Using a Radio Network

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Radios are used for primary communication. Unfortunately, not everyone will be issued a radio. On the first day of your shift, at radio distribution, next to Workforce check-in, you will learn if you will be responsible for a radio throughout the event.

Each day, the freestyle skiing radio channels will change. Make sure you check the snowboard and freestyle skiing radio channel board to learn what channel you will be on and check that the rest of your team is on the same channel at your daily briefings.


[edit] The Anatomy of the Radio

Below is a picture of the radio that many workforce members will use during Games-time. We have highlighted the functionalities of the radio that you may use. This will be discussed in more detail in your face-to-face training.

[edit] Communication over the Radio Network:

Each venue will have its own communication plan and radio network. Here are some specific definitions to help you understand how a radio network is structured and recognize some of the vocabulary that you will hear.

[edit] Talk Group

A Talkgroup is the term given to assigned groups on a trunked radio system. Unlike a conventional radio which assigns users a certain frequency, a trunk systems takes a number of frequencies allocated to the system. Then the control channel coordinates the system so talkgroups can share these frequencies seamlessly. The purpose is to dramatically increase bandwidth. Many radios today treat talkgroups as if they were frequencies, since they behave like such.

Each radio user will be assigned a Talk Group, which is the equivalent to a radio channel. A Talk Group consists of a group of radio users who share similar on-venue responsibilities and need to speak with each other most often.

For example, any radio users responsible for back of house or behind the scenes operations will likely share the same Talk Group. Radio users who share the same Talk Group are able to speak with each other directly without having to switch their radio channel or go through the Venue Communication Centre.

Do not change your Talk Group unless you are advised to do so by the Venue Communication Centre (VCC) or your supervisor.

[edit] Call-sign

Each radio user will have a designated call-sign. A call-sign is a means of identifying a radio user by their position and responsibility (For example, the event services manager will go by the call-sign: EVS1, whereas the event services deputy manager will go by the call-sign: EVS2) Many radio users will share the same call-sign as they will often be working at different times of the day but fulfilling the same duties. Personal names should not be used when communicating over the radio, only call-signs.

If you are a radio user, you will be given your Talk Group and call-sign assignment by your supervisor during job-specific training. You will be reminded of your Talk Group and call-sign assignment when you pick up your radio at the radio distribution centre at the beginning of your first shift.

[edit] Venue Communication Centre (VCC)

The Venue Communication Centre (VCC) is similar to a radio dispatch centre. It is the main communication hub at a venue. The VCC is staffed with VCC operators who are responsible for assisting the venue team by completing the following tasks:

  • Monitoring radio traffic and documenting issues that arise
  • Facilitating two-way radio traffic between radio users that are not located on the same talk group (radio channel)
  • Providing venue- and event-related information to the venue team when needed.

Each monitored talk group will have its own dedicated VCC operator. The call-sign for the VCC on every monitored talk group is BASE

Note: During Games time, there will be a VCC located at all competition venues, BC Place and Whistler Medals Plaza. Venues that do not have a VCC will have an alternative communication plan in place to ensure effective communication is used.

[edit] Radio Distribution Centre

The Radio Distribution Centre (RDC) is run by the technology function. It is the location in each venue that manages the inventory and maintenance of all radios and accessories. You will go here each day to pick up and drop off your radio unless otherwise specified by your supervisor. Radio Protocol

Why is radio protocol and terminology important?

As a radio user, it is important that you learn, practice and promote the use of proper radio protocol. The use of correct radio protocol will:

a. Ensure a clear, common language and understanding of venue communication

b. Reduce the possibilities of misunderstandings between venue team members

c. Enhance the safety, security and efficiency of working at a busy operational venue

[edit] The Basics of Radio Terminology

In this chart, you will see the basic terminologies that we use to communicate over the radio. These words identify specific meanings and will allow radio users to follow your message accurately. Consider this your radio language. Radio Terminology What it Means

  • This is Who is making the call.
  • Go for Who is answering the call.
  • Over I am finished talking now and awaiting your response.
  • Out I am ending this radio conversation.
  • Say again Repeat your last transmission, I did not understand.
  • Stand by Wait a few minutes while I finish other business, I will radio you when I am ready to talk.
  • Copy I understand/message received.

Initiating a radio call:

When initiating a radio call, we use the “Sandwich Method:”


Example If VENUE 1 (the venue general manager) needs to speak with FAB 1 (the food and beverage manager) it would sound like this:

FAB1, this is VENUE1 calling FAB1, Over. (Receiver…………caller………............receiver)

VENUE1 has initiated the call by stating the food and beverage manager’s call-sign twice. This is to ensure that FAB1 has two opportunities to hear and register that they are being called. In a busy event, it is common for radio users to miss a call when they are preoccupied. The “Sandwich Method” is used to help alleviate this.

[edit] Answering a radio call:

When answering a radio call, we say:

GO FOR… [Your Call-sign], OVER (receiver call-sign)

This is to notify the initiating caller that you are entering the radio conversation and awaiting a message.

Example If Press1 (the press operations manager) initiates a call to Site1 (the overlay manager) it sounds like this:

SITE1, this is PRESS1 calling SITE1, Over.

The overlay manager would then respond to the call and enter the radio conversation by saying:

[edit] Radio Etiquette and Guidelines:

Using the Six-Step Process:

Whether you are learning to use a radio for the first time or you consider yourself a seasoned veteran, use the following guidelines to assist you when you are making a radio call:

  1. . THINK About what you need to say before you begin to transmit.
  2. . LISTEN To ensure your talk group is clear of any radio transmissions in progress.
  3. . PRESS And hold the push-to-talk (PTT) button.
  4. . WAIT For the talk-permit tone before speaking (Otherwise the beginning of your message will not transmit).
  5. . SPEAK Into the microphone, holding it about three inches from your mouth.
  6. . RELEASE The push-to-talk (PTT) button once you have completed your transmission.

Things to remember when you are using the radio…


  • Be brief!
  • Speak slowly and clearly
  • Keep radio chatter to event related information
  • Keep the volume of your voice at a conversational level
  • Stay on the Talk Group you’ve been assigned unless instructed to switch by your supervisor or the VCC.


  • Use profanity or slang
  • Give confidential information over the radio – use a telephone or face-to-face conversation
  • Put your radio down unattended

[edit] Also see

Return to Radio or Freestyle Skiing

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