Radio Etiquette for Dispatcher Training
Career Path : Automotive
Dispatcher training includes many skills, but one of the most important to will learn will be good radio etiquette. As a dispatcher, you will be overseeing a switchboard that connects you to a fleet of other radio operators. Your job will be to facilitate clear communication, by co-ordinating people from your central location. This can even include patching different networks through you.
Brevity and clarity are two key aspects of good radio use. Brevity means avoiding being overly verbose and only using the radio for useful information. A radio is not a telephone to transmit unlimited gossip, but a means to send short bursts of information. This is because your messages do not go through concurrently in the same frequency without drowning each other out. For the sake of brevity, good things to transmit over the radio include location, hazards, questions and arrival and departure times. Clarity means structuring your messages for maximum comprehension. This means properly closing your messages, often with the stereotypical âoverâ but also using the appropriate radio abbreviations and word replacements. And of course you need to enunciate and think about what you say in advance so your sentences have the best structure possible. Lastly there are some words you shouldnât use. Open channels usually explicitly ban profanity, but you should also avoid rhyming words or words that could be taken in another context, such as âtireâ which sounds like âfireâ or dead, except to mean that a person is dead.
As the dispatcher, youâll also be in a supervisory role. In general it will be up to you to set the tone and enforce the rules, mostly by leading by example. However in the case of some practices like always carrying radios with you, you may need to gently remind the people in your network. Your dispatcher training will also need to focus on the challenge of patching unrelated networks together. Consistency is an important practice in radio, but if everyone on one channel is consistent to one standard, and everyone on the other channel is strictly applying themselves to another one, you are the only person who can overcome this.
Dispatcher schools prepare graduates for all sorts of situations, but most practices will apply universally whether youâre overseeing emergency response teams or taxis. Another good habit is to make sure you listen before you transmit. If someone has an urgent message you do not wish to broadcast over top of them. Â You will also watch to make sure that security procedures are being followed. This means no unauthorized users on a channel.
Lastly you should get some familiarity with the types of radios you will be overseeing. Very high frequency (VHF) radios are best for short distances while high frequency (HF) radios suit longer distances better. Knowing what people are using helps you direct people efficiently.
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