Firefighter Portable Radio Carrying Methods: Pocket or Strap?

Thumbnail Image
Publication or External Link
Brondum, Nicholas Joseph
Milke, James A
Firefighters rely on their portable radios daily for communication. This project examines firefighter portable radios and their carrying methods. Carrying methods such as radio pockets sewn into turnout gear and radio straps are examined with respect to carrying utility, thermal protection, and decontamination ability. Information was gleaned from several firefighter line of duty death and “near miss” reports, personal interviews, empirical testing, computational fire modeling, and previous studies. Tests were conducted with radios carried in radio straps both above and below the turnout coat, as well as in the radio pocket. Radios were exposed to a radiant heat flux determined from computational fire modeling via a radiant panel until the test radio was either unable to transmit or receive messages from another radio. From this analysis, it is determined that wearing a portable radio in a radio strap under a turnout coat is the most efficient and safest way to carry a radio.