I have wondered what the best blace for a radio. Ive seen them in bunker pants pockets on a radio holder with a strap around the neck like they use in new york or is it best to use a radio pocket on your bunker coat .What about the use of mic clips the best place for them.

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We should probably mutually agree on a definition of "pretty". ;)
Heavy lies the crown.
i say on the belt cuz when you land it is usually face first (not talking through personal experience through a friends) and u r most likely to break this life saving device so not on the chest or helment.
On a radio strap under my coat with the mic ran between the throat flap and zipper of my coat.
I wear mine like Todd stated above.

We found that when we got out new SCBA's the PASS alarm and radio pocket were right beside each other. Besides being bulky, The PASS caused a lot of audio interference with the radio.

Once we arrive on scene, we rarely need to change channels.
Lt French is not too far from wrong. While pockets are most convenience, the proxity of the radio to your body decreases the signal strength. Your body actually blocks some of the signal. The best way to carry a hand-radio for maximum power is...in your hand
I have used pockets and radio straps. I personally use the straps exclusively now. However, you need to use what you are good with. Everyone on here needs to use the system that they prefer and try to change channels or press the emergency button when you are entrapped. Are you going to be able to get to your radio in your pocket or under your coat if you cant get it out or too it? If you use a strap, we have found the chances are much higher to be able to get to it. We tend to wear out straps on the outside. Put the strap on first, then your SCBA to hold it all to your body. The waist strap of the SCBA traps the radio strap and keeps it right where you need it.
We're in the process of changing out all of our portable radios. The new ones have volume and channel controls on the extended mic, so you can wear everything under your gear except for the mic.

We also found that the turnout gear committee needsd to spec the mic keeper tab on the same side of the body as the voice amplifiers for the SCBA masks. Don't ask me how I made that determination.

I just posted in another thread with the same theme, and thought I'd toss this in here for anyone still following this thread.

"I know this is an old discussion, and it's not even what I was originally searching for, but I thought I'd throw in my two cents... I just took over radios for my department, and am starting to see a rise in the use of radio straps. Radios are assigned to specific rigs, which means all three shifts use the same radios. Those that use straps will remove the belt clips and external speaker connector cover, and all too often, will not replace the covers or belt clips for those of us who opt not to sling a purse... (I kid, I kid!). For me, this is a pet peeve, and a huge problem, as the radios are infinitely harder to carry without a belt clip, requiring you to either keep them in your hand, or stuff them in a pocket. I also have inherited a box full of broken lapel mics, so there's an added cost to the use of radio straps for the department. 

For my own personal solution, specifically on turnouts (For EMS, I just use a belt clip to my pocket, nothing fancy), I have been using a "Gear Keeper" strap on the front of my jacket for nearly 10 years now. It keeps my radio near my ear, with the antenna pointed out/away from my body, and with the button/knobs handy and the mic near my external SCBA mask speaker (on both the Scott I used to use, and the MSA I use now). I swear by it, and although I try to spread the love, I've yet to see a single other firefighter adopt it... I highly recommend it for those of you who don't like keeping the radio shoved in a front pocket, or dealing with straps. the radio pocket has been a most convenient place to keep a hose strap, since I don't have to hear the strap talking to me!   =)  The Gear Keeper is just a velcro strap that slides through the belt clip and over the speaker, but I've never had issues with hearing the radio, and never had the radio become displaced or accidentally key up on me (at least not because of the strap...) "


This I had also posted on another thread about radio straps. In 2013, Fairfax County Virginia conducted an in-depth study of radio straps and released a report. Originally, Fairfax County, like many other departments, had an SOP dictating that portable radios must be worn in the turnout coat radio pocket, no straps. The Fairfax County Communications division decided to conduct this study, looking at all aspects of radio pocket vs radio strap use. The study looked at signal loss, radio damage, LODDs, near misses, and interviews with firefighters.

Fairfax County Study, click here for the full PDF report:


One of the biggest issues with coat radio pockets is that when a firefighter is crawling, the radio is facing the floor, and is shielded by the their body, causing loss of signal. Radios falling out of pockets and speaker mic damage were also a major concern. In the study, they compared the strap being worn over the coat and under the coat. They found that under the coat was the best choice as it protected the radio and mic from thermal and entanglement issues.

The study concluded that the best way for a firefighter to carry a radio is, on a radio strap, under the turnout coat, adjusted long enough so the antenna hangs out just below the coat. I highly recommend that you click the link above and read the full report. It has plenty of good info. Pass it along to your Chief and Safety Officer for review.

Another notable study about portable radio use in the firefighting environment was conducted back in 2006, by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

NIST Study, click here for the full PDF report:


For me personally, I have been using a reflective radio strap and case for years, and find it to be a very convenient and easy way to carry my radio. The radio setup is worn under my turnout coat. The strap also comes in handy to attach a knife, small flashlight, pen or marker. The case has an additional anti-sway clip to keep the radio secure and minimize rotation and entanglement. I also have a retractable Gear Keeper for the speaker mic, which secures it to the front of the coat and prevents dropping or losing the mic. The radio is preset to the FG and an emergency channel, but the radio is still accessible if need be to switch channels. This setup works for me.

My problem with the radio strap is my height and the fact that the radio if worn as you describe is smacking me on the thigh as I walk.

Using the radio with a radio strap tends to do that, especially when not wearing a bunker coat. Having the radio in a case with an anti-sway strap clipped to a belt loop, pants adustment strap or D ring, limits the radio from moving around so much. The anti-sway strap being about 7 inches. Without it, the radio will be rotating all over the place. When wearing the radio strap under your turnout, it snugs the radio up against your body. When wearing Class B uniforms, even with the anti-sway it tends to slap the thigh. I think that it should be personal preference then, as to wear the radio in a case with or without a strap. As for the coat radio pocket, I keep a Channellock 87 rescue tool and a utility knife.

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