Radio is a command and control tool. It is used to pass information across great distances and make coordination of resources possible in a way that smoke signals, mirrors, runners, and other ancient means of communications just can't begin to match. Like any other tool, it can be misused. Here are a few "rules" that will help you to avoid become a source of apoplexy for others.


Use plain English - No "QSL-codes"
Use location identifiers or function Title, ie. "Net Control", "Command Post", "Ontario Corps Officer", "San Bernardino County EOC", "Riverside County Primary EOC" etc.


Know what you want to say before you key the mike
Nothing makes people crazer than the guy who gets on the air and then spends a couple of minutes blathering with tons of ah's', oh's, and-ah's, and other garbage that makes it plain he's making it up as he goes along in hopes that what he really needs to say will come to him.


Keep it short and simple
Never, ever, never pack 5 seconds worth of information into 25 seconds.
Don't use long/big words when a short and sweet one will do just as well (and probably better).
Bad: Ah net control this is , canteen one, Ah yeah ah roger that ah net control - got a ah solid copy on your last ah transmission about that ah geographical location that we're ah supposed to be moving towards to ah, rendevouz ah, that is, ah, meet up with the ah, other canteen
Good: Net control this is canteen one


Pause for breaks every now and then

There's a couple of reasons for this
1. You need to ensure that the person on the other end is getting all this.
Nothing worse than getting through some long-winded thing like the Gettysburg Address only to have the command post tell you to "Say again all after 'Four score', will 'ya?'
2. while you're droning your way through the Gettysburg Address someone may have something critical come up that really IS important and that needs to be said NOW, only he can't because some moron (you know the guy - you've all hear him!!) is hogging the air because he loves the sound of his own voice!

SATERN Rrverside and San Bernardino Counties section use the "Break & GO" message handling procedure. Sender speaks no more than 3 to 5 words then breaks and waits for the receiver to give a "Go" before sending the next 3 to 5 words. This procedure lets the one receiving the message set the pace of the message.


Remember the whole world is listening
Scanners abound. Make sure you want what you say to be public knowledge.


Talk across the mike, not into it.
Hold it a couple of inches away from your face and speak at right angles "across" the mike instead of right into it. You'll be easier to understand.


Don't shout. Speak clearly instead.
Shouting may feel emotionally satisfying, but it causes distorting and makes you hard to understand. Countrary to the opinion of some, shouting does not, repeat NOT, increase the range of any radio known to mankind.


For the Command Post guys, DON'T , PLEASE DON'T, read everything back!
You're doubling the necessary air time. Only ask for a "Say again" on the stuff you didn't get. Otherwise, just say "Copy, over" and stand by for the next part


To be really sure you're getting through to the right person, a radio message should include who you're calling and who you are

Here's a sample
"Command Post this is Team one" (Team one wants to talk to the Command Post and is letting them know).

"Team one, this is Command Post, go ahead over" (CP is telling Team one that they're ready to listen.

They might have said
"Team one, this is Command Post, wait, out" (the CP is up to their butts in alligators and will call Team one back.

"Team one, this is Command Post, go ahead, over" (OK alligators dealt with, what's on your mind?

"Commond Post this is Team one, we need a 600' rope out of the van, over" (Pause to see, did you get that, Command Post?)

"Team one, this is Command Post, copy, over" (OK Team one, ready for more info)

"Command Post, this is Team one, someone will be there to pick it up, over" (Get that too?)

"Team one, this is Command Post, copy, over" (Yep, got it, anthing else?)

"Command Post, this is Team one, out" (Nope, done talking)

This may sound unnecessarily complicated, but it's really simple once you get the hang of it. It may soundy 'wordy' but it actually will have a net result of decreasing air time because there are no points of confusion to clear up later if someone misunderstood any part the message.