Radio Communication Operators

Every Fire and Rescue Department needs someone back at the station to facilitate communications with responders in the field. Some departments call them “dispatchers” – here at Portal Rescue we have “Radio Communication Operators”. Our RCOs rush to the fire station (or use home-based equipment) at the start of an incident and facilitate our communications.

Call Sign:   Portal Rescue Communications

  • Things RCOs do:
    • Use a two-way radio.
    • Keep track of event times.
    • Contact outside agencies by telephone.
    • Relay information to the Incident Commander in the field.
    • Help us find a location.
    • Answer the phone anytime of the day or night.


  • Things RCOs don’t do:
    • Be in charge.
    • Make decisions about our field operations.
    • Relay identifying medical information.
    • Answer a 911 call from a panicked resident.


  • Skills:
    • Communicate clearly on radio and telephone (a learned skill).
    • Act as a steady calm voice for stressed field responders.
    • Be a good listener and recorder.

If this sounds like a way you’d like to help Portal Rescue, then give the EMS Chief Jackie Lewis or Fire Chief David Newton a call.

Library of “toneout” sound files.   Lots of noise.   Imagine you’re in the wind.


Our current RCOs:
Susanne Apitz
Bonnie Bowen
Dinah Davidson
Marilyn Forestell
Rolf Koford
Jackie Lewis
Linda Wadsworth
Bill Wilbur