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Thread: Scanner Terms, FAQ's and Basic Information

  1. #1
    Find em Hot, Leave em Wet G1G4's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Division 2

    Scanner Terms, FAQ's and Basic Information

    The next several posts in this thread will show you basic information, 10-codes, caution codes, local fire department & rescue squads along with other misc. information. This thread will be updated whenever new information comes about.


    Basic Terms
    FD/Police priorities and regional (St. Mary's, Charles, Calvert) fire department's and rescue squads
    10 Codes, phonetic alphabet, caution codes and division codes
    Last edited by G1G4; 11-19-2009 at 07:20 PM. Reason: Updated URL's

  2. #2
    Find em Hot, Leave em Wet G1G4's Avatar
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    Division 2

    6I - Intoxicated/disorderly
    ALS - Advanced Life Support
    Area Box - An area box is used when a fire, fire alarm, CO alarm or smoke detector call is put out. On a working fire, an additional engine company and (for St. Mary's County) Water Supply 5 is added to the call. An example of a working fire dispatch: 'Area Box 3-09, xxxxx Imaginary Lane, for the working house fire. Companies 3, 4, 9 Tower 9, Water Supply 5, Company 39 is due.
    ATL - Attempt to Locate
    BIR - Brief Incident Report. This is usually given when the first arriving unit goes on scene. In short, it's a quick summary of what the officer sees.
    BLS - Basic Life Support
    CDS - Controlled Dangerous Substance. In short, drugs.
    CJIS - Criminal Justice Information System
    CMC - Civista Medical Center
    CMH - Calvert Memorial Hospital
    Code 601 - running radar
    Code Response - Lights and sirens. Urgent.
    DOA - Dead on Arrival
    DOP- Destruction of property
    DRT - Dead Right There
    ECC - Emergency Communications (or Control) Center
    EOC - Emergency Operations Center
    EP - Emergency Petition. The person usually goes into emergency custody of the police on scene for either mental reasons or other.
    Expedite - In terms of responding, it means to step up your response, or respond quickly.
    Extradite -To send a wanted person back to where they are wanted from.
    GOA - Gone on Arrival
    Hazmat Box - Any incident that involves a hazardous material of any kind; i.e., gasoline tanker, propane/natural gas cylinders greater than 100 pounds, unknown substance; i.e., biological, chemical, nuclear, or Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).
    Local Box - A local box can be service calls, tree downs or things that don't necessarily require an emergency response, but still requires fire department assistance. EG; 'Local Box 1-01, on Budds Creek Road, south of Pin Cushion Road, for the tree down, Company 1 is due, 0855'
    LZ - Landing Zone.
    MCU - Mass Casualty Unit
    MDB - Short for Mobile DataBase.
    Medical Box - Single (1) ambulance company response on medical assist calls and those situations where other assistance is rendered. EXCEPTION: CPR in progress, dispatch ambulance, ALS, fire department.
    MICU - See: ALS
    MILES - Maryland Interagency Law Enforcement System
    NCIC - National Crime Information Center. Almost any traffic stop will result in having the persons name run thru the database.
    NLETS - National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System
    PAR - Personnel Accountability Report. These are usually performed on long duration events, or events that require personnel to be rotated in or out of areas. A PAR check is done to make sure all personnel on the fireground are accounted for.
    PC Search - Probable Cause Search. You'll hear this on traffic stops. It usually requires two officers.
    PD - Short for 'Property Damage.' This is mainly used when referring to motor vehicle accidents that have no injuries.
    PI - Short for 'Personal Injury.' This is used when referring to motor vehicle accidents with injury
    Rescue Box - A rescue box is any type of call referring to any injury as a result of an accident. Motor vehicle accidents, confined space entrapments and entanglements are examples of a rescue box. A rescue box will usually be one engine/squad company and two ambulances per one? (I haven't looked at my dispatch procedures for ambulances in forever) vehicle. A rescue box will also be dispatched when a bus accident occurs, whether there is injury or not. One (1) ambulance will be dispatched for every two- (2) people injured. A minimum of two (2) ambulance companies are dispatched on all motor vehicle accidents when two (2) or more vehicles are involved (unless there is only one confirmed injury) or when in doubt.
    Shock Trauma - Commonly referred to as Baltimore Shock Trauma. Not too be confused with Prince George's Hospital
    Simulcast - A simulcast is used when an incident is transmitted that requires more than one officer to respond to a call. Disturbances, motor vehicle accidents, attempted suicides and fights are examples of calls that would be simulcasted.
    SMH - St. Mary's Hospital.
    SOW - Sent on way
    SRO - School Resource Officer
    TA - Trading as/business name
    UTL - Unable to locate
    VFD - Volunteer Fire Department
    VRS - Volunteer Rescue Squad
    Last edited by G1G4; 04-09-2010 at 10:30 AM. Reason: Added - Hazmat Box; Updated Rescue Box, Medical Box

