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Kootenai National Forest Radio Users Guide Revised: 6/ 24 /2020 Introduction This guide is designed to assist radio users in operating the Kootenai National Forest’s (KNF) radio system. The system utilizes Kenwood and Bendix/King Mobile radios, and Bendix/King and KNG hand – held radios that have been programmed to the frequencies. Users will be required to attend annual training to obtain an understanding of how the KNF ‘s radio system works and how to properly use a radio to communicate. Radio users should read this guide and use it in the field as a reference. For est Radio System: Within the KNF there are three radio frequency zones comprised of a series of base stations and mountaintop repeaters. The radio zones are Ksanka, Libby, and West. Radio base stations are s Office, Kootenai Interagency Di spatch Center (KDC), Libby Helibase, and on Blue Mountain. They are used for direct communications to the field or to access mountaintop repeater s for additional coverage. Kootenai Interagency Dispatch Center is broken in to two dispatch zones. They are the East Zone and the West Zone. The East Zone is comprised of two districts , (Libby Ranger District and Ksanka Ranger District) and the Montana DNRC Libby Unit . The East Zone is broken into two separate radio networks . The Libby network operate s under the 172.2500 MHz frequency on all repeaters. The Ksanka network operates under a 171.2625 MHz frequency. The West Zone i s comprised of two districts ; Three Rivers Ranger District and Cabinet Ranger District. The West Zone network operate s under the 171.3875 MHz frequency on all repeaters . Base station locations are as follow s : Base Stations Base Station Call Signs Blue Mountain for the Koote nai Interagency Kootenai Dispatch Dispatch Center (KDC) Libby Helibase located at Libby Airport Libby Helibase Eureka Ranger Station Rexford Canoe Gulch Ranger Station Canoe Gulch / Libby District Libby Fire Cache Libby Fire Cache Troy Ranger Station Three Rivers / D4 Cabinet Ranger Station Cabinet Base stations, mobile and handheld radios are programmed with the same channel plan. (see KNF Channel Plan). All radios ( handheld s , mobiles, desk remotes and consoles ) have an a lpha/numeric display which shows the channel name.

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Kootenai National Forest Radio Users Guide Revised: 6/ 24 /2020 Repeaters Each of the following mountain tops have a repeater . Th e name next to the repeater rep resents which dispatch zone that repeater is associated with. Webb Mountain ( East ) Pinkham Mountain ( East ) Mount Marston ( East ) King Mountain ( West ) Mount Baldy ( West ) Mount Henry (West) Blue Mountain ( East/ West ) Calx Mountain ( East/ West ) Tony Peak ( East ) Horse Mountain (East) Allen Peak ( East /West ) Cougar Peak ( West ) Berray Mountain ( West ) Government Mountain ( West ) 80 Peak ( West ) Minton Peak (West) It is important to be aware of repeater locations so that the closest and most accessible site can be selected, even though the repeater may not be located on your district . Radios have limited range so their signals can easily be blocked by mountains. Therefore, a repeater may allow you to communicate in places where you would not be able to without using it. Work and Tac Channels Each district will have one work channel and at least two tac channels. Each channel will still have a unique tone for each district. See the KNF Ch annel Plan to reference the RX/ TX frequency and Tone for each of these channels. These channels are desig ned for day to day field and fire work. Radio Traffic Priorities: At all times, the following priorities are in effect: 1. LIFE AND DEATH 2. AIRCRAFT 3. NEW FIRE REPORTS 4. ON – GOING FIRES 5. WEATHER REPORTS 6. ADMINISTRATIVE

