> >Just curious about this one. I was looking through the list of Dallas
> >PD signal codes that's linked from http://www.redwaveradio.com/ and I
> >noticed that 17, 43, and 45 through 49 are not listed there. Do these
> >signals not exist, (I seem to recall hearing a signal 17 once, but
> >I might've misheard it, or it could have been on one of the business
> >freq's) are they omitted by mistake, or are they stuff we shouldn't
> >know about?
Dallas Police Signal Code 17 is a gang fight. Signal Code 45 is a tactical
call out. There are no codes 46 through 50.
Since you seem to like monitoring the scanner, let me provide you with some
information you might like to know:
I am the Assignment Editor for a local TV station, and I have 14 scanners
on my desk.
Scanners number 1 through 6 are leased to us by the cities they monitor.
They are actual police radios taken from police cars, and they monitor the
trunked talk groups used by those cities. (This is to comply with court
orders about the freedom of the press, the need for the media to be able
to monitor the police and the difficulty following trunked communications,
blah blah blah. Bottom line, you would not be able to lease a radio and
even if you could, it's pretty expensive.)
Scanner number 7 is an actual Motorola two-way taken out of a Dallas
police car. (They even gave us the microphone, so theoretically, we could
transmit. But don't worry, we have resisted the temptation so far.) It
monitors 16 frequencies. Channels 1 through 12 are Dallas Police Channels
1 through 12. Channel 13 is the Dallas Fire Department's Engine Response
Frequency. Channel 14 is Biotel's MED-1. Channel 15 is Biotel's MED-2.
Channel 16 is the Dallas Street Emergencies frequency. The unit can scan
or be set to manual, but it cannot lock out frequencies. It can also be
set to monitor one frequency as priority. As far as we have been able to
tell, most Dallas police car radios are identical in set up to this one.
(My only question is, how do they monitor the Intercity frequencies?)
Scanner 8 is a Radio Shack PRO-2027 that monitors the Dallas Police, the
Dallas Fire Department, Care Flight, all area EMS, all 10 Biotel MED
channels, the Dallas County Sheriff's Office, the Texas Department of
Public Safety, and all other state law enforcement frequencies--like
the Texas ***ic Beverage Commission. It also monitors all the local
media's frequencies (our competition) as well as the FBI, DEA, Customs,
FEMA, EPA, ATF, Secret Service, and IRS Criminal Investigations Division.
Scanner 9 is a Radio Shack PRO-2036 that we use to monitor every trunked 800
MHz public safety frequency in the the Metroplex. This provides redundancy
to Scanners 1 through 6 to make sure we don't miss anything.
Scanner 10 is leased to us from the City of Plano's Police Department. It is
a Plano police officer's handheld unit. It too is capable of transmitting,
but we restrain ourselves. (Although there was that one incident where I
accidentally pressed the little orange "officer in distress" panic button.
The results weren't pretty.) The frequencies in it are trunked talk groups.
By using an actual police radio, again, we don't have to worry about not
being able to follow trunked communications.
Scanner 11 is a Radio Shack PRO-36. This one is kept on manual all the time
and is set to the Dallas Fire Department's Engine Response Frequency. By
never scanning, we can be sure never to miss a fire call in Dallas. The
Engine Response frequency gives us everything we need to get a crew to a
fire scene--location, address, units responding, time out, equiptment taken,
the number of alarms, and all the times and numbers.
Scanner 12 is a Radio Shack PRO-2036. This one is filled with every police,
fire and EMS frequency in the Metroplex that is NOT a trunked frequency.
Scanner 13 is also a Radio Shack PRO-2036. It is the "Aviation" scanner.
This one monitors the frequencies of every airport in the Dallas area.
Scanner 14 is a Radio Shack PRO-2036 too. It is the "Transportation" scanner.
It monitors the Dallas Area Rapid Transit system, Greyhound, the taxi
companies, and all the Railroads that run through Dallas.
Scanner 15 is a Radio Shack PRO-2006. It is set up to monitor Dallas area
frequencies only, emphasing police, fire, and EMS. It sits in the News Manager's
In addition to the above, each photographer has a scanner in his or her car.
And yes, I actually monitor all those scanners at the same time. After 11
years in the business, I've gotten the hang of sorting out useful data from
14 voices going at once. Beleive it or not, it's not that hard. You just
have to learn to listen for code words.
