The Two-Way Radio Blog
Anyone working in the construction, education, warehousing, logistics, or janitorial industries should know how to keep their two-way radios sanitized, especially during the COVID-19 era. After all, while we are inundated by reminders of social distancing, hand washing, liberal use of hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes and other good hygiene habits one of the most important items that many hard working Americans should be aware of is how to clean and sanitize professional grade two-way radios. According to recent report from the Journal of Hospital Infection, coronavirus bacteria and other germs can live on surfaces like glass, metal or plastic for anywhere from two hours to nine days,
Discount Two-Way Radio understands our customer’s concerns and have put together some very simple but highly effective sanitizing do’s and don’ts for cleaning your two-way radios. As a matter of fact, one of the largest cleaning journals in the industry thought so much of these cleaning tips, they ended up publishing our tips in an article titled, "How to Keep Your 2-Way Radio Sanitary and Virus-Free". Cleaning and Maintenance Management Magazine has more than 70,0000 readers who are responsible for cleaning and maintaining commercial facilities. The magazine started in 1964, and has been the authoritative, trusted resource for top building service contractors (BSCs) and forward-thinking, in-house professionals and facility managers in the education, health care, commercial (office/government), hospitality, retail, and industrial industries.
The DO’s for Sanitizing Two-Way Radios
- Make sure the radio is turned off and unplug any accessory or attachments.
- Remove any protective cover or holster protecting the exterior screen or casing.
- Mix approximately one tablespoon of mild dishwashing soap together with about one gallon of warm water to achieve a .5 percent solution.
- Apply the soapy mixture with a stiff but nonmetallic brush, making sure to dislodge any grime or dirt that may have become caked on the radio’s housing.
- Clean antennas and screens by dipping a soft, microfiber cloth into the solution until the material is damp but not wet.
- Two-way radio keypads are usually the worst because this is where all the germs and gunk accumulate! You can also use a damp microfiber terry cloth to wipe away the dust and dirt, and then dry it with canned air, and make sure you do not allow any moisture to become entrapped in connectors, speaker crevice’s, and controls.
- If your radio has an IP rating of 67 or greater, you can rinse your radio by holding it under a faucet.
- If your radio does not have an IP rating of 67 or greater, you can use a soft, lint free cloth to dry the radio.
- For additional sanitation protection, you can use a product like Clorox wipes or over-the-counter rubbing alcohol with no more than (0 percent isopropyl alcohol. Pour the alcohol directly onto a rag first and wipe the radio down with the rag and let the radio air dry.
- If there is a risk that the radio and attached accessories were exposed to pathogens or carcinogens, several cleaners have proven to be very effective in neutralizing these threats on two-way radios. For maximum effect, make sure the radio first receives a detailed cleaning as described above. Then for pathogen decontamination ( as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites) apply Zep DZ-7 which is a virucide that kills a broad spectrum of bacteria. For carcinogen decontamination (like metal oxide dust, lead, mercury, cadmium, zinc, chromium, arsenic, silver, selenium, cobalt, and other toxic metals, wipe down the radio with either Hygenall FieldWipes or Enspire Fire Wipes per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Ultraviolet Rays Clean as Well
Believe it or not, another strategy to disinfect your two-way radio with almost no effort is to use ultraviolet light cleansers. Called Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation, treatment is an established and effective way to disinfect two-way radios as well according to the United States National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health.
The DON’TS of Sanitizing Two-Way Radios
- Don’t use alcohol to clean your radio’s screen. Use instead use a very soft, damp cloth.
- Don’t submerge the radio in the detergent solution.
- Don’t attach a dirty cover or holster to a sanitized radio. Take the time to clean your cover and holster with the same sanitizing techniques outlined above as well.
- Don’t let any water or moisture into charging area, speakers, controls, programming buttons, or accessory jack.
The Orange County Animal Care Center took in more than 30,000 dogs, cats, bunnies, and other pets in 2019. Whether ill, injured, or ill-tempered, the center receives pets from people who can no longer care for them, and pets that are no longer wanted. The center provides services to the cities of Anaheim, Brea, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Orange, Huntington Beach, Santa ana, Lake Forest, Tustin, Placentia, San Juan Capistrano, Villa Park, and Yorba Linda.
“OC Animal Care strives to save the lives of all healthy, treatable and manageable dogs and cats in our community. To reach that goal, we host monthly adoption events and promote our animals online.In addition, we work very closely with our nonprofit rescue adoption partners, other local animal shelters and our volunteer foster caretakers. We receive many perfectly healthy dogs and cats that just need a new home,” explained Susan Miller, Chief of Shelter Services.