  3. #3
    Find em Hot, Leave em Wet G1G4's Avatar
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    Division 2

    Priority 1 - The most urgent and time critical priority.
    Priority 3 - Routine.
    Priority 4 - Fatality.

    Category A - Physiologic abnormalities and/or significant anatomical injuries that require emergent transport to a trauma center. Examples of this are a flail chest, 2 or more proximal long bone fractures (IE; two broken femurs), paralysis, any penetrating injuries to the head, neck or torso or an open or depressed skull. These are automatic flyouts.
    Category B - Anatomical injuries that require urgent care by a trauma center. Examples of this is paralysis, amputation proximal to the wrist or ankle, crushed, degloved or mangled extremity (IE; crushed foot, skin taken entirely off hand), penetrating injuries proximal to the elbow or knee, or any combination trauma that involves burns. These are automatic flyouts.
    Category C - This can also be referred to as the 'mechanism category.' These are injuries that are not urgent in nature, but require evaluation and/or treatment by a trauma center based upon mechanism. Unless the patient fits into Category A or B. Examples of this is any high risk auto crash which involves intrusion greater than 12 inches on the side the patient is on or greater than 18 inches on any side, ejection from a vehicle, death in the same vehicle, rollover without restraints, automobile vs pedestrian with significant impact and any motorcycle crash greater than 20 MPH. Category C patients also include those who fall 3 times greater than their height [EG; 6 foot person falls 20 feet, 6x3=18 18 or anything over is a flyout) and exposure to a blast or explosion. These are consultation injuries.
    Category D - A category D patient is the least critical of any patient being flown out. However, other factors with an original category D patient can lead to the patient being flown out as a C. Factors that result in a category D flyout include a patient being less than the age of 5 or over the age of 55, a patient with a bleeding disorder or one on anticoagulants (SP?), a dialysis patient, any burn patient without other trauma and a pregnant woman over 20 weeks.


    Level 1 - All responding apparatus report to their assigned areas as described by SOG. PAT tags are collected and placed on the PAT tag holder. Personnel remain on apparatus unless requested by command.
    Level 2 - First arriving apparatus responds to the scene. All others will respond to an established area as requested by the first Officer or acting officer to arrive on the scene.


    Level I - Level I Accountability will always be in effect.

    Level II - Level II Accountability will be at the discretion of the Incident Commander. The IC will advise Fireboard when using this level. Fireboard will then announce to all units responding on the incident of the level and the location of the “PAT” drop off point (should be at the Command Post).

    Level III – Level III Accountability is when the Incident Commander determines that the incident requires more stringent accountability; the IC will implement Point of Entry Control. Fireboard will then announce to all units responding on the incident, the level and the location of the “PAT” drop off point (should be at the Command Post).


    CONDITION 1 - Fire is either under control or can immediately be put under control by units on the scene or responding.

    CONDITION 2 - A working fire.

