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Radio Etiquette

Two-way radios are common place when working in security and close protection and it is important to know how and when to use them. Whether you are part of an event security detail or functioning as operations control, having proper radio etiquette will help keep communications efficient.


Learn radio chatter language and the phonetic alphabet


In the interest of being concise, certain words are commonly used as part of radio communication lingo it is important to understand and use these correctly.

Over – I have finished talking

Go-ahead – Send your message, I am available to respond

Stand-by – I hear your call but am not available to respond, wait for Go-ahead

Copy/Roger – Message understood

Say Again ­– Repeat your lest transmission

Affirmative/Negative – Yes/No

Out – Call is over and radio channel is clear




Clearly identify who you are trying to contact and then who you are, using callsigns. When making a call you say the recipients callsign first and then identify yourself initiating a call should be like this:

“Recipient, Recipient, this is Caller, over”

Keep the channel clear

· Don’t use the radio for idle chatter and avoid blocking the channel.

· When a PTT button is pressed it blocks other transmissions on the frequency so prepare your message before pressing PTT button,

Make sure your message/call it is clear

· Be concise and quick to the point

· Avoid complex wording

· Use the phonetic alphabet

Making a call - In this scenario you are “Alpha 2” calling “Foxtrot 1”

1. Make sure the channel is clear and no previous messages are open

2. Plan out your message including the correct callsigns

3. Press the PTT button then wait for 1.5 seconds, some radios make a ‘bleep’ sound when ready to transmit.

4. “Foxtrot 1, Foxtrot 1. This is Alpha 2, over”

5. Wait for reply “Alpha 2, this is Foxtrot 1, Go ahead, Over”

6. “Foxtrot 1…convey message, Over” call continues until topic is resolved.

7. When call is over “Copy Foxtrot 1, Alpha 2 out” this signifies that the radio channel is clear and the topic is resolved.


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