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Kootenai National Forest Radio Users Guide Revised: 6/ 24 /2020 Radio Protocol: The 171.3875 MHz frequency is used by the West Zone as a Com mand frequency. All West Zone administrative traffic will use this frequency. In general, Troy and Cabinet Districts (a dministrative and f ire) should be using these channels . The 171.2625 MHz frequency is utilized on the Ksanka radio network . It is used by the northern half of the East Zone as a Command frequency. In general, all Ksanka District traffic ( admin strative and f ire) should be using the se channe ls . The 172.2500 MHz frequency is utilized on the Libby radio network. It is used on the southern half of the East Zone as a Command frequency. In general, Libby District traffic (administrative and fire) should be using these channels. The 168.7750 frequency is W is separated by District (ex. D7 WORK) . All Work channels have a tone that is specific to each district. The 171.475 0 frequency is T ac 1 is separated by District (ex. D7 TAC 1 ). All Tac c hannels have a tone that is specific to each district. The 167.1125 frequency is T ac 2 and is separated by District (ex. D 4 TAC 2). All secondary Tac channels have a tone that is specific to each district. N OTE : D7 has been given a n additional secondary tac frequency due to interference. It is 170.500 0 federal, state, and local agencies. Air to ground (AIR/GND) is the frequency used for communication between ground and aircraft resources, each zone will have a unique AIR/GND frequency assigned . Below is a list of the 911 dispatch centers and the Forest Service offices that correlate with them. 911 Call Sign Base Station Call Names Sheriff Dispatch Canoe Gulch / Libby Fire Cache Eureka Dispatch Rexford (Ksanka) Troy Dispatch Three Rivers / D4 Sanders County Cabinet

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Kootenai National Forest Radio Users Guide Revised: 6/ 24 /2020 Administrative Traffic: All Districts are required to handle their own administrative traffic using the ir district check in/check out procedures. Kootenai Dispatch can be used as a backup when someone is unable to reach their home unit. In the case of an emergency , please reference the section below labeled Radio Emergency Use Procedures. Due to regulations and licensing restrictions, only the Forest Supervisor has legal authority to program radios. However, this function has been delegated to the ISO department (Todd Orr /Eric Procto r/ Neal Ma ben ). In addition, one employee at each district has been designated to program radios and serve as a contact for radio questions, trouble shooting, and coordination, as follows: D1 /3 Cody White (RJ McDole backup) D4 Tyler Bothman (JR Rebo /Beau Macy backup) D5 Brent Cooper (Grant Rider backup) D7 Brian Krick ( Adam Carr backup) SO Aaron Karuzas Note: All frequencies and tones are programmed into your radio. A user should not need to manually program them. If you have any radio concerns you should contact the appropriate person at your location or the CI O contact at the SO , which is Todd Orr at (406) 283 – 7702 . Flight Following: Radio communication on KNF frequencies for flight following between aircraft and Kootenai Dispatch can be done on either Kootenai East or West . In general though, for sustained operations , whichever z one the aircraft is flying over will determine the frequency being used to flight follow. Flight following with DNRC aircraft will usually be done on the State frequency (151.2650). After Hours Radio Protocol: Each District located in Lincoln County monitor our radio frequency. offcie monitors King, and Eureka Dispatch monitors Pinkham. If individuals are going to be out after – hours , the Kootenai Dispatch will notify the would then returned to the District Office. If the – in , they w ould contact the Kootenai Disptach Duty phone . After Action Reviews : C ommunications should Any and all problems with communications should be discussed and document ed during every AAR. NOTE: Most fire crews will be utilizing digital Bendix/King handheld radios. They will be programmed with the same Channel plans and use d in the analog mode to transmit and mixed mode to receive . Refer to the user manual for details regarding components and functions.