    CONDITION 3 - Working fire, more units requested

    RESPONSE BY CALL TYPE (SMC ONLY!!!!!) These are how the calls are dispatched. (Responses marked with a * indiicate calls for Company 4 add an additional engine company because of Station 14 running mutual aide off of Webster Field.

    Commercial Building Fire* - 3 Companies, 2 Truck, 1 Ambulance.
    House Fire* - 2 Companies, 1 Truck, 1 Ambulance.
    Barn Fire* - 2 Companies, 1 Truck, 1 Ambulance
    Shed Fire* - 2 Companies, 1 Truck, 1 Ambulance
    Commercial Fire Alarm* - 2 Companies, 1 Truck
    Residential Fire Alarm* - 2 Companies, 1 Truck
    MVA PI* - 1 Company, 1 Squad, 2 Ambulances
    MVA PI Bus* - 1 Company, 2 Squads and/or 1 Rescue Engine, 3 Ambulances, 1 Medic Unit
    MVA Water* - 1 Company, 1 Squad/Rescue Engine, 2 Boats, 1 Raft, 2 Ambulances, 1 Medic Unit
    MVA Water/Inland* - 1 Company, 2 Rafts, 1 Squad/Rescue Engine, 2 Ambulances
    MVA Entrapment* - 1 Company, 2 Squads and/or Rescue Engine, 2 Ambulances, 1 Medic Unit
    MVA HazMat* - 3 Companies, 1 Squad, HazMat 13, 2 Ambulances, Chief 100, Public Safety/HazMat 18
    MVA Bus PD - 1 Company, 1 Ambulance
    HazMat Investigation* - 1 Company, HazMat 18, Chief 100, Public Safety
    HazMat Emergency* - 3 Companies, 1 Squad, HazMat13, 2 Ambulances, Chief 100, Public Safety, HazMat 18
    HazMat B* - 1 Company, HazMat 13, 1 Ambulance, Chief 100, Public Safety, HazMat 18
    CPR – Response determined - 1 Company, 1 Ambulance, 1 Medic Unit
    By home Amb. Co. - 1 Company, 2 Ambulance, 1 Medic Unit
    Working Comm. Bldg Fire - 4 Companies, 2 Trucks, Water Supply 5 2 Ambulances -- 2nd Alarm add SMECO, Fire Marshal
    Working House Fire* - 3 Companies, 1 Truck, Water Supply 5, 2 Ambulance -- 2nd Alarm add SMECO, Fire Marshal
    Working Shed Fire* - 3 Companies, 1 Truck, Water Supply 5, 2 Ambulance
    Working Barn Fire* - 3 Companies, 1 Truck, Water Supply 5, 2 Ambulance
    Brush/Woods Fire Class 4 - 2 Companies
    Brush/Woods Fire Class 5 - 3 Companies
    Aircraft Crash Land* - 3 Companies, Crash 13, 1 Squad, 3 Ambulances, 1 Medic Unit
    Aircraft Crash Water* - 1 Company, 1 Squad, 3 Boats, 3 Ambulances, 1 Medic Unit, MSP Helo, DNR, USCG
    Water Rescue Open Water* - 1 Company, 2 Boats, 1 Ambulance, MSP Helo, DNR, USCG
    Water Rescue Inland Water* - 1 Company, 2 Raft, 1 Squad, 1 Ambulance, DNR
    Boat in Distress - 1 Company, 2 Boat, 1 Ambulance, MSP Helo, DNR, USCG
    Search Party - 3 Companies, 1 Gator, 1 Ambulance, MSP Helo, Search Dogs
    CO Detector No Symptoms -1 Company
    CO Detector with Symptoms - 1 Company, 2 Ambulance, 1 Medic Unit
    Gas Leak Residential* - 2 Companies, 1 Squad, 1 Ambulance
    Gas Leak Commercial - 3 Companies, 1 Truck, 1 Squad, 1 Ambulance
    Structural Collapse - 2 Companies, 2 Trucks, 2 Squads, Co 13, 3 Ambulances, Medic Unit, Collapse Rescue Team
    Confined Space Rescue - 1 Company, 1 Truck, 2 Squads, Co13 Confined Space Team, 3 Ambulances, 1 Medic Unit
    MVA House Fire* - 2 Companies, 1 Truck, 1 Squad, 2 Ambulances, 1 Medic Unit
    MVA Comm Bldg Fire* - 3 Companies, 2 Truck, 1 Squad, 2 Ambulances, 1 Medic Unit
    Gas Leak Outside - 1 Company
    Water Flow Alarm* - 3 Companies, 2 Truck, 1 Ambulance
    Single company responses (county wide): Vehicle Fire, Brush/Woods Fire Class 3 and lower, MVA PD, Smoke Investigation, Hazardous Condition, Service Call, 1089(Bomb Threat), Farm Accident (plus Ambulance, Squad and Medic Unit), Industrial Accident (plus Ambulance, Squad, Truck and Medic Unit), Alarm Malfunction, Stand By, Fire Prevention, Smoke Detector No Smoke/Fire, Wires/Pole Down, Unauthorized Burning, Landing Zone, Assist Police, Tree Down, Alarm Malfunction, Animal Rescue, Flooding Condition,, Dumpster Fire, Tree Fire, Debris Fire, Fire Reported Out, Rekindle