For example, I know that a "Signal 27" is a dead body somewhere. If it
was called in by the Dallas Fire Department it is most likely a natural
death. If CAPERS (Crimes Against Persons) or *** is called on a
"27" call, it is very definitely a *** or suicide. If Gangbusters (the
Gang investigation unit), PES (Physical Evidence), or YFS (Youth and
Family) gets called, I know that whatever the crime is, it's a big deal
and that I'd better stop what I'm doing and start listening.
If Dallas Fire calls for "984" I know that the Fire Investigator is being
sent to the scene. I know that Dallas Fire Department engine and truck
numbers correspond to the station number they were dispatched from.
So when I hear Engine 30 get sent to a fire, I can go to my map and look
and see where station 30 is located. In other words, Engine 30 comes
from Fire Station Number 30. So does Truck 30. I also know to look on
the map for the nearest fire station to number 30, because that is where
assist calls will be coming from. Knowing that ambulances are always
numbered "7" something, I know that if I hear engine 30 responding to a
fire, I know to listen for "730" to be called out, because it will most
likely mean that someone's hurt at the fire that engine 30 is working.
I also know from looking at the map that Stations 45 and 18 are closest to
Station 30, and that therefore other ambulance calls might be "745"
and/or "718". Lastly, I know from looking at the map that the fire is
taking place in the Dallas Police's Northeast Patrol Division, which is
Channel 2, and to therefore listen for units number "2" something, because
any police help sent would be numbered this way.
I know that a police car numbered "422" is on Channel 4, the Southwest Patrol
Division, because the unit number begins with 4. I know that unit "520" is
a supervisor (sergeant rank or higher) in the Northwest Patrol Division, which
is Channel 5. I know this because the unit's number begins with a 5 and ends
with a 0.
I know if I listen to the Biotel MED frequencies, that I will hear paramedics
giving patient condition reports to hospitals. I know most of the terminology.
I know that "an IV of Ringer's" is an IV of Ringer's lactate plasma, which is
always used for liquid replenishment and for treatment of shock. I know that
"TKO" means the IV is "totally kept open" and that therefore liquid
replenishment is very important--in other words, the patient is in shock.
I know that "Albuturall" is a medication commonly used for various types
of respiratory distress. I know that if a patient's eyes are "normal
and reactive" that that's a good sign, and that "pinpoint pupils" or "fixed
and dilated" means either a severe drug reaction or the guy's a goner. I
know that a "blown pupil" is very bad because it means there is probably
bleeding inside the skull. This is potentially fatal. I know that "clear
bilateral" means there doesn't appear to be anything in the patient's lungs.
I know that a "3 lead" is a transmission to the hospital of an EKG or heart
status. A "12 lead" is the same thing only much better detailed. Only
Dallas hospitals use 12 leads. The surrounding cities only use 3 leads.
I know that Priority and Code are indications of the seriousness of a situation.
Priority 1 = life is in danger.
Priority 2 = serious, non-life threatening.
Priority 3 = not serious, non-life threatening.
Code 1 = routine, at your leisure,
Code 2 = handle with lights, no siren.
Code 3 = handle with lights and sirens.
Therefore, a patient being transported "priority 1, code 3" is in bad shape.
Lastly, I know that when the Care Flight helicopters make a run, I need to
listen for the way the offload is being made. A "hot offload" means that
the transport of the patient is so critical that they don't even have time to
wait for the blades to wind down on the helicopter. They need that guy off
that chopper, now! A "cold offload" means that the transport is still very
very important, but at least they can let the blades wind down.
To help you out, you can monitor us on 450.5125 MHz. We are identified as
KPE-517. We have repeaters (as well as microwave relay stations for our
live trucks) on top of the Nations Bank Building in downtown Dallas (the big
green building), and at Continental Plaza in Fort Worth. There is also a
two-way repeater and a microwave receiver at our main transmitter site in
Dallas Base (aka Dallas News) is my desk. Fort Worth Base (aka Fort Worth
News)is the Assignment Editor in Fort Worth. T.O.C. is the Technical
Operations Center--the control room for in Fort Worth. This is the
"brain" of every newscast and if you hear them call a truck there is a
big problem with the signal. Units 10-18 are photographers working on the
Fort worth side of the Metroplex. Units 20-27 are Dallas-side photographers.
Unit 10 is the Chief Photographer and Unit 20 is the Assistant Chief
Photographer. Unit 30 is me or sometimes a ***r borrowing my
equiptent. "SKY EYE" is our chopper. We also call it "Chopper 11" or
more commonly we call for "Chopper Julie" our pilot.
ENG stands for "electronic
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