Unfortunately, like many facilities that run on a shoestring budget, the Orange County Animal Care Center invested in inexpensive consumer type of radios. However, while they saved money on the radios, the equipment failed to communicate throughout the large Tustin-based facility. According to Rauhaus Freedenfeld & Associates (the architectural firm who designed the facility) the OC Animal Care campus is comprised of a 36,000 SF, two-story main building, a state-of-the-art Veterinary Clinic, Cattery, public meeting spaces, Field Services and a variety of administrative departments.
“The radios we used in the past gave us some really bad performance. I think this could be from the fact we went for inexpensive units. They just were not reliable or usable for the distances we needed them. When we started moving into the new facility, I knew we needed better radios for us to communicate with and would be durable enough to withstand the use and abuse my staff gives them on a daily basis. We really needed professional quality radios,” explained Miller.
Why It’s Important to Only Select Professional Grade Two-Way Radios
In the world of two-way radios, there are two distinct categories of radio: “Family Radio Service” (FRS) and Professional Grade Radios.Basically, FRS radios are consumer grade radios that are made of plastic that break easily in even the tamest environments. They are not meant to perform 40 hours a week. However, for serious industries like a large animal care facility, investing in well-made radios that are durable will always prove to be the best decision. In addition, commercial grade two-way radios, like RCA professional radios, offer the following benefits over consumer radios:
- Battery Life
Commercial radios are designed to hold up to abuse better than consumer radios. Consumer radios are usually built for infrequent use: trips to Disneyland, camping trips, etc. They are lightweight with a thin plastic casing.
Commercial radios are designed to be used for hours every day and are constructed with heavy-duty commercial housing. Many are built to military specifications and are waterproof with significant transmitting power.
Consumer radios use rechargeable batteries that are good for 8 hours or less of use. As is typical of batteries, this life will likely diminish slightly over time.
Professional grade radios use high-quality batteries that can hold their charge much longer. For example, a professional radio used in digital mode can provide 12 hours or more on a single charge.
Professional radios usually have a far better selection of accessories than consumer radios. If accessories, such as headsets or earpieces, and speaker mics are important to your business, you should look at what accessories are available before you choose a radio. Things like rapid chargers and multi-unit chargers are only available for business radios.
Though purchasing cheap consumer grade walkie talkies may seem like a cheap communications solution in the short term, they will cost more in the long term than commercial two-way radios that are designed to be used in professional arenas.
The Solution: RCA’s RDR2500
After reviewing many different brands of two-way radios, Miller ultimately decided on the RCA RDR2500 radios to provide seamless contact between members of the staff and customers.
“After testing a few different radio models, I decided on the RCA RDR2500 portable radio.
We use the radios for our clerical unit to alert the shelter personnel of visits, releases, questions, or updates from the public. They are also carried during cleaning and playgroup times for safety reasons. My entire staff uses them all day. We literally pick them up at 6am and plug them back in at 6pm. So, they endure a full days’ worth of work,” said Miller.
The Results: More Power at a Better Price
The RDR2500 radios are almost a third the cost of Motorola’s CP200, and offer the same reliability and strength but with a longer warranty.
“The two-way radios we purchased from you came after a long search for a small but powerful radio that would be able to go from the front office to the furthest dog building. The ability to communicate with the other units and each other, allows for us to complete calls and provide better customer service, which goes a long way to get more people in to adopt more of our animals. We are incredibly pleased with our RCA radios, and will continue to purchase in the future,” said Miller.
There is no doubt that 2-way radio technology is an incredibly valuable tool for schools of any size. After all, wireless technology has been a cornerstone component of school district’s emergency planning for decades. Along the way, thousands of schools have turned to Discount Two-Way Radio has provided school districts affordable, reliable, and durable RCA two-way radio equipment since 1997. In fact, there is no better equipment for locating a missing student or immediately informing security of an unauthorized campus breach than two-way radios - whether RCA 2-way radios, Motorola 2-way radios or Icom 2-way radios.
According to a recent article in Campus Safety Magazine, school safety experts Brian Armes and Guy Bliesner explain that they are huge fans of two-way radio technology for all K-12 schools. The two explain that a well-designed two-way radio network can meet both the daily and emergency operational needs of a school and school district.
“Depending on the incident, a large number of people will all need the same information, and delivery of that information is time sensitive. Additionally, these situations are generally very fluid, and changes occur rapidly. Two-way radios allow for a rapid two-way flow of information shared among a large number of people. The use of a one-to-many 2-way radio network will keep everyone involved in the response up to date and working under a common operational picture,” explained Armes.
Do Not Let Your School District Overpay for Two-Way Radios
While it is true that two-way radios are important tools for any school district, it is also true that many schools spend way too much money purchasing two-way radio equipment when they do not have to. A recent article in The Messenger newspaper describes how a local sheriff is leading the charge to add two-way radios for 15 schools in Webster County, Iowa and a couple of more for neighboring Calhoun County. According to the article, each radio will cost about $3,000 for a total price of more than $51,000!
