Tuesday, 19 May 2009

R/T Set















Is this thing still on..?

It was a lonely Sunday evening night shift, and we had but one thing to be excited about.
We had been warned that at 0100 hours the radio system would go down for five minutes.

Five minutes without calls being given out, five minutes with no back up if we were already dealing with calls or came across something direct.
Five minutes of peace...

As the night wore on, we were given regular reminders that it would be happening.

At about ten to one, the controller keyed up "All units Bravo X-ray, just a reminder about the switch off for maintenance for the airwave sets. There will be no receiving or transmitting capability from 0100hours for a period of five minutes at most. A repetition, no radio capability from 0100hours for a period of five minutes maximum. If there are any problems after the five minutes or the radios don't come back online, call me direct."
Silence
"Er, Bravo X-ray from BX201 - how do we call you direct to let you know the radios aren't working, if, well, the radios aren't working?"
Laughter around the borough. The femal controller keyed up again:
"Sorry petal, I don't make the rules. I'm sure I'll think of something by then..."

A wonderful example of prior planning by the met.

Incidentally, the radios did come back on line after just under five minutes, and no one died in that time.

17 comments:

Hugh said...

is that a storno set?

i remember using them back in the early 80's, when they were old and knackered then :)

Fee said...

A while back, at work, we all got in one morning to discover none of the phones were working. So we just shrugged and got on with our jobs. As you do.

Shortly after, the first manager strolls in, discovers the problem and asks,

"Has anyone called the Helpdesk to report this?"

He wasn't amused when told we'd dispatched a pigeon. We had two whole hours of blissful peace before those barstewards at BT sorted it!

sierracharlie said...

Hmm. For Officer Safety reasons surely you should all have hidden away somewhere safe for those five minutes, surely? I mean what if something had happened that required urgent assistance?

Oh, you would have used your phones as usual...

Chapati said...

LOL!! Awesome :D

Anonymous said...

Someone did die, its just no-one was supposed to know about it.


Hence why the set was shut down.....

TonyF said...

Storno hand helds and Pye 'Pegasus' base stations...We were using them in the late 90s........

TheBinarySurfer said...

Sounds similar to my joyus ISP having an automated voicemail on their helpline telling me i can get technical support for any connection difficulties online at www.mynetdoesntworksohowcanigetonline.co.uk

Will be absent from the blogsphere for a while ATNS as moving and work have blocked most blogs lately due to some people not being able to use it sensibly (that old chestnut), stay sane in the meantime!

Vetnurse said...

ROFLMAO love it. Thankfully no one was in need of help though!.

Hogday said...

Bloody hell! That radio looks like a Storno - tell me its a historic photo - but having said that, my trust Storno never failed me, rarely lost a signal and had widespread coverage. I cannot say that for the one's we got issued with in my last couple of yrs yrs later. I was on an Airwave working group and we weren't happy with what we were seeing (and not hearing)...

Hogday said...

PS. and it doubled up as a useful defensive weapon when you couldn't get your stick out...:-/

taffy said...

Hogday,
As one of the last MP ops prior to the fall to metcall, i note the difference is no-one pretended storno was a miracle box, and its failings were documented therefore predictable and workable.Same with the trunked uhf system (AKA metradio).
Senior managment however got sold by the salesmans promise of wizadry and trickery, and the rest of us were dismissed as "resistant to change" when it was questioned (i was once invited to the airwave steering groups too). Many alternatives to suit the job were around, eg the P25 digital system tried and tested by many US forces, and the modern version of cougar. Some would also have made partial use of the legacy systems equipment. However, the cost effective and task sutible alternatives didnt come with colour screens and a vip box at twickers, so its obvious what happened. The box was bought with people on the top floor in mind, which explains why you cannot get it wet, dirty or expect it to still be speaking when the proverbial hits the fan.

Blue Eyes said...

A friend of mine tells me that when different companies were tendering for what is now called Airwave, HMG were offered several alternatives with different functionality. HMG went for the "cheapest". How much do the batteries cost to replace? How long are their lives?

Anyway, that is probably for another time/place.

taffy said...

the HO went for the icing on the cake and the cherry on top. Thing is, they forgot about the eggs, flour and sugar in the process.

But the VIP tickets to rugby final's and future directorships on the boards of private companies had NOTHING to do with it.

Hogday said...

Taffy; Concur. In my last outfit, we recommended a completely different command and control computer system to the one we ended up with. When we flagged up our preferences which were not the `pre-chosen one` we could literally see the eyes of the IT mangers and their puppets glaze over - and later saw a few senior ex colleagues consulting/selling for the company the force finally bought into. But as you inferred, it was purely co-incidence.

Adrian Peirson said...

Ever wondered if the increase in crime was deliberate ?

Anti British Psychological WarfareInfowars Radio

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