Recently in my FD there has been alot of talk about banning radio straps due to them being a safety hazard.

The "leadership" has determined through no research that the stainless steel buckels interfere with radio signal.

Additionally alot of us wear the strap under our turnout coat as to avoid the strap becoming an entaglement hazard. The "leadership" states that this is a safety concern because they feel you can not reach the radio to change tactical channels if needed. The "solution" is to place the radio in the radio pocket.

This so called solution makes the radio even more difficult to change channels not to mention tha fact that if metal does interfere with the radio signal I highly doubt the radio is smart enough to determine the difference between radio strap metal and SCBA metal.

So what I am looking for is documentation dispelling these radio strap myths, if there is any out there please post it on the forum or email me @ hdf561@comcast.net thanks for all your help brothers.

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Well, being a radio guy I must say that that's the first I have ever heard of the buckles interfering with the radio signal.

It would depend on the frequency of course; low band would probably be affected least while 800 MHz trunked radios may be the most affected. It is the size of the buckle relative to the wavelength of the signal.

The bigger problem is that either way the antenna winds up very close to your body which at low band really kills your radio range.

I have a radio strap however I use it only on calls where I don't have full PPE on i.e. medical calls, directing traffic, etc. In turnout gear I keep the radio in the radio pocket - without speaker mic - and I pull it out to talk on it. That way I can see the controls and the antenna is away from my body for maximum range.
I have never heard of the buckle effecting a radio. Though I only like to wear my radio strap on EMS calls and when I am driving the rig. It is hard to change channels and is an entaglement hazard when placed on the outside of gear.
Never heard of this before. I think someone in the department doesn't like the looks of the radio strap. The radio will work fine against any metal object. Never had a problem. I like to wear my radio strap on the outside of my gear so I can access the channels quick. I would call your radio company and ask this question to them. They may have a answer for you.

Stay Safe,
Robbie Cox
We have a couple height challenged Captains that strangle them selves on the door handles when getting out of the cabs with the New York styled radio cases. But they are FDNY want to be's and thinks it looks so cool.
We are each issued our own radios. A lot of our guys use the straps. i think that the guys with the straps tend to have less radio problems since the radios are protected in the cases. I sell a ton of these straps, they are very popluar. They are very convenient too.
I bon't know bro I never heard of such a thing. I just got a radio strap not to long ago but alot of ff I know use them and swear by them. I used a radio pocket my whole career and never had a problem with changing the channel. I used my new strap in a fire tonight and it wasn't bad I kept it on the outside of my gear thow. I did have a issue with it my mic kept keyn up but I adjusted it and it was all good. I guess what im tryn to say is they both work but it takes some time ta get use to.

Good luck stay low
I guess the biggest problem I have with it is that is no fact based research for them to try and discontinue the use of them.

I know the design of our radio pockets make it very difficult to store the radio there especially with an extenda mic. The argument of it protects the radio better in my opinion is fals becuase the radio pockets have a hole in the bottom so that water can drain out of it. It also makes it more difficult to change channels, hit your mayday, and view the screen. In addition when wearing your SCBA chest strap it makes it even more difficult to remove the radio or reach it.

As for pulling the radio out and talking on it when you need it....I think that sounds good in theory but undetr IDLH conditions and while performing a task it can eb quite difficult. I prefer the strap under my coat so that it doesnt get tangles up, it hangs just below my coat line so I can reach all of my critical buttons, and I can use the extenda mic to talk and not have to stop what I am doing to communicate which with 3 man staffing is vital.

Thanks for all the replies so far....
I should have clarified - I am generally involved in command positions these days so holding the radio in my hand is possible. Inside an IDLH atmosphere, SCBA etc there's no question that a speaker mic is the only practical way to go.

Also, some radio pockets may not be wide enough for the portable radio you are using. For example, we use the Kenwood TK190s and the left side pockets are so narrow that the side PTT switch can be pressed by the user's movements. Not a good thing.
Of the cardiac variety, perhaps...
Always an issue...someone get's their panties encrusted becouse some guys try something that has been proven to work well over the last few decades, and right away your labled an "FDNY WANNABE".

With the strap adjusted properly, it's actually easier to reach just under your coat and change channels, and the mic is exposed enough for you to do what it's intended...talk, and listen through. A radio kept in a so-called coat 'radio pocket' cannot be channel changed as easily, and if you don't have a tac mic your not gonna hear well and ya hafta pull the damn thing out when you want to communicate. Even with a tac mike, THAT can be a entanglement hazard ( as well as anything else can be).

I've worked with all kinds of arrangements, including no starp, strap over coat, under coat, and found, personally, that the strap under the coat, with the mic out the top of the coat, works best.

There IS pro and con on just about everything in this business, and for me it's RED apparatus!
If you are going to a working fire, the radio channel should be changed to the fireground frequency before getting off the rig.

Radio pocket too small? Easily adaptable by specing out a larger pocket, or replacing the existing one.

To hard to change channels? How is that? It is far easier than reaching under a coat!
I am on the channel befor exiting the rig....what if there is a RIT activation and the operating units have to change to clear the air for the rescue??? What if we have to change to a "talk around" frequency becuase the building interferes with radio traffic?? All impossible in the pocket and not hard at all in the strap configuration under the coat.

As for the pocket being to small....I have no control over the gear specs thats handled at a higher level and within an R and D work group.....there is about a 10 year waiting list to get on this group. I cant just go and replace my pocket cuase that would be damaging county property and adding an unapproved change to county property both of which are fireable actions.

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