Similarly, a school district in Brighton, Colorado purchased 359 two-way radios for more than $600 apiece.
Discount Two-Way Radio is the industry’s leading supplier of professional grade two-way radios and can do it at nearly 30 percent less money than other major brands like Motorola two-way radios, Kenwood radios, and Icom radios. In addition, Discount Two-Way Radio is an approved vendor for most school districts, so not only can we offer your school equipment at a fraction of the price of other brands, we also have a complete assortment of wireless equipment that improve the safety of any school or campus. Plus, we have every possible communication solution your school could use including:
- Portable two-way radios to make sure your school’s communications and budget requirements are met.
- Mobile two-way radios that are ideal for anyone who operates security vehicles, work trucks, or school buses.
- Two-way call boxes to extend safety in remote areas of a school campus
- Wireless Public Address Systems to deliver “live” announcements through portable, mobile, or base station transmitters.
- Megaphones that are perfect for when you need to communicate with large crowds, sporting events, or bus stops.
Five Ways RCA Two-Way Radios Can Benefit Any School District
Discount Two-Way Radio is an approved vendor for most school districts across the country and understands that two-way radio technology is great for responding to emergency situations because they can reduce the impact of a potentially dangerous situation, and even help avoid dangerous situations all together. In addition, two-way radios can help school districts accomplish the following:
- Streamline daily operations of any school
- Help administrators communicate with multiple parties at one time
- Improve overall bus safety for kids and drivers
- Assist in addressing large groups at one time
- Reduce expenses by not having monthly service fees or data charges
Free Guide for How to Keep Your School Safe with 2-Way Radios
To help you learn more about how two-way radios can help keep your schools safer, we've created an informative guide that will help school administrators with answers to questions about radios, two-way radio tips, and product recommendations.
This free guide covers:
- Why Two-Way Radios are Essential Tools for Schools
- Desert View Academy Case Study
- 5 Important Reasons Two-Way Radios are Better Than Cell Phones on Campus
- Two-Way Radio Recommendations for your Campus
- Emergency Alert Feature
- How to Use Your Radios In Emergency Situations
- Improve School Bus Safety with Two-Way Radios
You can download the guide here:
Overview: The US Olympic Bobsled and Skeleton Tea
The USA Olympic Bobsled and Skeleton Team (USABS) relies on professional-grade two-way radio equipment to optimize racing times and reduce the potential for serious injury to athletes. That’s why the team turned to Discount Two-Way Radio as their official two-way radio sponsor as they prepare for the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
To really understand how much respect the USA Olympic Bobsled and Skeleton Team (USABS) garners around the world, it is important to recognize that the crew is considered a patriarch of bobsledding and skeleton racing. They have successfully achieved medal status in nearly every Winter Olympics since the 1928 competition in St. Moritz, Switzerland. To date, the team has garnered 10 Gold, 12 Silver, and 11 Bronze Winter Olympic medals.
In addition to the individual athletes, there are also many people working behind the scenes. For example, USABS also has hundreds of coaches, medical professionals, and trainers, all working in concert and directed toward competing on the Olympic world stage. It is this singular vision that runs throughout every layer of the USABS’s headquarters in Lake Placid, NY, and it was because of that tight focus on excellence and perfection that they insisted on going to Discount Two-Way Radio, North America’s exclusive distributor of RCA two-way radios and expert two-way radio communications advice.
The Challenge: Radios for Extreme Conditions & Situations
While the bobsled and the skeleton race are exciting sports to watch, they are also two of the most dangerous winter sports to participate in as an athlete. Racers travel up to 125 miles an hour pulling up to 5 Gs of gravitational force while twisting and turning over a mile-long track of ice. With such fast speeds and dangerous conditions, coaches, trainers, medical personnel, and athletes always need to have instantaneous two-way communication with crystal clear sound quality. There is no room for mistakes and every second of every practice run or international competition must be closely observed in order improve performance and prevent catastrophe.
So, the USABS came to Discount Two-Way Radio to help them find the right two-way radio solution that could accomplish several important objectives, including:
- The radios had to communicate with multiple people and throughout multiple groups with crystal clear sound.
- The radios had to seamlessly and instantly connect with any emergency services professional in case of a major incident.
- The radios had to flawlessly operate in some of the most demanding climate conditions on earth: from blizzards in Sochi, Russia to freezing rain in Calgary, Canada.
“Our choice in two-way radios had to be chosen very carefully and we had to make sure we picked the correct equipment to get the job done,” said Michael Dionne, Coach and Director of Athlete. Development for the USABS. “Having a partner like RCA Communications Systems to help us make the right choice in equipment has made a huge impact on the overall effort to bring home the gold.”
