Many of our fire department readers are familiar with the National Interagency Incident Communications Division (NIICD). NIICD is a partnership between the USDA Forest Service and the Department of the Interior's agencies located at the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho. See http://www.nifc.gov for more information. NIICD's mission is to provide portable emergency communications with a major focus on wildland fire suppression, and other man-made and natural disasters where federal assistance is required.
NIICD is responsible for evaluation and approval of all radios used by the US Forest Service and is the benchmark for defining quality and performance standards for portable radios used in firefighting activities. Beginning in 2010, only radios from BK/Relm, Datron, EF Johnson, Midland, and Thales Communications are approved for firefighting activities. The Motorola P25 XTS2500 and XTS5000, although approved for use in 2009, were been removed from the approved list as fire non-compliant for 2010 and remain off the approved list as of February 25, 2011.
This leaves Motorola with no fire compliant radios, along with ICOM, Harris, Kenwood, and Vertex. Those who are considering the purchase of P25 use for firefighting use should consider only the offerings of approved vendors (See http://www.nifc.gov/NIICD/docs/approved_radios.pdf for a listing of currently approved portables. Falcon Direct is privileged to represent both BK/Relm and Midland P25 radios. Call 800.489.2611 or email AtYourService@falcondirect.com for more information.