Not Nato

alycidon

Active member
Joined
Apr 4, 2016
Messages
315
When listening to the radio transmissions of the FDNY, they don't use the NATO phonetic alphabet, why is that so. Can anybody supply the phonetic alphabet that the FDNY use please.
 

mack

Administrator
Joined
Aug 8, 2009
Messages
13,412
NYPD:

NYPD Phonetic Alphabet​

AAdam
BBoy
CCharles
DDavid
EEddie
FFrank
GGeorge
HHenry
IIda
JJohn
KKing
LLarry
MMike
NNora
OOscar
PPeter
QQueen
RRobert
SSam
TThomas
UUnion
VVictor
WWilliam
XX-Ray
YYellow
ZZebra
 

Lebby

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2015
Messages
930
NYPD:

NYPD Phonetic Alphabet​

AAdam
BBoy
CCharles
DDavid
EEddie
FFrank
GGeorge
HHenry
IIda
JJohn
KKing
LLarry
MMike
NNora
OOscar
PPeter
QQueen
RRobert
SSam
TThomas
UUnion
VVictor
WWilliam
XX-Ray
YYellow
ZZebra
P: Paul
Y: Young
 

Bulldog

Bulldog
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
2,148
Any idea why they don't use a standard NATO phonetic alphabet like most other organizations do? It seems like it would result in a lot less confusion.
 

fdhistorian

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 25, 2013
Messages
772
According to Wikipedia:

NATO Phonetic Alphabet - one, two and some three syllable unrelated words
To create the code, a series of international agencies assigned 26 code words acrophonically to the letters of the Roman alphabet, with the intention of the letters and numbers being easily distinguishable from one another over radio and telephone, regardless of language barriers and connection quality. The specific code words varied, as some seemingly distinct words were found to be ineffective in real-life conditions. In 1956, NATO modified the then-current set of code words used by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); this modification then became the international standard when it was accepted by ICAO that year and by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) a few years later.[1] The words were chosen to be accessible to speakers of English, French and Spanish.

According to NYC - Common boys/girls names (mostly), only one or two syllable

What's easier? - Hotel Alfa Romeo Delta - Tango Oscar - Delta Oscar?

Or

Sam Ida Mike Peter Larry Eddie

Under stress, any similar name gets the message across

Steve Irma Mark Paul Lincoln Ethan

It usually boils down to what and where you learned it first and where you use it most.
 

Atlas

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
679
When FDNY first started using a phonetic alphabet is was either in the late 60's or early 70's. Within months there were major changes made in the original version. Pan Am Airlines aircraft were known as clippers and they carried female names. FDNY followed suit by using where possible female names. Apparently complaints were made and the alphabet was changed. There were several changes also made to the list. A new one was published, but it was far different then the one used by the military and professional radio organizations. The main mission of the phonetic alphabet is to permit radio operators to transmit messages so that the person on the receiving end can completely understand the transmission. Part of the problem is that first responders don't use a radio daily and would quickly forget the proper prowords after a lack of use.

After retiring from FDNY I was teaming up with NYPD Counter Terrorism Detectives helping to teach staff at various key locations basic communications skills. When it came time to trying to transmit various messages we noticed that there were problems using a phonetic alphabet. One of the problems was that there are too many of them and we had people from various countries. We approached the problem by trying to do it as simple as it can be done.

In our case we were dealing with people who worked together daily in a limited area. They all knew each other and that made our job easy. The employees were instructed to use simple words that the receiver would understand and not find offensive. It worked out better for the various facilities.

Over the years, FDNY & NYPD have used different prowords words for various letters.
 

mack

Administrator
Joined
Aug 8, 2009
Messages
13,412
Personal attacks, particularly naming members of the fire service of any department and disparaging their careers and contributions, are not permitted on this site.
 

Atlas

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
679
Bringing ICS into play in NYC over the years was a group that was part of the city's Health and Hospital Corp. That organization was what we know today as the Emergency Medical Service. That's right FDNY's EMS was the first and only agency for a good number of years that used ICS format pre merger. I am talking about going back some time into the 80's. EMS has been part of FDNY for some 25 years and they had ICS operational long before joining FDNY.

