environmental Health and Safety
- Harpur's Ferry Student Volunteer Ambulance Services
- New York State University Police
1.3 Points of Contact
Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan
Name: Michael Ponticiello
Title: Broome County Director of Emergency Services
Address: 153 Lt. VanWinkle Drive, Binghamton, NY 13905-1559
Name: Tom Vroman
Title: Broome County Deputy Fire Coordinator
Address: 153 Lt. VanWinkle Drive, Binghamton, NY 13905-1559
SyTech RIOS Gateway Radio
Name: David J. Hubeny
Title: Director of Emergency Management
Address: Binghamton University, PO Box 6000, Binghamton, NY 13760
Phone: 607-777-2049 (o) 607-343-3602 (c)
Section 2. Governance
The Broome County Office of Emergency Services operates a consolidated 911 Center and is the primary emergency management agency for Broome County. The office is managed by the director of emergency services.
In addition to the Broome County 911 Center, Binghamton University operates a 911 Center that serves the Binghamton University campus. This center is operated by the New York State University Police Department (NYSUPD) and is ultimately managed by the NYSUPD chief of police.
It will be the responsibility of the Broome County director of emergency services to manage the Interoperable Communications Plan. The NYSUPD chief of police shall be responsible for the management of the Gateway radio equipment. At the discretion of either manager, a designee may be appointed to represent his/her agency and/or a committee may be created to manage interoperable communications.
Local, county, state and federal agencies/organizations will be invited to participate in training and offer opinions on the use of interoperable radio equipment. Any organization that would like to participate in this process should contact the Broome County director of emergency services (listed above).
Section 3. Interoperability Equipment
3.1 Swap Radio
Broome County Office of Emergency Services maintains a cache of portable radios that may be utilized for emergency incidents and planned events. The county maintains the following equipment:
- 51 UHF radios (Motorola P1225 and HT600)
- 25 VHF radios
- 1 UHF portable repeater
3.2 Shared Channel
During the normal day-to-day activities of a 911 Center, the dispatch and information provided to public safety agencies in Broome County is undertaken on those agencies' normal dispatch frequency. In the event of a major emergency or inter-jurisdictional event, the following can occur:
- Most law enforcement agencies have the ability to switch over mobiles and portables to each other’s frequency.
- All law enforcement agencies have the ability to utilize the Interagency frequency.
- Most fire agencies have the ability to switch to low-band fire frequencies.
- The County 911 Center has the ability to cross-patch three different frequencies through the 911 Center.
- All emergency service agencies may activate the County Mobile Command/Operations unit which allows for the monitoring and communicating on all frequencies in a Unified Command Post.
Binghamton University owns and operates a SyTech SR-3001 Radio Inter Operability System (RIOS).
3.4 Shared System
All equipment listed in this plan is available to all agencies that participate as part of the Broome County mutual aid plan or as approved by the Broome County director of emergency services and/or the NYSUPD chief of police.
Section 4. Policies and Procedures for Interoperable Equipment
4.1 Swap Radios
The Broome County Office of Emergency Services maintains a cache of portable radios that may be utilized for emergency incidents and planned events. The county maintains the following equipment:
- 51 UHF radios (Motorola P1225 and HT600)
- 25 VHF radios
- 1 UHF portable repeater
The Swap Radios have multiple frequencies pre-programmed (the number of available frequencies depends on the model radio being used). Channel 1 of all UHF Swap Radios is preprogrammed to the UHF repeater. All other radio channels are programmable and can be set to a variety of frequencies.
Rules of Use
The Broome County Swap Radios are maintained by the Broome County Office of Emergency Services. Once the radios have been delivered to any other agency that agency becomes responsible for the radios and any related equipment (i.e. chargers, batteries, etc.). A signature from a person authorized to assume responsibility for the radios is required before the radios can be transferred.
Interoperable Communications Request
The Broome County Swap Radios may be requested for use at emergency incidents or planned events.
To request Swap Radios for an emergency incident, the incident commander shall contact Broome County dispatch and formally request the equipment. The dispatch supervisor will then contact the county fire coordinator or deputy fire coordinator to evaluate the request. If it is determined that the radios will be made available, the radios will be immediately delivered to the scene.
