Firefighters risk their lives every day to keep others safe — even before they step into the firehouse.

Firefighters and fire departments rely on communication while they are on duty. For example, when they are communicating from a distance, like from a fire truck or multiple fire trucks at a different location altogether. But in times of wildfire, effective communication plays an even greater part in firefighter safety.

BK Radios makes wildfire safety a priority in every way through top-quality products. If you are in the market for better communication for your fire department, read on to learn how BK’s products help keep firefighters safe on the job. 

What is a BK Radio?

BK (Bendix King) radios are industrial-grade radios for wildfire and firefighting teams. They are designed to withstand the extreme conditions of a fire, which traditional 2-way radios and cell phones cannot. 

The systems come with portable radios, mobile radios, command center hubs, and field communications sets. These radios are able to spread urgent information about fires over very long distances, even in adverse conditions.

Bendix King radios are portable, sturdy, and functional. They use the most recent technology available to spread information through smoke, ash, and even across mountains. 

Outfitting Firefighters with BK Radios

Every firefighter on your team should be outfitted with high-quality radios. Radios allow for communication in even the most severe conditions, which is essential for putting out wildfires. Effective communication is a key component of wildfire radio safety. 

All members of your team need to be trained and ready to go at a moment’s notice. When fighting a wildfire, every person counts. Every firefighter should be able to receive and transmit essential communication through fire radio. 

Your firefighters should be familiar with the 5 C’s of fire radio communications:

  1. Concise- say the point, and only the point
  2. Clarity- speak as clearly as possible
  3. Confidence- you know what the message is, say it confidently!
  4. Control- panic helps nobody, so keep your voice controlled and even
  5. Capability- keep practicing your BK radio use so you can send information as effectively as possible

These rules ensure that urgent communication is shared in a way that is clear, direct, and to the point so others in your team can adequately react. It is not realistic to expect team members to stick together during a hectic situation like a wildfire. It is of critical importance that all firefighters have and know how to use BK radio.

After all, fires do not care about ranking. Having a team that is able to use their radios the correct way can save lives and reduce damage. 

Using a BK Radio

BK radios require more training than simple walkie-talkies. There are several different channel designators to choose from, such as command, tactical, crew, or aerial channels. Getting the message to the right place is critical in a wildfire. 

Understanding how to use a fire radio makes a big difference when fighting a wildfire. They not only spread information about the fire itself, but they can distribute information about medical emergencies, distribute commands, and give information about safety. 

Enhancing Communication During Wildfires

Wildfires move fast, causing enormous amounts of damage in short periods of time. Once they grow to large sizes, it can be very difficult to get them under control. 

With effective radios and strategic watch posts, wildfire response teams are able to address a fire faster than ever before. 2-way radios can transmit over massive stretches of land, and the transmissions are not impacted by the fire itself. 

Traditional cell phones lose functionality during fires. The extreme heat from the fires damages them, and cell phone reception is often non-functional. Additionally, cell phones are not able to make the necessary communication as fast as a radio would, or to as many individuals at once. 

BK radios solve this problem. These radios can withstand the heat, transmit clearly, and provide critical information to all parties with radios. 

Reducing the Size and Severity of Wildfires

Using BK radios allows firefighters to communicate with each other to properly assess the size and severity of different areas of wildfires. This starts from the very beginning of a wildfire, when watch teams are able to spot a wildfire early. If your lookout spots signs of a fire, a rapid response helps ensure the fire does not grow out of control. 

Fire radios also transmit critical information about LCES– lookouts, communications, escape routes, and safety zones. Firefighters need to be consistently aware of where they can safely move while fighting a fire. Without this information, more people would perish fighting wildfires. 

Once a wildfire has started, your team will need to come up with a game plan to battle it. By dividing into teams to assess different regions, fire teams can focus on areas of critical importance. 

By prioritizing high-risk areas first, firefighters are more effectively able to mitigate risks. These initial assessments need to be transmitted as clearly as possible in order for fire response teams to act with speed. 

Improving Wildfire Safety for the Future

As wildfires continue to become more frequent in the United States, it is critical that your team is prepared. Even a few minutes can make an impact when fighting a massive wildfire. Communicating clearly about the size and severity of the wildfire makes it possible to effectively battle the flames.

BK Radios make wildfire safety easier. It’s time for each of your firefighters to own and know how to operate a BK radio. 

For more information about supplying your staff with BK radios, get a quote today