If I remember correctly FDNY did provide a training course on a modified version of ICS that was developed in house that they started to use in the city. Only to have to go back and reteach the national program to all personnel.

ICS came to the Fire Service thanks to agencies in Southern California and the Nation Park Service firefighter. Fire Chief Alan Brunacini of the Phoenix Arizona Fire Dept, had developed his own Fire Ground Command System and saw the importance of the use of a command & control system to manage an incident on the fire ground and helped to develop what we know today as the ICS system.

Here is some history that I found on the ICS system:

History Of Incident Command & Firefighter Safety​

history-fire-command.jpg
Incident command and firefighter safety have come a long way since Benjamin Franklin’s 1736 bucket brigades. By examining the 100-year history of real progress in how we track fires, firefighters, and other emergency personnel on all types of scenes, we can see the difference that modern tools, like those from American Trademark, can make.

The Early 1900’s – In Military Mode​

As described in documents dating back to 1916, early fire leadership operated in a military-style chain of command. This worked fine for isolated fires that did not spread and were under the direction of one department.

Fire Command In The 1940s & 50s​

After World War II, the Large Fire Organization (LFO), was developed by returning military veterans. They used what they had learned regarding military command and control and applied these tactics specifically to fighting wildfires.

FIRESCOPE – Time For Real Change​

An outbreak of devastating California wildfires in the 1970s made holes in existing firefighting incident command styles obvious. The military fashion of command fell short when more factors in managing came into play.
  • Managing Information Coming In From Various Sources
  • Managing Resources Coming In From Across The Nation
  • Making Quick Decisions For Fast Actions
  • Many Different Departments Converged
  • Establishing Clear Chains Of Command
  • Being Able To Coordinate Efforts
  • Communicating Clearly
Many departments joined forces to design a system that would work and be easily repeatable for managing wildfires. This joint force was called Firefighting Resources of California Organized for Potential Emergencies or FIRESCOPE.
The results of FIRESCOPE were the beginning framework for today’s incident command systems or ICS. By 1976, the system was moved from a fire-centric system to an all-risk, all-hazard system in design.

The 1980’s & 1990’s – All Risk, All Hazard​

Although ICS was already meant for all types of emergencies as of the mid-70s, it wasn’t until 1983 that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) started encouraging its use. Non-fire agencies began to explore the use and effectiveness of ICS in their own situations.
In the 1990s the Coast Guard began to adopt ICS.

Keeping Firefighters Safe Through Accountability​

In 1990, the Seattle City (WA) Fire Department also developed a system of firefighter accountability called PASSPORT. This system was designed to track firefighters and discourage firefighter freelancing or making decisions about tasks without direction from the chain of command.

Tragedy Encourages Universal ICS Use​

The September 11th attack of 2001, further prompted the need for an incident command system that could flex as needed to manage and coordinate a wide range of departments and incidents. ICS became a cornerstone of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) in 2004.

ICS & Accountability Products For Today’s Emergency Scenes​

At America Trademark, we carry a wide range of incident command and accountability product that supports communication, coordination, and personnel safety across departments nationwide. These tools benefit today’s first responders in a variety of ways.
  • Know Where Your People Are Even If They Can’t Communicate
  • Document Information As The Scene Changes In One Place
  • Communicate Up-To-Date Information
  • Flexible, On-The-Go Command Boards
  • Portable, Centralized Command
  • Customizability
  • Affordability

Time Tested Tools For Emergency Scene Safety​

Track firefighters or EMS teams. Respond to floods, fire scenes or crime scenes effectively. ICS has come a long way. Let us help to support your incident command and accountability programs with high-quality tools.



The National Fire Incident Management System Consortium is an organization of fire service professionals whose goal was to merge the two most popular incident command systems used by the American fire service into a single common system. These two systems are the Fire Ground Command System, developed by the Phoenix, Arizona, Fire Department, and the Incident Command System, developed in California by the FIRESCOPE program.

