Communication Equipment

Communication Equipment

An effective communication system is critical in the management and control of day-to-day operations and during emergency response situations.  A communication system is used to direct personnel, vessels, aircraft and vehicles and to receive information regarding status, surveillance, logistical needs or other emergency requirements.

It is essential to have a command and control point from which to direct communications.  This may be from a fixed base or a mobile base station.  The fixed base or mobile command units must have multiple communication capabilities – i.e., a frequency range covering VHF-FM and marine channels, cellular phone service, and regular landline phone service.

DBRC has an established communications network that links DBRC personnel and its major resources to the Incident Commander and response personnel during spill response activities (Figure below).  The system is comprised of three (3) repeater stations located in Bethel, PA; Westville, NJ (Energy Transfer Partners Eagle Point) and Lewes, DE.  This network is utilized for important response activity communications using DBRC’s portable base station, hand-held portables radios.

All DBRC communications are transmitted and received on FCC licensed VHF spill response channels, 1 or 2, depending on the user’s location.  All three (3) repeaters transmit on the same frequency.  The Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) Eagle Point and the Lewes repeaters both receive on the same frequency since the areas of reception for the two repeaters do not overlap.  The Bethel, PA repeater covers the largest area due to its elevation and receives on a different frequency. 

Channels 1 (ETP Eagle Point or Lewes repeater) and 2 (Bethel repeater) are restricted to the transmission of critical information related to spill response activities.  Channel 3 is a talk-around channel that allows radio users to monitor network communications and to transmit and receive local communications.  To transmit a message on the network, the user must switch to channel 1 or 2 according to where the user is located.  Channel 4 is for communications with either a NRC or MSRC repeater in the event either organization sets up a repeater during a spill.  DBRC has coordinated the use of the oil spill response frequencies with these organizations to provide the best communications possible during a spill.  Channel 5 is a talk around channel that will monitor the NRC/MSRC network.  Channel 6 is a chatter channel for local off network communications.

 Base Stations: DBRC has fixed base stations located at the Lewes office and the Linwood Facility.  

Portable Base Station: One (1) mobile base station is contained in a portable trunk at DBRC’s Linwood Facility.  The radio is 25 watts and provides full channel coverage.  The radio may be operated on either 115-volt AC or 12-volt DC.  A small magnetic whip antenna or 200 feet of RG213 cable and an 8 ft. antenna with a tripod base are available.

Hand-Held Portable Radios: Over Thirty (30) hand-held portable radios are available for use during a spill.  These are 3 or 5 watt units and provide full channel coverage.  Two of the radios are set up for use in helicopters.

Mobile Radios:  All DBRC vehicles and boats are equipped with 25 watt mobile radios.

Channels and Frequencies of DBRC Hand Held Radios

*  103.5 Hz

Weather and marine channels are also programmed in the hand held radiosDBRC Phone and FAX Numbers – DBRC phone numbers are provided below.  

The 24 hour emergency phone number is   302 645-7861.

The Lewes phone number serves as both telephone and FAX lines and will detect incoming calls and switch automatically to the appropriate device.  However, these dual lines will only detect FAX numbers dialed automatically by the FAX machine.  Voice-assisted FAX machines must use the Lewes Facilities’ dedicated FAX, the University line.

DBRC Cellular Phones

DBRC has cellular phones which are carried by the following personnel at all times. 


Channel 1Network Communications from Philadelphia/Lewes areas154.585/6Z150.9800/6B
Channel 2Network Communications from Bethel area (mid-Bay)154.585/6B150.9800/6B
Channel 3DBRC Net Monitor150.9800/6B150.9800/6B
Channel 4NRC/MSRC Repeater158.445/1A*159.480/1A*
Channel 5NRC/MSRC Net Monitor159.480/1A*159.480/1A*
Channel 6Chatter159.480/6B159.480/6B