April Training: The ICS-213 Compliant Radiogram

Post date: Apr 2, 2017 10:18:53 PM

As FEMA's promulgation of the Incident Command System (ICS) leads to more organizations making use of the system, the "General Message" form (ICS-213) becomes more commonly encountered. As we find that our service of relaying third-party traffic can support not only members of the public but official communiqués of government agencies, we need to be able to transmit these messages. After all, the universally-recognized form helps people to understand what they're seeing. What's not to love?

Earlier forms, including the humble radiogram, have assumed transmission of the document to get it from one place to another. As such, those forms include critical information such as routing and handling instructions, as well as accountability for the process of getting the message to its addressee. Attaching an ICS-213 to email allows for accounting of where and when the message has gone, since email provides that kind of information. But how do you transmit an ICS-213 by radio?

Radio Relay International has introduced its Form 1703-ICS, an ICS-compliant radiogram form!

The most important thing to remember is that we should not confuse form with format. Critically, common format is what allows for interoperability, while form will allow for presentation. It turns out that by recognizing what elements are part of the ICS-213 format and what is needed by the radiogram format, we can combine those elements to create a means to transmit an ICS-213 by radio, while providing the accountability that we look for when handling third-party traffic. (The separation of form from format is what allows the Internet to work: whether you type your message into a form presented by Microsoft Outlook or Google's Gmail, both will go into the Internet Message Format for transmission. We can do exactly the same thing here.)

In our April 2017 training, we will discuss the ICS-213 in detail. We will consider its uses, and we will then look to the Radiogram at the particular features it provides that we need to provide excellent service in transmission by radio. We will conduct examples of originating ICS-213-compliant messages, transmitting them, and delivering them.


April 13, 2017. Join us at 18:00 to meet everyone and get settled. Training will start at 18:30, sharp! We will conclude after about two hours.

Bring your HT, and some printouts of the RRI 1703-ICS!


As usual, we'll hold the training at Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security, 5300 Strawberry Farms Blvd., Columbus, Ohio.