This effort involved the participation of 23 major fire service organizations, including FIRESCOPE, Phoenix Fire Department, National Fire Academy, International Association of Fire Chiefs, The International Society of Fire Services Instructors, the Emergency Management Institute, IFSTA/Fire Protection Publications, among others.

The merger was achieved through a consensus process representing the American fire service.

Background​

As previously noted, the two most popular fire service incident command systems were the Fire Ground Command (FGC) system and the Incident Command System (ICS). Both were developed in the early 70’s. Fire Chief Alan Brunacini developed the Fire Ground Command System in Phoenix, Arizona. The system emphasized structural fire application and other urban related emergencies such as hazardous materials, mass casualty, etc.

The National Fire Protection Association adopted Fire Ground Command and published several related training materials. These included the textbook “Fire Ground Command” authored by Chief Brunacini, as well as video and slide training programs. In addition, Chief Brunacini had taught a very popular multi-day FGC workshop for many years throughout the country.

The FIRESCOPE Incident Command System was developed in Southern California as a result of the catastrophic wildland fire siege of 1970. From the very beginning, the major fire departments in California committed to the concept realized that ICS must be used on a daily basis to be successful. Further, that it must be all risk in nature, expandable to meet every type of incident complexity, and have common components so that agencies could work together effectively. The system has proven very successful in managing the day-to-day incidents as well as the largest of resources that respond to major incidents. As a result, many urban fire departments nationwide began to apply the system to structural fires and other urban emergencies. ICS was adopted by National Fire Academy in 1982 for its incident command training programs.

Throughout the 1980’s, fire service leaders debated the benefits of each system and the possibilities of merging the best components of the two into a single system. During the 1989 International Association of Fire Chiefs annual conference in Indianapolis, a panel discussion was conducted on the merger possibilities. Based on comments from the audience, there appeared to be strong support for a merger.

Progress​

In July 1990, the Phoenix Fire Department hosted the first of a series of AdHoc Committee meetings with Phoenix and FIRESCOPE representatives, with staff assistance from the National Fire Academy. Additional AdHoc committee meetings were held at the National Fire Academy (September 1990) and Sacramento, California (January 1991). A groundbreaking meeting between the AdHoc committee and the FIRESCOPE board of directors occurred in Chesterfield, Virginia in August 1991. As additional meetings occurred, more and more fire service organizations participated, thus increasing representation.

During the August 1991 meeting in Chesterfield, Virginia, the AdHoc Committee was re-organized into a more formalized organization. The organization selected the title “National Fire Service Incident Management System Consortium” to better describe the organization’s mission. An organizational chairperson was elected and committee chairpersons were assigned to three working committees.

During the February 1993 meeting in Houston, Texas, the Consortium made some adjustments in the organization structure and officers and completed its Constitution and By-Laws and initiated the process of incorporation. Also at the Houston Meeting, the Consortium completed the successful merger of ICS and FGC. The title “Incident Management System (IMS)” was chosen to identify the merger. Shortly thereafter, the incorporation was complete. The Consortium is incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation in the State of Texas.

Accomplishments​

The Consortium has successfully merged the Incident Command System’s organizational design and structure with the tactical and procedural components of Fire Ground Command. They have incorporated these elements in several documents titled “Model Procedures Guides”. Fire Protection Publications of Stillwater, Oklahoma publishes and distributed the guides. To obtain model procedure guides, call Fire Protection Publications at 1-800-654-4055 or go to www.ifsta.org. The various guides include:

  • Model Procedures Guide for Structural Firefighting
  • Model Procedures Guide for EMS Incidents
  • Model Procedures Guide for Structural Collapse and USAR
  • Model Procedures Guide for Hazardous Materials
  • Model Procedures Guide for Wildland Interface Fires
  • Model Procedures for High-Rise Fire Fighting
  • Model Procedures for Highway Incidents (available in Summer 2004)
The Consortium policy is to schedule revisions and updates every five years using a public comment period. This will ensure the “system” remains current to the “users” needs and experience.