    Company 1 - Leonardtown VFD
    Company 2 - Mechanicsville VFD -- Mechanicsville Station
    Company 3 - Bay District VFD -- Lexington Park Station
    Company 4 - Ridge VFD
    Company 5 - Seventh District (Avenue) VFD
    Company 6 - Second District (Valley Lee) VFD&RS
    Company 7 - Hollywood VFD
    '8' - This designation is used for Calvert County units coming into St. Mary's County. EG; Engine 831 would be Solomons Engine 31
    Company 9 - Bay District VFD -- California Station
    Company 13 - Pax River Fire Department
    Company 14 - Pax River Fire Department -- Webster Field Annex
    Company 18 - County Hazmat
    Company 19 - Leonardtown VRS
    Company 22 - Mechanicsville VFD -- Golden Beach Station
    Company 29 - Mechanicsville VRS
    Company 38 - Lexington Park VRS -- Buck Hewitt Station
    Company 39 - Lexington Park VRS -- Great Mills Station
    Company 49 - Ridge VRS
    Company 59 - Seventh District (Avenue) VRS
    Company 79 - Hollywood VRS
    Medic - The building is located in Leonardtown, however, they have four designations. Medics 1, 2, 3 and 391.


    Company 1 - La Plata VFD
    Company 2 - Hughesville VFD&RS
    Company 3 - Waldorf VFD&RS -- Waldorf Station
    Company 4 - Nanjemoy VFD
    Company 5 - Benedict VFD&RS
    Company 6 - Cobb Island VFD
    Company 7 - Potomac Heights VFD&RS
    Company 8 - Tenth District (Marbury) VFD&RS
    Company 9 - Indian Head VFD&RS
    Company 10 - Bel Alton VFD&RS
    Company 11 - Bryans Road VFD&RS
    Company 12 - Waldorf VFD&RS - Westlake Station
    Company 13 - Charles County Dive Team
    Company 14 - Newburg VFD&RS
    Company 15 - Dentsville VRS
    Company 16 - Charles County EMS & Hazmat
    Company 20 - NSWC IHD Fire/EMS
    Company 21 - Stump Neck Annex EOD Fire/EMS*
    Company 51 - Charles County Rescue Squad
    Company 58 - Ironsides VRS
    Company 60 - Charles County MICU


    Company 1 - North Beach VFD&RS
    Company 2 - Prince Frederick VFD
    Company 3 - Solomons VFD&RS
    Company 4 - Prince Frederick VRS
    Company 5 - Dunkirk VFD&RS
    Company 6 - Huntingtown VFD&RS
    Company 7 - St. Leonard VFD&RS
    Company 10 - ALS
    Company 12 - Dive Team
    Last edited by G1G4; 04-09-2010 at 10:29 AM. Reason: Added section 'RESPONSE BY CALL TYPE'; Updated section 'Conditions'; Removed 'EMD categories'

