Despite the popularity of wireless cell phones and emails, two-way radios remain irreplaceable in many professions and emergency situations. Whether you are a boater contacting the authority via your VHF radio, an officer going on a patrol, or an ambulance worker talking with your team, effective radio communication is essential.
It is also a fundamental topic in most EMS (Emergency Medical Service) training courses. When you sit for tests on Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured, you might stumble across the question “Which of the following will help improve radio communications?”
The correct answer is after you press the transmit button, wait one second before speaking.
Which of the Following Will Help Improve Radio Communications?
For the question “Which one will help improve radio communications,” you will be given four answers:
- Answer questions only with “yes” or “no.”
- Use codes to speed up communication.
- Wait 1 second after pressing the transmit button before speaking.
- Hold the radio at least 6 inches from your mouth.
The answer you should choose is number three. When you want to pass on a message, press the transmit button, wait for one second, then start speaking. Doing so ensures that the beginning of your message isn’t cut off.
In addition, keep these tips in mind to improve the clarity and conciseness of your speech:
- Speak clearly and slowly
The transmission quality of radios is lower than that of cellphones, so your communications should be loud and clear. In the pressure of an emergency, you might tend to speak fast and nervously. Thus, practice speaking in a confident tone and remember to slow down so that others can hear every word of your transmission.
- Wait until the channel is clear before transmitting
Don’t interrupt when someone else is transmitting. It is rude, and you risk missing important information he or she has to offer. So, ensure the channel is clear, then press the transmit button, wait for one second, and start sending your message.
- Be prepared
When using a radio, be prepared before you speak. When waiting for your turn to transmit, you can form the message in your head. Your transmission should be brief and clear.
Additionally, be ready when receiving transmissions from others. You should maintain your focus to pick up the entire message.
Ways to Improve Radio Communications
Passing a test is one thing, but knowing how to improve radio communication quality in real life is more important. When you are out there on duty, people will count on you with their lives.
Besides brushing up on your transmitting skills, check out our general guidelines for effective radio communications.
1. Make sure the hardware is functioning properly
Before your shift starts, inspect the antenna and batteries of your radio. They are key to improving transmission range and reception. Your antenna should be in its position without any visual damage; your batteries should be fully charged.
Two-way radios have a shelf life of five to six years. When your device has passed its prime, you might need to replace it. Old and broken radios don’t transmit as well as new ones, which might interfere with your communications.
2. Improve your transmission range
The location at which you transmit largely affects your transmission range. Buildings, mountains, and trucks can all act as obstructions. So, try moving to unobstructed or high places whenever you can.
If you use a scanner, which is a type of communications equipment functions as a radio receiver and searches for available channels, you should install an outside antenna to improve the transmission range the device can scan.
3. Install a radio improvement system
When you and your team work in a building, you might receive low reception and unclear signals. It is because thick walls and large building materials can block radio waves.
If that is the case, you can install a radio improvement system. It will help enhance the radio signal strength and improve the effectiveness of your team’s communication.
What should you do when you are communicating with an older patient?
Most elderly people can think clearly and answer questions, so don’t annoy them with a loud voice, repetitive sentences, or excessive explanations.
Instead, you should try to speak slowly and deliver your questions plainly. Do not rush the conversations or use medical jargon. Doing so will help improve communication with most patients.
When communicating information over the radio you should?
The rule of thumb for effective radio communication is to slow down your speech and pronounce your words correctly.
In addition, hold the radio’s microphone in an appropriate position. It should be:
- About one to three inches from your mouth
- Below or to one side of your mouth to avoid transmitting the noise of your breathing
- Held consistently in one position and not moved frequently
What is the value of improving radio communication skills for someone who uses radio as a hobby instead of in their profession?
Even when you don’t use radios in your profession, gaining effective radio communication skills can yield many benefits.
- You will be informed about a local emergency right when it happens.
- You can listen to traffic and weather updates and other local events from reliable people in your own community.
- In the unfortunate event of natural disasters, you have a solid foundation of communication, even when the power is out for weeks. You can help people around you contact the authorities and emergency services when in need.
- You keep people in your neighborhood informed and connected.
That wraps up our answer to “Which of the following will help improve radio communications?” There are many ways to enhance your radio experience, such as preparing your transmission, finding high places to extend your range, and checking your hardware before usage.
But most importantly, remember to wait for one second after pressing the transmitting button before you start talking. You don’t want your team to lose the first words of your message.