The objective of the model procedure guides is to provide fire departments an example of a procedure that will aid in the adoption and implementation of IMS. The model procedures reflect a natural escalation of the “system” from first arriving units to a major command organization. The guide’s focus is on organization design for the first 25 companies on scene.

The merger includes the strength of ICS for incident management and the simplicity of FGC for ease of application. There is a strong integration of strategy and tactics in the model procedures. The new system will permit early implementation of command and smooth escalation of the command organization to meet the needs of a major incident or disaster.

The Consortium has also adopted a 13-step decision procedure to use for developing and revising changes in IMS. Key points of the procedure include two separate 120-day public comment periods and an automatic review of all published model procedures every five years.

Consortium members also assisted the National Fire Academy in integrating appropriate IMS Model Procedure Guide material into NFA’s incident command training curriculums. That integration is complete and reflected in NFA’s training documents.

The Consortium co-sponsored with the Phoenix Fire Department starting in 1992 the first of a series of national seminars, held in Phoenix each year, dedicated to incident management systems. This effort has now been assumed by the Phoenix Fire Department and is co-sponsored by the Fire Engineering/FDIC.
 

fdhistorian

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 25, 2013
Messages
772
When FDNY first started using a phonetic alphabet is was either in the late 60's or early 70's. Within months there were major changes made in the original version. Pan Am Airlines aircraft were known as clippers and they carried female names. FDNY followed suit by using where possible female names. Apparently complaints were made and the alphabet was changed. There were several changes also made to the list. A new one was published, but it was far different then the one used by the military and professional radio organizations. The main mission of the phonetic alphabet is to permit radio operators to transmit messages so that the person on the receiving end can completely understand the transmission. Part of the problem is that first responders don't use a radio daily and would quickly forget the proper prowords after a lack of use.

After retiring from FDNY I was teaming up with NYPD Counter Terrorism Detectives helping to teach staff at various key locations basic communications skills. When it came time to trying to transmit various messages we noticed that there were problems using a phonetic alphabet. One of the problems was that there are too many of them and we had people from various countries. We approached the problem by trying to do it as simple as it can be done.

In our case we were dealing with people who worked together daily in a limited area. They all knew each other and that made our job easy. The employees were instructed to use simple words that the receiver would understand and not find offensive. It worked out better for the various facilities.

Over the years, FDNY & NYPD have used different prowords words for various letters.
FDNY first started using the phonetic alphabet in 1971.
 

Red dragon

New member
Joined
Jan 12, 2022
Messages
14
Kind of the similar question as to why we number exposures 1-2-3-4
And a good portion of the country uses
A-B-C-D.

neither is wrong both are effective and I’d assume a fireman in NY could figure out the bravo side and fireman in California could figure out the 3 side.
 

fdhistorian

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 25, 2013
Messages
772
Kind of the similar question as to why we number exposures 1-2-3-4
And a good portion of the country uses
A-B-C-D.

neither is wrong both are effective and I’d assume a fireman in NY could figure out the bravo side and fireman in California could figure out the 3 side.
Numbers do not need phonetics
Similar sounding letters do
 

Atlas

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
679

Phonetic Alphabet - FDNY's​


The following alphabet code is used to ensure accuracy and to expedite radio communications:
A ADAM
B BOY
C CHARLES
D DAVID
E EDWARD
F FRANK
G GEORGE
H HENRY
I IDA
J JOHN
K KING
L LINCOLN
M MARY
N NORA
O OCEAN
P PAUL
Q QUEEN
R ROBERT
S SAM
T TOM
U UNION
V VICTOR
W WILLIAM
X X-RAY
Y YOUNG
Z ZEBRA



EXAMPLE: Fire reported in apartment 3 Boy.

Key words and phrases have been developed to achieve brevity and standard phraseology.
KEY WORD OR PHRASE MEANING

Urgent: All radio traffic shall cease. An urgent message is to be transmitted.

Carrier On: This is used for test purposes only. The carrier of this transmitter will be on the air for the next ten seconds. After saying "Carrier on," the operator shall press the transmitter button for the next ten seconds without speaking. Radio mechanics use these code words to request base stations or mobile units to place "Carrier on" for frequency tests.