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Kootenai National Forest Radio Users Guide Revised: 6/ 24 /2020 Radio Emergency Use Procedures: Turn the radio on and turn up the volume. Check to make sure you are using the proper group. To select a group, press the # key (this will show the current group) then press the number of the desired group and wait for 5 seconds, or press enter. Select a channel . Refer to a map and the Kootenai Channel Plan to determine what channel to use. Use the Channel Selector Knob , on the Bendix Kings, or the orange group select button on the top of the KNG radios, to select the channel. There are 16 channels on your radio. Transmit your message. If you are in an emergency situation, begin your transmiss ion by stating that you have an emergency. For example , “Kootenai Dispatch, this is Jane Smith, I have an emergency.” Broadcasting that you have an emergency lets other listeners know that you have priority and that everyone else should stay off the radi o until you are done. Press and hold the Push – to – talk button. Hold the button in throughout the entire message. If your message is too long, the transmit signal will time out and cut you off. Therefore, if you have a long message, you may have to pause and release the PTT button and then press in again to continue. NOTE: Even if you do not receive a response, transmit your entire message. Someone may be able to hear you, but you may not hear them. Medical Emergency: If you are dealing with an injured person and are requesting medical help, do not give the name of the injured person over the radio. Reference the KNF Medical when you contact Kootenai Dispatch , they will prompt you for the information needed. Radio Etiquette Use plain text at all times. Plain text means speak in complete English. Do not use codes or abbreviations. Speak slowly and hold the radio an inch or so away from your lips. If you hold the microphone too close to your lips, your transmission might sound fuzzy and garbled. Do not begin a transmission until you are sure there are no other conversations taking place. To initiate a call, state the name of the person or location you are calling followed by your name. For example, “Kootenai Dispatch; Jane Smith” or “Kootenai Dispatch, this is Jane Smith.” Use the channel label instead of the channel number to tell th e other party what frequency/re peater you are on. For example, 80 Peak Blue Libby answering party is completely finished talking before you respon d. Wait until you hear the squelch tail (the hiss) at the end of the transmission. When finished with communications be sure to sign off with your name, or loca tion and

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Kootenai National Forest Radio Users Guide Revised: 6/ 24 /2020 Components and functions of a Bendix/King Handheld Radio: On – Off/Volume: Turn the On – Off/Volume Knob clockwise to power the radio. Continue turning the knob clockwise to increase the volume. Squelch/CG: Turn the squelch knob counter – clockwise until it stops. This is the CG (Code Guard) position, and is where this knob sho uld be set for your radio to functions as described in this guide. Channel Selector: Turn the Channel Selector Knob to the desired channel (see the attached Kootenai National Forest Channel Plan) . Groups: Multiple groups is a feature of the radio tha t increases the number of programmable channels. There are 15 groups available and a maximum of 16 channels in each group which allows for a total of 240 channels. To select a group perform the following steps: 1) Press the pound ( # ) key on the key board to display the current group on the LCD display. 2) Press the appropriate number for the desired group. 3) Press ENT for your selection to be accepted. Groups 12 – 15 should be used when programming non – Kootenai and temporary fre quencies. For instance, if on assignment in another region, a communications technician should program any necessary frequencies into groups 12 – 15. It is important to check that the proper group is selected. Press the pound (#) key at any time to view t he current group selected. Channel Busy/Low Battery Indicator: This indicator will illuminate red when transmitting a message over the radio and when receiving a signal on the priority channel. The light should illuminate solid red when transmitting. If the light blinks once or twice and then goes out or if the light flickers, it means the battery could be low. Switch A – Hi/Lo Transmit Power: This switch allows you to either use full transmit power (HI) or reduced transmit power (LO). Using LO power conserves energy and helps preserve the battery. LO power should be used when monitoring the radio in town or in close proximity of a base station. The radio is in HI power when the switch is pushed towards you and in LO power when the switch is p ushed away from you.

