• 2-Way Radio Guidelines

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    To improve district-wide radio communications, the Idaho Falls School District will be rolling out a new wide-area radio network, which will provide a more unified approach to radio communication for day-to-day operations and emergency responsiveness. 

    Staff that are issued radios are expected to use the radio appropriately as part of their daily work duties and maintain it to ensure it is in good working condition.

    General Programming:

    Additional radios are assigned and programed with the following channels:  

    1. Channel 1: School Communications
    2. Channel 2: Admin Communications
    3. Channel 3: Transportation - Listen only
    4. Channel 4: Event Communications
    5. Channel 5: P2P offsite and out of coverage area communications
    6. Channel 16: Emergency Communications - Listen Only


    1. Turn the radio on – this also controls the volume so you can adjust it accordingly.
    2. Turn the radio on – this also controls the volume so you can adjust it accordingly.
    3. Always keep the channel set as directed by your school principal or supervisor.
    4. Before speaking, listen to determine if the radio is currently in use by another user.
    5. If the channel is clear, press the side button, pause and listen for a beep, now speak while holding the button.
    6. Release the button when finished talking so you can hear the response.
    7. Always have your radio turned on and with you while working or as directed by your building administrator.  
    8. Make sure to turn off the radio and put it on the charging base at the end of the day.

    How do I get a replacement or additional radios?

    Please put in a help ticket to the IT department and someone will reach out to you to work out the details of the purchase.

    Golden Rules of Radio Communication:

    1. Clarity : Your voice should be clear. Speak a little slower than normal. Speak in a normal tone, do not shout.
    2. Simplicity : Keep your message simple enough for intended listeners to understand.
    3. Brevity : Be precise and to the point.
    4. Privacy : Remember, frequencies (channels) are shared, you do not have exclusive use of the frequency.

    Basic Radio Information :

    1. When using a two-way radio, you cannot speak and listen at the same time, as you can with a phone. 
    2. Do not interrupt if you hear other people talking. 
    3. Do not respond if you are not sure that the call is for you. Wait until you hear your call sign/name to respond. 
    4. Never transmit sensitive, confidential, or financial information.
    5. We will be performing periodic radio checks to ensure your radio is in good working condition. 

    Think Before You Speak:

    1. Decide what you are going to say and consider who your audience is. 
    2. Make your conversations as concise, precise, and clear as possible. 
    3. Avoid long and complicated sentences. If your message is long, divide it into separate, shorter messages.
    4. Do not use abbreviations unless they are well understood by your group. 

    Radio User’s Language:

    1. Go Ahead – I can respond, go ahead with your message 
    2. Say Again – Repeat your last message 
    3. Stand-by – I acknowledge your transmission, but I am unable to respond now.
    4. 10-4/Copy – Message received and understood. 
    5. Affirmative – Yes (Avoid yup, nope, etc.) 
    6. Negative – No 
    7. Over – I have finished speaking 
    8. Out – This conversation is finished; the channel is available for others. 


    Principals should provide training on the actual radio usage, with a demonstration.  Again, these guides are to provide alignment between the district service departments and all school sites. The intention is to support principals and educators to have the equipment to assist in the safe environments we desire for school sites.

    Making a Call:

    Follow these easy steps to make a call: 

    1. First, listen to ensure the channel is clear for you. 
    2. Press the PTT (Push-To-Talk) button.
    3. Wait for a beep: 
    4. Say, "recipient's call sign (name). THIS IS your call sign (name). OVER." 
    5. Once the person replies, convey your message.
    6. Wait for the recipient to acknowledge your transmission. 
    7. Proceed with the conversation using radio protocol.

    Answering a Call:

    After hearing someone call you on the radio, follow these steps to answer a call and join a conversation: 

    1. Say “THIS IS” and “your call sign (name) GO AHEAD. OVER.” 
    2. Listen to the caller’s transmission/message. 
    3. Acknowledge the caller’s transmission by saying Copy; respond with the requested information, if necessary. Say, “OVER,” when finished transmitting. 
    4. Proceed with the conversation using radio protocol and language. 

    Sample Dialogue :

    Below is a sample dialogue that puts these steps to use: 

    1. Adam: Mike, this is Adam. Over. 
    2. Mike: Adam, this is Mike, Stand By. Over. 
    3. Mike: Adam, this is Mike, Go Ahead. Over.
    4. Adam: Mike, there is a fire at 123 Main St. Over. 
    5. Mike: Adam, this is Mike, confirming a fire at 123 main St. The fire department will be notified. Over. 
    6. Adam: Mike, this is Adam, address is confirmed, thanks for the help. Over and Out.

    Radio Communication Tips:

    1. Leave a second or two when switching between callers to give others a chance to enter the conversation. 
    2. It is always best to speak in short simple phrases on the radio and toss the conversation back and forth with the word "OVER." 
    3. Wait for the beep before speaking after pushing the PTT button. 
    4. Do not speak immediately when you press the PTT (push to talk) button because there is an automatic transmission delay. If you speak as soon as you press the PTT button, it can chop off your first syllable or word, making it hard to understand. This is when “do not enter” becomes “enter”
    5. Be patient and give the other person a few seconds to reply before re-transmitting your communication. The other person may not be able to respond immediately. 


    1. Understand all radios are FCC-regulated and can be heard throughout the school district.
    2. Use the radios for work-related conversation only. Non-work-related radio use such as casual conversations, profanity, inappropriate remarks, and outbursts of music is prohibited and violators are subject to disciplinary measures.
    3. Restrict all transmissions to the minimum necessary to get the message across. When possible, use the telephone for lengthy communications.
    4. Use your assigned radio number or name, known as your call sign(if applicable).
    5. Interrupt an in-progress transmission only in case of an emergency.


    Please submit an IT Help Ticket or call the IT Help Desk @ 208-525-7556