  4. #4
    Find em Hot, Leave em Wet G1G4's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Division 2
    10 CODES

    10-0 Caution
    10-1 Unable to copy
    10-3 Stop transmitting
    10-4 OK
    10-5 Relay
    10-6 Busy
    10-7 Out of service
    10-8 In service
    10-9 Repeat
    10-10 Fight in progress
    10-11 Dog case
    10-12 Stand-by (stop)
    10-13 Weather report
    10-14 Prowler
    10-15 Civil disturbance
    10-16 Domestic problem
    10-17 Meet complainant
    10-18 Quickly
    10-19 Return to
    10-20 Location
    10-21 Call _ by telephone
    10-22 Disregard
    10-23 Arrived at scene
    10-24 Assignment completed
    10-25 Report in person
    10-26 Detaining subject
    10-27 Driver's license information
    10-28 Vehicle registration info.
    10-29 Check for wanted
    10-30 Unnecessary use of radio
    10-31 Crime in progress
    10-32 Man with gun
    10-33 EMERGENCY
    10-34 Riot
    10-35 Major crime alert
    10-36 Correct time
    10-37 Investigate susp. vehicle
    10-38 Stopping suspicious vehicle
    10-39 Urgent - use light & siren
    10-40 Silent run - no light/siren
    10-41 Beginning tour of duty
    10-42 Ending tour of duty
    10-43 Information
    10-44 Permission to leave
    10-45 Animal carcass at
    10-46 Assist motorist
    10-47 Emergency road repair at
    10-48 Traffic standard repair at
    10-49 Traffic light out at
    10-50 Accident (PI, PD)
    10-51 Wrecker
    10-52 Ambulance
    10-53 Road blocked at
    10-54 Livestock on highway
    10-55 Intoxicated driver
    10-56 Intoxicated pedestrian
    10-57 Hit & Run (PI, PD)
    10-58 Direct traffic
    10-59 Convoy or escort
    10-60 Squad in vicinity
    10-61 Personnel in area
    10-62 Reply to message
    10-63 Prepare to make written copy
    10-64 Message for local delivery
    10-65 Net message assignment
    10-66 Message cancellation
    10-67 Clear for net message
    10-68 Dispatch information
    10-69 Message received
    10-70 Fire alarm
    10-71 Advise nature of fire
    10-72 Report progress on fire
    10-73 Smoke report
    10-74 Negative
    10-75 In contact with
    10-76 Enroute
    10-77 ETA
    10-78 Need assistance
    10-79 Notify coroner
    10-80 Chase in progress
    10-81 Breath test
    10-82 Reserve lodging
    10-83 Work school crossing at
    10-84 If meeting _ advise ETA
    10-85 Delayed due to
    10-86 Officer/operator on duty
    10-87 Pick up/distribute checks
    10-88 Present telephone # of
    10-89 Bomb threat
    10-90 Bank alarm at
    10-91 Pick up prisoner/subject
    10-92 Improperly parked vehicle
    10-93 Blockade
    10-94 Drag racing
    10-95 Prisoner/subject in custody
    10-96 Mental subject
    10-97 Radio test
    10-98 Prison/jail break
    10-99 Wanted/stolen indicated


    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 - Xray
    Y - Young
    Z - Zebra


    A - Armed
    B - Dangerous
    C - Mental
    D - Armed/Mental
    E - Suicidal
    F - Armed/Suicidal
    G - Resists Arrest
    H - Armed & Resists Arrest
    I - Dangerous & Resists Arrest
    J - Mental & Resists Arrest
    K - Suicidal & Resists Arrest
    L - Approach with Caution
    M - Assaults Police Officers
    N - Drug User/Seller
    O - Medical contagion
    P - Prior arrests