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Kootenai National Forest Radio Users Guide Revised: 6/ 24 /2020 Switch B – Scan: Bendix/King radios allow users to monitor frequencies from a preset scan list, including the currently selected channel. When a signal is detected, scanning stops and the message is received. The received chan nel label is shown on the LCD. Once the signal ends, the radio continues to monitor the channel for a preset amount of time before it resumes scanning. If you wish to respond to a message received on a scanned channel, you will have to change the current ly selected channel. All transmissions in scan mode will occur on the channel selected (see Channel Selector Knob). The radio is in scan mode when the switch is pushed away from you. To turn off the scan function, push the switch towards you. To dete rmine what channels are being s canned, turn the scan switch off and turn the Channel Selector Knob to each channel. If the channel is on the scan list, “SCN” will appear on the top portion of the LCD. To add a channel to the scan list, select the channel with the Channel Selector Knob and then press ENT. To remove a channel from the scan list, press the CLR key. After a short beep, “SCN” should disappear. SCN solid indicates that channel is included in the scan list; SCN flashing indicates that the sca nning function has been activated and all channels in the scan list are being scanned. When adding or deleting a channel from the scan list, both the Scan and Priority Switches should be turned off (pushed down toward the user). Only channels in the curr ent group can be scanned. Switch C – Priority: Priority scan allows a radio to monitor traffic on a priority channel. This function can operate with or without the scan function. The radio checks the prio rity channel every few seconds. When in priori ty mode, the transmissions on the priority channel will override all other transmissions, even though the priority channel may not be the currently selected channel. PR in the upper left corner of the display screen indicates that channel is set as the pr iority channel. SCN flashing indicates that the priority function has been activated (see Switch B above also) and the priority channel is being scanned and will override transmissions on other frequencies. When a transmission on the priority channel is To set a priority channel, perform the following steps: 1. Turn off the Priority and Scan Switches (they should be pushed down towards you). 2. Move the Channel Sel ector Knob to the channel you want to set as the priority. 3. Press the PRI key on the key board. 4. Turn on the Priority Switch to activate priority mode. Antenna: The size of the antenna affects the range capabilities of radio signals. For instance, longer antennas can transmit and receive signals from repeaters and base stations that are further away than radios with shorter antennas. To ensure that clear signals are being sent and received, stand still while communicating and hold the radio straight up and down so that it is perpendicular with the ground. If you are talking to aircraft, you should hold the radio in a horizontal position. It is important to take good care of antennas, as bent or broken antennas will not transmit or receive signals. Push – To – Talk Button (PTT): Pressing this button activates the transmit mode (talk mode). Press in and hold this button throughout the entire transmission. For a complete message to be heard, press the button and wait for a second or two before beginning the message and continue to hold in the button for a few seconds after completing the message. This allows time for the signal to access or “key up” the repeater s if necessary.

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Kootenai National Forest Radio Users Guide Revised: 6/ 24 /2020 Speaker: Radio signals are picked up and transmitted over the speaker. The On – Off/Vol switch allows users to adjust the volume of their radio. LCD Display: The LCD display shows a variety of information. The upper right hand corne r displays codes to let users know if the radio is set in priority mode (PR), and/or scan mode (SCAN). The main part of the display will show which channel is selected for transmitting and receiving messages. In addition, by pushing the pound (#) key, th e current group selected will be displayed in the main part of the box. Key Board: The key board provides a mechanism that allows users to change groups and set scan lists. To remove the cover, remove the battery pack and then slide the cover down. R emember to replace the battery pack after removing the cover. Battery: As mentioned above, the Channel Busy Indicator will alert users to a low battery. To remove the battery, push up on the metal tab on the side of the case while twisting the battery pack approximately 30 degrees and separating it from the radio. Bendix/Kings have either a rechargeable battery pack or a clam shell which contains 9 AA batteries. If your clam shell is not Orange please contact the Radio manager at the district o r call the SO.

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Kootenai National Forest Radio Users Guide Revised: 6/ 24 /2020 KNG HANDHELD RADIO FEATURES The KNG radio is the replacement for the BK Radio GPH and DPH portable radio models . Much of its operation is similar to the older radios, but it also has some enhancements. Refer to the following diagrams fo r control locations. FRONT VIEW The middle of the KNG display has three lines of text. The top line displays the Zone (Group) name. The second line displays the channels name, and the third line is the transmit code guard (aka repeater tone number or User Code Guard) in use.

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