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Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Preparedness

Utah Department of Health

Tactical Communication

Communication System
Utah’s statewide health/public health system utilizes a number of different voice and data communication modes. By design, these use different technologies so that a failure in one area should not prevent the continued function of alternate modes. The Utah Communications Authority (UCA) is responsible for the infrastructure.

Primary Radio-based Voice Communications

  • 800 MHz radio system: digital, analog, trunked, 800 MHz radio system serves as the primary statewide interoperable voice communication system during emergencies as well as day to day operations.

Alternate Radio-based Voice Communications

  • Hospital Emergency Agency Radio (HEAR):  two-channel high band VHF simplex voice radio network; provides voice communications hospital-to-hospital, EMS-to-hospital, and hospital-to-health; intended as a redundant back up system.
  • VTAC &UTAC Interoperable: high-band VHF simplex voice radio utilizing nationwide interoperable VTAC channels.
  • 8TAC 800 MHz Interoperable: conventional 800 MHz voice radio system comprised of five nationwide interoperability channels, programed on all UDOH radios.

Internet/Web-Based Communications

Telephone Communications

  • Landline telephone for voice/fax
  • Cellular telephone service (Various carriers, UDOH utilizes Verizon)

Satellite Communications

  • Satellite Phone (Various carriers, UDOH utilizes Iridium from SatCom Global)

Communications Gateways

  • Motobridge is the gateway for UDOH to temporarily bridge different voice radio systems together when required to meet operational needs.

Tactical communications

Interagency/interfacility communication lies at the heart of the Utah Statewide Health/Public Health Tactical Communications Plan. Interagency communication facilitates resource and disaster response coordination by optimizing the ability to communicate with other agencies when necessary while avoiding interference with other agencies when a response is specific to only one agency. Tactical communication systems should provide a means of communication to enable medical and logistical coordination between Health, EMS field personnel, hospital emergency department personnel, and other agencies.

All healthcare partners should consider their involvement in large-scale multi-jurisdictional emergencies and anticipate the need for interagency communications. Pre-event planning with local public safety and emergency management agencies is an important aspect of interoperability between different communication systems. The need for interagency communications can be illustrated by the following matrix of likely communication needs:

comms_matrix

NOTE: Cellular phones may be adequate as a primary voice communications mode for some day-to-day operations; however, because of some of the limitations of cellular phone use, especially the potential for restricted availability during widespread emergencies, cellular phones cannot take the place of the required radio equipment and frequencies.

Utah Communications Authority
5360 South Ridge Village Drive (5885 West)
Salt Lake City, Utah 84118
Website: http://uca911.org/
Main Office: 801-840-4200 (8:00am-5:00pm Mon-Fri)
Fax: 801-840-4242

Resources

UDOH maintains a supply of radio equipment that can be used to support an event. They include:

  • 10 Packs of 800 MHz
  • 10 Packs of VHF radios
  • Bank Chargers
  • Mobile Radio Kits
  • Satellite Phones

Please submit a logistics request for this equipment

Contact:  Bryan Larsen at bglarsen@utah.gov or 385-239-2967