The mutual aid frequencies provided to public safety need regional coordination and standardization on:

  • the names we use
  • how we use them
  • where we place repeaters
  • how we use the repeaters

Confusing Names

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Name Standardization

The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council published a Channel Naming Report in 2007 to standardize the mutual aid channels in all frequency bands.

It was updated in June 2009. The document establishes common names and procedures for interoperability channels in all bands.


NPSTC Standard Channel Nomenclature – Revised June 2009 (PDF)

With the standardized naming, channels were given a prefix to indicate the band, a channel type and a unique channel number.


L – VHF Low Band (30 – 50 MHz)
V – VHF High Band (150.8 – 162.0 MHz)
U – UHF Band (450 – 470 MHz)
7 – 700 MHz Public Safety Band.
8 – 800 MHz NPSPAC band after the rebanding process

Channel Use Designator

The Channel Use Designator is an alphanumeric three- or four-place tag to signify the primary purpose of operations on the channel. In some cases, the Channel Use has been specified in FCC Rules or related Orders.

Channel is dedicated nationwide for the express purpose of Interoperability calling only.

Channel is reserved nationwide for the express purpose of Data transmission only

Primarily used for interagency incident communications by Fire licensees

Primarily used for interagency incident communications between Public Safety eligible entities and eligible non-governmental organizations

Primarily used for interagency incident communications by Police licensees

Primarily used for interagency incident communications by Emergency Medical Service licensees

Primarily used for on-scene interagency incident communications by any Public Safety eligible, using vehicular repeaters (FCC Station Class MO3)

Primarily used for interagency communications by any Public Safety eligible

Unique Channel Identifier

The Unique Channel Identifier is a numeric one- or two-place tag to uniquely identify the specific channel. This eliminates having a “Tac 1” in multiple bands; if you miss the prefix and only hear Tac 91, there is only one interoperable channel that can be. Channel Identifiers are grouped by band segment as follows:

1-9 VHF Low Band (30-50 MHz) [No leading zero used]
10-39 VHF High band (150.8 – 162 MHz)
40-49 UHF band (450 – 470 MHz)
50-69 700 MHz “A” block (TV 63/68)
70-89 700 MHz “B” block (TV 64/69)
90-99 800 MHz “NPSPAC” band (806-809/851-854 MHz) [Post-rebanding]

Other Resources

NIFOG (National Interoperability Field Operations Guide) – Version 1.3 (PDF)
The National Interoperability Field Operations Guide (NIFOG) is a technical reference for radio technicians responsible for radios that will be used in disaster response applications, and for emergency communications planners. The NIFOG includes rules and regulations for use of nationwide and other interoperability channels, frequencies and channel names, and other reference material; formatted as a pocket-sized guide for radio technicians to carry with them.  It was published by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Communications.

National Interoperability Channels (external link)
An FCC Tech Topic article detailing the national interoperability channels.

National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (external link)

NPSPAC Repeater Map for Indiana
This map shows every NPSPAC repeater in Indiana and the frequencies they operate.  We believe incident commanders in Ohio would benefit from a similar map.