General Information

Medical HelicopterIn 800MHz, field personnel use national mutual aid channels to communicate with medical helicopters.

These channels are not part of our radio system.

They are direct / simplex channels (talking from radio to radio and not through any towers).

The helicopter will communicate directly with field personnel. At the communications center, you will likely not be able to communicate with the helicopter by radio due to range issues.

Field personnel will need you to provide the radio channel they will use to contact the helicopter. You will work this out with the helicopter dispatcher by following the steps in this document.

Requesting a Helicopter

The following steps are for requesting a medical helicopter from a Butler County communications center.

You receive a request for a medical helicopter from Fire / EMS.

Typically, when EMS requests a helicopter, they will either designate a Landing Zone Coordinator from personnel already on the scene, or they will request you send additional fire companies.

The Landing Zone Coordinator (LZC) is the point of contact for the helicopter. The LZC will set up a landing zone, switch to the radio channel you provide, and wait for the helicopter’s arrival to guide it to the ground safely.

You need to know, at the time of request:

Where is the helicopter going?

While some fire departments will provide a latitude and longitude from GPS, the helicopters only need an address or intersection. They have their own mapping systems that will guide them to that location. They can accept the lat / lon if you have it.

Who will they be talking to at the scene?

The Landing Zone Coordinator – either a particular unit, like Battalion 30, or a position in the incident command system, like Dixie Highway Command.

Call the helicopter’s communications center

Air Care
Based in: Butler County and Hamilton County
513-584-CARE (584-2273) or 800-826-8100

Care Flight
Based in: Montgomery County and Warren County
(800) 251-CARE (2273)

They will want to know:

WHERE they are going
WHO they will be talking to (LZC)
WHY they’re coming (the type of call)
HOW they’ll communicate (what channel – see next step)

Select a radio channel

First choice:

Name: 8 TAC 92 D
Frequency: 852.0125 MHz

If you are aware that 8 i TAC 2 D is already busy, or if you are calling in a second helicopter to talk to a different Landing Zone Coordinator at a different location, you should use the second choice:

Name: 8 TAC 94 D
Frequency: 853.0125 MHz

Give the helicopter dispatcher the name and frequency shown above. Make sure, if they sound unclear on the channel name, that you have confirmed the frequency.

NOTE: The medical helicopters do not have BRICS talkgroups programmed into their radios. They are not capable of switching to any BC Fireground or any other talkgroup. The national mutual aid channels, shown above, are the only way they can talk to people on the ground with our radios.

Ask the Helicopter Dispatcher

What helicopter is coming? (e.g. Air Care 2)

What is their ETA?

Tell the Landing Zone Coordinator

What helicopter is coming

Who they’ll be contacting

What radio channel to switch to

What is their ETA


“Care Flight 1 will be contacting Battalion 30 on
8 TAC 92 D. Their ETA is 15 minutes, current time 15:30.”

NOTE: Make sure you use the precise radio channel name shown above, as other channels have very similar names (8 TAC 92 is different from 8 TAC 92 D, for example).

In addition to the channel name, you can provide the location in the radio (i.e. the zone and channel number). This is the same for all Butler County radios:

8 TAC 92 D is in Zone C, Channel Number 14

8 TAC 94 D is in Zone C, Channel Number 12

While the Landing Zone Coordinator is switched over to the channel you provided, he will not be in contact on the FD MAIN or BC Fireground talkgroups. His radio can not hear or scan those talkgroups while operating on the helicopter channel. If you try to call with an update, you may not receive an answer unless he is monitoring a second radio.