Effective radio communication in the real-time scenario is most of the important elements of the successful security operation. A clear communications plan in an organization helps the security staff communicate, coordinate and work together.
What are the Chains of command?
In an organization, security personnel works in various ranks and responsibility, the chain of command help to reduce the confusion and ensure that the message follows to the right person. Most of the company security department has established the chains of command as follow picture;
What is the communication pathway?
In other words, the communication pathway refers to a radio network that has established the communication channel among the security personnel and control room.
Implementing the communication process, let security guards know who receives the message and responds to it. The benefit of creating a communication path is to prevent the loss of the message. The following things should include on radio communication network plan.
- Call signs
- Handheld radios
- Base station radio
Call signs: Call sign is the unique name that has been assigned to identify persons or locations inside the security team. Generally, the public can not understand. Example;
- Entry point = Echo
- Security manager= Mike
- Supervisor = Sirrah
Frequency: A radio has designed with various channels to enable people to make communication switching on another channel while one is already busy. Security personnel or any other people who use the radio might already know that the message goes through the frequency the different channel has different frequency set up;
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Equipment: the radio is the most commonly used equipment to transmit messages in the security operation. To make the communication pathway clear a diagram may be drawn including calls sings, channel and reporting line;
Handheld Radio parts
- Radio body
- On/Off switch
- Channel selector
- Press to talk button
- Charging cable / base
- Belt clip
- External microphone
Vehicle-Mount Radio parts
- Radio body
- Internal speaker
- External microphone
Base Station Radio parts
- Radio body
- External speaker
- Antennae outputs
- Channel switches
procedure walkie-talkie communication;
Using the stander method of the radio to pass the message is very important for efficient communication. There are internationally defined guidelines for radio communications that cover;
- Forming radio messages
- Radio network etiquette
- Use of the phonetic alphabet
Forming Radio messages: Basic information is required to transmit a message across the radio network.
- “Patrol 1, this is control room, over”
- “Control room, this is Patrol 1, over” –
- “Patrol 1, send current location, over”
- “Control room, Location A1, over” –
- “Patrol 1, this is control room, roger, out”
To achieve the clear message the following points should consider while speaking on the radio; “RSVP”
- Rhythm – Speak in a consistent rhythm
- Speed – Speak slowly enough to be clearly understood
- Volume – normal conversational volume is required
- Pitch – A very low pitched voice is difficult to understand when transmitted by radio.
Radio network etiquette: It is the method of not interrupting the other radio conversation which is going on. Let the ongoing conversation finish and pass your message.
What to do if radio communication lost?
- Check all parts of the radio
- External Microphone
- Battery fit
- Power off
- Replace the battery
- Power on
- Move to another location and try again
- Switch to another channel
- Switch to an alternate method of communication
- Assigning alternate radio channels as backup
- Landline phones at specific locations
- Mobile phone
- Using a runner to relay messages
- Return to control room
Although most of the information which relates the safety and security should pass the control room and supervisor, not all the things that you have done in your post may not necessary to report. So, understanding re-portable information makes security operation efficient and responsive.
Your company SOP (Stander Operating Procedure) may outline the necessary information need to report to the senior or responsible person or department, some common incidents need to report to respective person as following;
- Health and safety concerns
- Potential security issues
- False alarm activations
- actual security incidents
- Equipment loss or damage
- Customer complaints
- Internal conflicts
Depending on the seriousness of the incident, sometimes you may require to submit the written report instate of verbal information. The organization may have maintained the stander format of the incident report.
Although the reporting chain of command depending on the company’s need here is the common method that has been used in the world security industries.
- Security staff notebook to
- Incident reports to
- Control room daily report to
- Security manager report to
- Submitted to the National Security Operations Center.