Toms River Township utilizes an operator number system for radio communications. Each position in the fire company and each individual has a specific assigned operator number for use when communicating on the radio. The operator number system is beneficial to radio communications by allowing quick identification of a position or individual without taking up too much radio time. Fire Company officers are assigned operator numbers based upon their position and in line with a system implemented by Ocean County. Each fire station is assigned a number, and each officer position and type of apparatus is also assigned a number. These two numbers together form the radio call sign of the apparatus or officer.
Station # 25 is assigned to Toms River Fire Company #1. The number “00” is assigned to all Fire Chiefs in Ocean County, therefore the fire chief’s operator number is 2500.
The following are the assigned operator numbers for Toms River Fire Company #1 Officers:
2500- Fire Chief
2530- First Lieutenant
2540- Second Lieutenant
2570- Safety Officer
2580- Safety Officer
2590- Fire Police Captain
Fire fighters who are not officers may identify themselves via the portable radio used from an apparatus, such as “2501 portable” or by their individual operators number.
Individual operators numbers are assigned by the station number, the number “9” followed by the individuals badge number. For instance a firefighter from Station 25 with badge number “123” would use the operator number “25-9-123”.
Fire police members respond directly to the scene and due to their unique responsibilities are provided with individual radios and operator numbers. Fire police members follow assigned numbers in line with the Fire Police Captain designator of “2590”. Fire Police members have operator numbers assigned from “2591” through “2599”. These numbers while similar to the below apparatus numbers are not apparatus, but individuals, who respond mainly in their personal vehicles with blue emergency lights, directly to the emergency scene to maintain crowd/traffic control and safety of the public after the fire chief or her/his designee has established the “fire lines”.
Apparatus also have assigned numbers based upon the Fire Company’s assigned Station number and type of apparatus. The station number together with the assigned number for the type of apparatus together form the apparatus number. Example 2501 is an engine from Toms River Fire Company #1. If a fire company has more than one apparatus of the same type, a number is added after the station number and before the type designator in place of the “0”. For example, the first engine in Toms River Fire Company #1 is designated as 2501 and the second engine is designated as 2511.
The following are the standard Ocean County assigned numbers for apparatus types:
Apparatus Type Designations
01- Engines / Pumpers
02- Mini Pumpers
03- Rescue / Extrication
04- Vans / Utilities / Salvage
05- Ladders / Aerial Units
06- SCUBA (Vehicles / Boats)
07- Special Apparatus (foam, HazMat, etc)
09- Brush Units
Assigned apparatus numbers not only provide a great way to identify an apparatus through radio communications, but also provide the Incident Commander vital information on what types and capabilities of apparatus responding to an incident will be able to provide and is key in incident action planning during an emergency.