Welcome! This page is intended to acquaint new and existing interoperability users with our radio system.
Communications interoperability refers to the ability of emergency response agencies to talk across disciplines and jurisdictions via radio communications systems, exchanging information with one another on demand, in real time. Butler County is pleased to bring public safety agencies from outside the county onto the system for mutual aid. We consider these agencies, especially those who have joined on an ’emergency use only’ basis, to be our “interoperability users”.
Butler County recognizes that interoperability must stretch beyond county borders, and we thank you for working with us to better serve our region.
The Butler Regional Interoperable Communications System is the primary means of voice communication for all law enforcement, fire and EMS users based in Butler County, Ohio. It is a Project 25 digital trunked system built by Motorola.
The system was designed to provide in-building portable coverage for the response area of all public safety agencies based in Butler County. This requirement added over 120 square miles outside Butler County to the overall service area of the radio system.
Fourteen law enforcement agencies, twenty-two fire and EMS agencies and nine communications centers use BRICS along with various city and township public works departments and county offices.
Visit the About the System page to learn more.
Read about system coverage and testing standards.
See the Participating Agencies page for the full list.
Calling Dispatch Centers
The first talkgroup in the first Butler County zone is our calling talkgroup, BC CALLING. You will use this talkgroup to reach any of the nine dispatch centers in our county. Use plain language, such as “Colerain Township Engine 102 to Fairfield Communications”.
Common user-to-user talkgroups, called BC TALK 2 – 4, are included for extended conversation following a hail on BC CALLING.
Interoperability Incident Talkgroups
If you are requested to respond mutual aid to Butler County, your dispatcher should be provided the incident talkgroup so that you can communicate directly with command upon arrival.
Law enforcement radios have Area Wide talkgroups (abbreviated BC LE AW) and Mutual Aid talkgroups (abbreviated BC MA).
Fire and EMS radios have Fireground talkgroups (abbreviated BC FG) and Mutual Aid talkgroups (abbreviated BC MA). They also have Hospital ER talkgroups, used to provide patient reports and request medical control. Learn more in the Hospital Communications guide.
Plain language is used on all interoperability talkgroups.
Template for Interoperability Users (PDF)
Zones of interoperability talkgroups are available for law enforcement and fire/EMS users
The BRICS radio staff would like to maintain a point of contact at your agency for radio issues. We will keep this point of contact informed of updates that may affect your users.
It’s also important for your agency to keep us informed if a radio’s assignment changes. Each radio ID has an associated alias that tells our dispatchers who you are, for normal transmissions and emergencies. If you reassign a portable from Engine 25 to Medic 25, we will update our database to match. If one of your radios sends an emergency alarm while operating on a Butler County talkgroup, our centers will be identifying you with this alias. You can send these changes to us easily with our support ticket system. To learn more about radio IDs and how they work, click here.
What talkgroup do I use to call a dispatcher in Butler County?
09 CALL is monitored by all of our communication centers, including: Oxford, Fairfield, Miami University, Trenton, Monroe, West Chester and the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.
Will I have the talkgroups I need to work with agency X?
Yes. The 09 CALL talkgroup allows you to call any dispatch center. The common, county-wide incident talkgroups are used by every agency. With fire agencies, for instance, there are no “local” firegrounds; each agency is assigned and uses a county fireground talkgroup for their incident.
Is the emergency alarm feature active? How does it work?
Yes, the emergency alarm feature is active for all public safety radios operating on BRICS. If activated, while operating on a BRICS talkgroup, your radio will alarm on the incident talkgroup or revert to and alarm on the 09 CALL talkgroup.
The alarm will be received by ALL communication centers in Butler County and your radio will be identified by alias and a seven-digit radio ID. A dispatcher will call you on the talkgroup based on the displayed alias and ask if you are declaring an emergency.
If the alarm was sent in error, it is very important to announce this so the dispatcher understands there is no emergency.
Our radio displays will not support 10-character talkgroup names. Can the names be shortened?
Yes, we have interoperability templates set up to accommodate 8-character displays. Contact us for more information.
The XTS-5000, XTS-2500, XTS-1500 and APX series radios all support our full talkgroup names. Older mobile control heads may be limited to eight characters.
Can I scan Butler County talkgroups while using my home system?
Generally, no. Normally, a trunked radio can only scan talkgroups from the same system as the currently selected talkgroup – meaning, if you have a Hamilton County talkgroup selected, you can not scan a Butler County talkgroup.
If your “home system” is connected to the MARCSIP “system of systems”, it may be possible to scan Butler County talkgroups, but only while your radio is connected to a BRICS tower.
Is there a cost to add more radios to BRICS?
For public safety agencies outside Butler County, there is no subscription cost to be an “emergency use only” user of our radio system. There would, however, be the cost necessary to have your radio programmed (or upgraded, if necessary) to work on our system.
“Emergency use only” provides our interoperability talkgroups, described above, to communicate with Butler County users as needed for mutual aid. If your agency is interested in talkgroups designated for your use only, on a primary or secondary basis, a subscription cost may be involved. Contact us for more information.
Additional questions? Contact us for more information.
If you have operational issues, questions or are interested in adding radios to the system, contact BRICS Support at (513) 785-1299.
The Join BRICS page has more information about bringing radios onto our system.