Volunteer Radio Protocol: How to Operate Park Radios SOP


This SOP outlines the expectations and procedure for volunteer use of park radios.


All Volunteers will use a radio to communicate with staff and other volunteers during shifts. Volunteers will monitor radio for safety information and wait until other conversations are complete before starting a new radio call (unless there is an emergency).


Radio Etiquette

  • Think about what you want to say before you transmit and use concise language.
  • If you are outside, shield the microphone from the wind with your hand and turn away from the wind.
  • Listen before you transmit to ensure there is no other radio traffic.
  • Press the transmit button firmly for one second before you begin speaking and hold it down while speaking.
  • Speak directly into the receiver. Hold the radio slightly away from your face.

Checkout Radio *Protocol Updated*

  • Volunteers can check-out radios at the Visitor Center from whoever is stationed there. If no one available, check-out forms should be filled out accordingly. Area will be checked daily/maintained by ranger on duty.
    Accessibility: If you need assistance checking-out a radio, be sure to let the entrance station rangers know to radio 799 with your name and duty for the day. 799 will come out to meet you at the traffic circle with your equipment.
  • Radios should always be set to Channel2 using the middle knob on the top of the radio.

Test Radio

  • All radios will be tested by the ranger on duty prior to park opening.
  • If you suspect your radio begins to fail over the course of your shift, a conduct a radio check ensuring to follow proper radio etiquette outlined above.

For example: You would say, “799, 540 (your name) radio check”. The ranger on duty as 799, would respond, “Loud and clear” or similar statement to notify you that your issued radio is functioning properly.

To make/ initiate a call:

  • Say the call number of the person you are trying to reach (ex. “799”) and then say your own call number and name “540 (your name) here.”

For example: “799, 540 (your name).” Then release the button and wait 10 to 15 seconds for a response. If you get no response, repeat your original transmission.

To respond to a call:

  • When someone calls your number, respond with your number and name.

For example: The caller would say, “540 (your name), 799”. You, as 540, would respond, “540 (your name)”

  • Once you have received a message, say “Copy” so the sender knows you heard the communication.

Example: If 799 says that you are needed at the Visitor Center, you respond with, “Copy. Heading to the Visitor Center.”

Return Radio *Protocol Updated*

  • Return radio to whoever is stationed at the Visitor Center. If no one is available, update check-out form.
    Accessibility: If you need assistance from 799, radio to let them know. 799 will come out to collect your radio at the traffic circle. Example: “799, 540 (your name) – pause for response– Returning radio at the traffic circle.”

Other Considerations

  • Safety first: Your safety always comes first. Do not hesitate to call a park law enforcement ranger should you encounter a medical or safety situation. Always ask for “any law enforcement ranger.”
  • For observations and reports that are not emergencies but are useful information, radio 799. Law enforcement rangers will be listening to transmissions and 799 can pass off the contact if needed.

Last Updated: 4/08/2022 Saved at T: \ SOP CABR

Last revised 8-Apr-22