Correction: "An error has been made: correct message is..."

Mixer Off: "Mixer off" messages can only be transmitted by mobile units. For reasons of security or discretion, the Radio Dispatcher will ensure that the mobile unit's transmissions, following this announcement, will not be put on the air. Since information transmitted from the scene of an incident may be critical to all concerned, the Radio Dispatcher shall not switch the "Mixer off", unless specifically requested to do so by the unit transmitting the message. If in the dispatcher's experience, he or she believes the mixer should be off for confidentiality purposes, the unit transmitting the message shall be asked if the mixer should be switched off. The Radio Dispatcher shall switch the "Mixer off" if the names and/or units of injured members are being received, and/or information associated with the transmission of a 10-41 is being received.

Stand by "A message requiring recording in writing follows. " to write:

That is "The message-just transmitted is incorrect. "
wrong: "Correct message is.... "
 

nfd2004

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 22, 2007
Messages
5,444
THANK YOU "ATLAS" for providing ALL of us with the FDNYs Phonetic Alphabet, as well as some of their Radio Messages to be used.

Those of us who know you, will ALSO know that you would be considered AN EXPERT when it comes to presenting us with this FDNY information.
 

mack

Administrator
Joined
Aug 8, 2009
Messages
13,412
PHONETIC ALPHABETS

FDNY VS NYPD VS NATO


A ADAM ADAM ALPHA
B BOY BOY BRAVO
C CHARLES CHARLES CHARLIE
D DAVID DAVID DELTA
E EDWARD EDDIE ECHO
F FRANK FRANK FOXTROT
G GEORGE GEORGE GOLF
H HENRY HENRY HOTEL
I IDA IDA INDIA
J JOHN JOHN JUJLIET
K KING KING KILO
L LINCOLN LARRY LIMA
M MARY MIKE MIKE
N NORA NORA NOVEMBER
O OCEAN OSCAR OSCAR
P PAUL PETER PAPA
Q QUEEN QUEEN QUEBEC
R ROBERT ROBERT ROMEO
S SAM SAM SIERRA
T TOM THOMAS TANGO
U UNION UNION UNIFORM
V VICTOR VICTOR VICTOR
W WILLIAM WILLIAM WHISKEY
X XRAY XRAY XRAY
Y YOUNG YELLOW YANKEE
Z ZEBRA ZEBRA ZULU


FDNY & NYPD have 19 letters that are the same.
FDNY, NYPD and NATO have 2 letters that are the same - VICTOR, XRAY
 
Last edited:

mack

Administrator
Joined
Aug 8, 2009
Messages
13,412
NYPD and FDNY have been around for a lot longer than NATO. If it's not broke why fix it?=

The NATO alphabet probably predates the city phonetic alphabets by many years

NYPD and FDNY have been around for a lot longer than NATO. If it's not broke why fix it?

NATO's widely used phonetic alphabet (e.g. - by international military services, airlines, professional radio organizations, etc.) was created and standardized in 1956 - much earlier than the current NYC department systems.


 

mack

Administrator
Joined
Aug 8, 2009
Messages
13,412
Many, if not most, fire departments seem to use the NATO alphabet. It does standardize and simplify department interoperability, especially working with federal agencies. But these alphabets are so simple, different alphabets are not a big deal and departments like FDNY and NYPD probably maintain their alphabet versions for pride and tradition.


LAFD, for example, uses NATO. See page 4-8 http://www.lafdacs.org/pdf_files/Interim Book 73 _9_21 version FINAL.pdf
 

raybrag

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
3,387
Many, if not most, fire departments seem to use the NATO alphabet. It does standardize and simplify department interoperability, especially working with federal agencies. But these alphabets are so simple, different alphabets are not a big deal and departments like FDNY and NYPD probably maintain their alphabet versions for pride and tradition.


LAFD, for example, uses NATO. See page 4-8 http://www.lafdacs.org/pdf_files/Interim Book 73 _9_21 version FINAL.pdf
When I was in the Air Force, we used NATO as Joe has posted it with one exception: M was Metro, not Mike.
 
Top