A literature review was performed to examine relevant historical information
regarding 800 MHz radio communications systems and how they were successfully
The literature review involved a research of fire service trade journals, magazines,
textbooks, newsletters, newspapers and an Internet search. Despite the obvious
importance of having an effective communications system, only a limited amount of
published research could be found dealing specifically with implementation of 800 MHz
In the seventeenth edition of NFPA Fire Protection Handbook, Evan E. Stauffer,
author of “Fire Department Emergency Communications Systems”, states that
“considerable thought should be given to selecting the proper radio system, and
professional personnel should be used to ensure the proper functioning of each system.”
He further states that “several brands of radio frequencies are available to the fire service.
VHF low band, VHF high band, UHF 450 MHz and UHF 800 MHz bands.” Trunking
systems are described by Mr. Stauffer as systems which use a group of radio frequencies.
He states, “The system is controlled by a computer in the communications center or at the
base station transmitter site. When a transmitter is keyed, it transmits its unique identity
code to the computer. The computer instantaneously selects an available communications
frequency and automatically directs the transmitting radio to use that frequency for the
transmission” (Stauffer, 1991, p. 4-4, 4-5).