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dictionaryAPCO Association of Public Safety Communications Officers. A national organization of communications professionals that supports and promotes public safety communications concerns.

Controller Equipment at a master site or remote site that controls a set of base stations or repeaters. A central controller is typically a computer that processes inbound and outbound data traffic, assigns repeaters for voice channel access, and generally monitors and maintains order in the system.

COML Communications Unit Leader. Leads the communications unit in the Incident Command System (ICS); reports to the Logistics Chief. Responsible for both operational and technical aspects of communications during an incident.

COMT Communications Unit Technician. Reports to the COML in the Incident Command System. Responsible for both operational and technical aspects of communications during an incident.

Control Channel Communication channel implemented by a base station or repeater used to transmit and receive channel assignment data or process other control commands from the system. Contrast with a base station or repeater functioning as a voice channel used to transmit and receive voice information.

Emergency Call The highest priority service of talkgroup call. When the emergency button of a subscriber unit is pressed and the PTT pressed, an Emergency Call is granted.

EMA Emergency Management Agency

EOC Emergency Operations Center – is a central command and control facility responsible for carrying out emergency management at a strategic level in an emergency situation

Failsoft A fallback means of communication if a site or subsystem cannot perform wide-area or site-trunking operations. In standalone remote sites and receiver voting sites, the repeaters generate the failsoft word. In Simulcast subsystems, the prime site Universal Simulcast Controller Interface (USCI) generates the failsoft word.

FCC Federal Communications Commission.

ICS Incident Command System, a system that organizes resources used in emergency situations.  ICS establishes a chain of command to make better use of federal, state, and local response and encourages organization and cooperation between various agencies.

Interoperability is the ability of various groups or agencies to work together.  The term is often used in the context of emergency response, where it refers to agencies working together in a coordinated effort and sharing data and resources.

Multigroup Announcement Group; A collection of two or more talkgroups.

NIMS National Incident Management System, a national framework that uses the principle of ICS to establish a national framework for organizing resources used to respond to domestic emergencies.

PSAP Public Safety Answering Point. This is typically a 9-1-1 call center, but includes any single place where emergency calls are answered. A primary PSAP receives 9-1-1 calls directly; a secondary PSAP receives transfered emergency calls from a primary PSAP. Butler County has six primary PSAPs and three secondary.

Private Call A call between two specific radios that is only heard by the two parties involved.  Because it ties up system resources more than a talkgroup call, only dispatch consoles may initiate private calls on BRICS. Despite the name, a private call is not encrypted and can be heard by scanners.

PTT Button Push to Talk Button. Button on a radio the user presses in order to transmit voice information.

PTT ID Push to Talk Identification. A talkgroup programmable function that allows dispatchers to know who is calling and allows each user’s call to be logged.

Repeater Station at a master site or remote site that broadcasts and receives RF signals to and from mobile and portable radios in the field.

RF Radio Frequency.

Ruthless Preemption A method of acquiring a channel for an emergency call in a busy condition. A call with a lower priority is terminated to release a channel for assignment to the emergency call.

Simulcast A wide-area trunked system configuration that uses multiple transmitter and receiver sites to extend coverage of the system. All the corresponding channel numbers at all the sites use the same frequency.

Talkgroup A group of radio users that can share calls and messages as a group. A talkgroup comprises a group of users who have a need to communicate with each other.

Talkgroup Call Call involving other users within the originating user’s own talkgroup.

TG Talkgroup.

Trunking A method of sharing a small number of communication paths among a large number of users.

VRM Vehicular Radio Modem.