To request Swap Radios for a planned event, a senior official for the event must contact Tom Vroman, Deputy Fire Coordinator at 607-778-1918. The request will be evaluated and the availability of the radios will be determined within a few days of the request.
Radio Cache Activation
The radio cache will become active once the radios have been officially turned over to the requesting agency. If the UHF repeater is necessary, a representative from the Broome County Office of Emergency Services (OES) will work with the requesting agency to determine the most appropriate setup and use of the unit.
Radio Cache Deactivation
When the requesting agency determines it no longer requires the radio cache equipment, it will immediately notify the radio cache coordinator. The requesting agency shall collect and inventory all of the radio equipment prior to turning over to the radio cache coordinator. All equipment will be inventoried by the coordinator upon receipt.
Problem ID and Resolution
All problems/difficulties that are experienced with the Swap Radios shall be immediately reported to a Broome County fire coordinator or deputy fire coordinator. The details of the problem shall be provided to the fire coordinator’s office in writing, or verbally when circumstances prevent the timely submission of a written report.
Binghamton University owns and operates the SyTech SR-3001 Radio Inter Operability System (RIOS). The RIOS allows for the ability to communicate between any types of dissimilar communications systems, e.g. radios, telephones, computers and other forms of communications systems may be connected into “Talk Groups.” In addition to voice communications, the RIOS will also allow for data inter-operability, using 802.XX technology.
The RIOS consists of a computer, I/O chassis and the inter-connecting radios. The portable RIOS is small enough to be carried on a commercial airliner as checked baggage and can be easily configured in a vehicle such as a Suburban or any SUV. The I/O chassis provides for a DC input from the vehicle 12-volt system. The portable RIOS is typically used with portable hand held radios but may be used with land mobile radios (LMRs), thus increasing output power. LMRs that are computer controlled may be controlled from the dispatcher console, thus allowing for the dispatcher to remotely control the frequency of the radios. This remote radio control allows for the RIOS to have the frequency of the gateway radio match the frequency of the field radios.
The communications between the radios is controlled through the use of a PC computer and SyTech designed and developed software. The software is used to setup communications links between all types of communications systems. The RIOS will allow for the full capabilities of a dispatch center (telephones, radios and data). The main computer functions both as the database and recorder server. Additional PC’s can be connected via a LAN as client stations. These client stations have the full and complete suite of software to allow for the control of all communications. As audio from the communications is being recorded, the radio dispatcher/controller may also view the radio data (e.g. Caller ID, start time, duration, etc). Audio is recorded immediately to the archive media, magneto optical or DVD. Available to the radio dispatcher/operator is the full suite of the Advanced Digital and Analog Collection (ADACS) analysis software. After the call has ended, the operator may play back the call and use MS Word to provide a complete transcription of the recorded call. The playback audio is displayed as a frequency spectrum. This frequency spectrum allows the user to identify speakers or allows for forensic analysis. A remote computer may be connected to the system through the use of high-speed WANs or Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) lines. The system is fully compliant with all police, fire and EMS radio communications. A report writer-generator allows for the automatic creation of any reports required by police or fire departments. For example, traffic reports and individual user reports are fully automated.
In the United States, there are certain channels within the VHF and UHF range of frequencies that are reserved for interoperable communications. These frequencies can be used on a non-routine basis for interoperable communications between any local or state entity. Additionally, these channels can be used across interstate borders with neighboring public safety jurisdictions. The FCC has made these frequencies primary status as of January 1, 2005. Below are the frequencies and suggested labels.
VHF High Band (150-174 MHz)
151.1375 base/mobile VTAC 1
154.4525 base/mobile VTAC 2
155.7525 base/mobile VCALL
158.7375 base/mobile VTAC 3
159.4725 base/mobile VTAC 4
UHF High Band (450-470 MHz)
453.2125 base/mobile UCALL a
458.2125 base/mobile UCALL
453.4625 base/mobile UTAC 1a
458.4625 base/mobile UTAC 1
453.7125 base/mobile UTAC 2a
458.7125 mobile UTAC 2
453.8625 base/mobile UTAC 3a
458.8625 mobile UTAC 3
- Supported Radios
Broome OES Comm. Van/Harpur's Ferry Mobile Case
Binghamton University Dispatch
RIOS to RCU
RIOS Ext. Cable
4', 6', 8'
Rules of Use
The Binghamton University RIOS is maintained by the New York State University Police. Unless otherwise arranged, the RIOS will be delivered with at least one Binghamton University operator. The Binghamton University employee sent with the RIOS will be the only individual(s) that will be allowed to operate the radio. While the equipment is under the control of a trained operator/university employee, Binghamton University shall maintain all responsibility associated with the RIOS hardware. If arrangements have been agreed upon that allow the RIOS to be operated by non-University employee, the agency operating the equipment will assume all responsibility for the RIOS system and all associated hardware.