    Adam - Usually a supervisor. Usually a two digit number below 99. EG; "Adam 33 to St. Marys 10-8"
    David - A corrections officer. Usually a 3 digit number above 600. EG; "David 668 St. Marys, enroute to the jail with one 10-95"
    Ida - Part of the investigative/detective team. Usually a 3 or 4 digit number. The majority of the four digit units are part of the crime lab team, or civilian staff. EG; "Ida 1001 St. Marys, 10-8 in the county'
    K9 - Self explanitory.
    Paul - A regular patrol unit. These are the sheriff's you see patrolling the streets. They can be identified with any two or three digit number. "Paul 126 St. Mary's, 10-27, 10-29 on the registered owner'
    Tom (or T) - These are the state police. When talking to their Leonardtown dispatch, they commonly refer to themselves as simply the letter T. When they need to talk to St. Mary's or any of the sheriff's, they refer to themselves as Tom. EG; 'T26 Leonardtown, Copy traffic -- 235 at MacArthur Boulevard'

  5. #5
    Find em Hot, Leave em Wet G1G4's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Division 2

    What does the term 'box' mean, and what do the terms before them mean?

    A box is a map area that is divided into grids, that include locations that are relative to that area. Within these areas are numerous streets, and they can also include businesses, schools, multi-occupancy residences and other general buildings.
    The terms before them are descriptors for the responding units. These indicate what type of incident they will be responding too. For instance, most local boxes are flooding conditions, tree down, transformer fires or anything that doesn't involve fire, but requires fire department assistance. Most area boxes are anything that could potentially involve fire, such as fire alarms, CO alarms, smoke detectors soundings, and of course house fires. Water rescue is just as the name implies. A medical box is any BLS/ALS call that requires the ambulance to be dispatched first. A rescue box is anything that involves injury that would require the fire department to respond. The most common is motor vehicle accidents, but these could also include structural collapses or entrapments, just to name a few.
    Last edited by G1G4; 09-15-2009 at 08:51 PM.

  6. #6

    Arrow Listen to Police / Fire / EMS scanners ONLINE

    Southern Maryland Online offers several online scanners that are available for you to listen to online.

    Visit Public Safety (Police, Fire, EMS) Radio Scanners for Southern Maryland (Calvert, Charles, St. Mary's Counties) and select the area you are interested in listening to. There are several listening options, including the Windows Media Player embedded directly into the page above, Winamp, Quicktime, Realplayer, and others are among the supported scanner play options.

    Each of the scanners supports up to 50 simultanious users. This is usually plenty, but, upon occasion, when something major is "going down", the scanner slots do fill up. We can, and have in the past, enabled an additional feed to be able support more users.

    Don't forget the other online audio feed that SOMD has, ! Live internet radio from right here in Southern Maryland!
    Last edited by dgates80; 09-15-2009 at 09:40 PM.
    Don't confuse what you do to live with what you do to survive.

  7. #7
    Find em Hot, Leave em Wet G1G4's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2008
    Division 2
    I've updated the priorities section to include 'categories.' I've tried to be as thorough as possible (probably too thorough.) If anyone has any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

  8. #8
    Find em Hot, Leave em Wet G1G4's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Division 2
    I've now included the EMD priority system that SMC has begun to implement. Until I get the official list from either Fireboard or someone in the higher-up's, this list is unofficial.

  9. #9
    M.I.C.U. Mobile Intensive Care Unit i.e. Medic Unit. Mass Casualty Units use the designation of MCU or Mass Casualty Unit.

    In Calvert the Company #8 is NOT a mutual aid designation. For St. Mary's companies responding to Calvert a #2 is added in front of their St. Mary's company number i.e. Bay District is either 23 or 29 to Calvert.

  10. #10
    Find em Hot, Leave em Wet G1G4's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2008
    Division 2
    Fixed. Thanks.

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