Prior to Binghamton University allowing other agency employees/members to operate the RIOS, each individual that will operate the RIOS must attend a training session on the proper use and maintenance of the equipment. Arrangements for training can be made by contacting Dave Hubeny, New York State University director of emergency management, at 607-777-2049.
Interoperable Communications Request
The Binghamton University Gateway Radio (RIOS) may be requested for use at emergency incidents or planned events.
To request the RIOS for an emergency incident, the incident commander shall contact Broome County dispatch and formally request the equipment. The dispatch supervisor will then contact the county fire coordinator or deputy fire coordinator to evaluate the request. If it is determined that the RIOS should be made available, Broome County shall contact the New York State University Police dispatch desk and request the equipment and an operator be sent to the scene. NYSUPD shall advise Broome dispatch of the estimated time of arrival (ETA) of the RIOS and the operator.
To request the RIOS for a planned event, a senior official for the event must contact Dave Hubeny, Binghamton University director of emergency management, at 607-777-2049. The request will be evaluated and the availability of the RIOS will be determined within a few days of the request. Broome County Emergency Services will be kept advised of all scheduled uses of the RIOS.
When the gateway radio arrives on the scene, the operator will report to the incident command post. With the Incident Commander, the gateway operator will determine the location where the equipment will be set up and what agencies need to communicate with each other. The RIOS operator will require one radio per agency, per frequency, that is included on the list of supported radios.
Prior to linking agencies/frequencies/bands, the RIOS operator will confirm with the IC the RIOS configuration. When a link between agencies/frequencies/bands has been established, the RIOS operator will transmit a message stating that the link has been established. Prior to breaking a link, the RIOS operator will transmit a message stating that the link will be discontinued.
While the RIOS is operating, the operator will monitor and record all transmissions. Requests to create and break links should be made to the incident command post (ICP) and then from the ICP to the RIOS operator.
When the RIOS will be deactivated, the operator will transmit a message stating that all links will be discontinued. The RIOS will be shut down and radio communications will return to normal status. The RIOS operator will advise the Broome County Office of Emergency Services (OES) that the RIOS has been shut down.
Problem ID and Resolution
All problems/difficulties that are experienced with the RIOS shall be immediately reported to the RIOS operator or Dave Hubeny, New York State University director of emergerncy management, at 607-777-2049. The details of the problem shall be provided in writing, or verbally when circumstances prevent the timely submission of a written report.
Section 5. Plans for Tactical Communications During an Incident
5.1 Participating Functional Disciplines
Tactical/emergency operations shall take priority above planned or non-emergency events. If interoperable equipment has been distributed and an emergency arises where the equipment is necessary, every effort shall be made to make the equipment available for the emergency operation.
5.2 Plan for Tactical Use of Interoperability Resources
Interoperable resources shall be used and managed within the structure of the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Form ICS-205 (INCIDENT RADIO COMMUNICATIONS PLAN) shall be used to manage these resources. The ICS form shall document the following items:
Detail what method or specific interoperability resources will be used for communication among the Incident Command Staff and with other sections' general staff.
Detail what method or specific interoperability resources will be used for communication within the Operations Section and with other sections' operations dtaff.
Detail what method or specific interoperability resources will be used for communication within the Planning Section and with other sections.
Detail what method or specific interoperability resources will be used for communication within the Logistics Section and with other sections.
While often not activated until later in a major incident (typically during the recovery phase), maintenance of detailed equipment and personnel activities and expenditures is critical for disaster reimbursement. If there is a communications requirement for this section, detail what method or specific interoperability resources will be used for communication within the Finance Section and with other sections.
Section 6. NIMS Training
All incidents requesting the use of interoperable radios shall follow the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Communications unit leaders, equipment radio operators, and other appropriate personnel shall meet all training and operational requirements set forth by NIMS.