When Lenny Kasten, the USABS team General Manager, and Coach Michael Dionne personally reached out to Discount Two-Way Radio to find the best radio for Team USA. As the exclusive distributor of RCA radios, RCA Communications Systems’ technology experts immediately recommended the RPX4500 and RPX4600 radio series for the job. Not only do these RCA RPX4500/RPX4600 handheld digital radios meet all Project 25 (P25) specifications for police, fire, ambulance, and other emergency services, they also meet the highest standards of military specifications (MIL-STD-810F) for durability, droppage, shock and water resistance. In addition, each radio boasts 5W of power for maximum signal coverage and with 3000mAh Li-Ion batteries, they will last up to 11 hours on a single charge. Add in RCA’s 4 Year Warranty -the best in the industry – and Team USA was sold!
“In terms of quality, these are the best radios we’ve ever had. I’ve been on the US team doing this for more than 20 years, and so I can tell you they are the best we’ve ever had. We use them all over the world, and no matter where we go, they work perfectly. Want to know something else? They are better radios than any other nations have! When you compare them with the German radios, Italian radios, there’s no comparison. We use them in Europe, Asia, you name it, they work everywhere. Plus, Discount Two Way Radios even programmed them for us and everything,” said Kasten.
On top of everything else, the RPX4600 radios will also help keep each member of the team safer.
“Whenever there is a crash, I rely on the RCA RPX4600 radios to gain additional information immediately. The coaches are typically down lower in the track and can help me find athletes if they are ejected from the sled and if they are walking after the crash. Crashes are a very stressful time and having the additional information ensures that I can find, evaluate and ensure the best care for each athlete. I will also relay information back to the coaches and crew chief so they can start working on fixes or replacements before the athletes arrive back to the start. Without the use of our radios, this process would be chaotic and would result in poor management of many situations,” said Andrew Ernst, Athletic Trainer for the team.
The Discount Two-Way Radio System Special Donation:
Discount Two-Way Radio not only helped the USA Olympic Bobsled and Skeleton team find the perfect radio system for the team, they offered to donate the entire collection of radios, and accessories to the team as way to show its support for these young athletes.
“Unlike most nations, the United States government does not fund the US Olympic Movement. Every single athlete is 100 percent self-supported. It’s not about seeking fame and fortune for these people. Some of the athletes have slept in their cars for the opportunity to train at an Olympic Training Center. They have one goal—to be the best in the world—and they pursue that goal with every subatomic particle of their being, wearing USA on their backs. That's a journey that inspired us at RCA Communication Systems, because we too understand about being the best by doing our best. We are the leaders of the digital two-way radio world, so we wanted to help them with their communications needs. It was that simple,” said Ben Burns, CEO and Founder of Discount Two-Way Radio.
Believe it or not, some of the most essential workers to be called upon during the recent COVID-19 pandemic were cleaning professionals, and one of the most valuable tools they relied upon were two-way radio. According to a recent report, the janitorial and custodial industry represents a $78 billion industry, and when the need for extra cleaning and sanitation became a big issue for American businesses, the custodial industry responded with millions of professional cleaners reporting to work at hospitals, schools, and office buildings. Considered essential employees, cleaning crews continue to be in high demand as the nation obsesses over the invisible virus.
According to the online job board ZipRecruiter, the COVID-19 virus has led to a 75 percent increase in listings for professional cleaners. Unfortunately, as demand for cleaning services increases, so too does the potential risk for cleaning professionals. One of the tools professional custodians should be leveraging to help mitigate these risks is two-way radios. Two-way radios not only help cleaning crews stay safer, they also help get the job done faster and better. In fact, many professional cleaning companies consider two-way radios indispensable tools as mops, buckets, or brooms. More and more janitorial firms are incorporating two-way radio technology into their operations.
Four Specific Areas Where Two-Way Radios Improve Safety, Performance, and Customer Satisfaction
Safety – Safety is the number one concern for any professional cleaner or janitorial firm. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, custodians and cleaners suffer an average of 50,000 injuries a year that require days off work. Even more staggering, this industry is considered the 16th most hazardous occupations behind logging, professional fishing, and roofing. Injuries can range from accidental exposure to hazardous chemicals to slips, trips, and falls. Today’s two-way radios are incredibly valuable tools for anyone who works in an isolated or remote area as janitors often do. Unlike cell phones which may not be able to receive a signal and can be hard to operate in the heat of an emergency, two-way radios are equipped with unique features that keep workers safe while providing immediate and reliable communication. For example, most professional grade two-way radios have a programmable Emergency Alert Button located on the top of the radio.In the event of an emergency, a worker can just push the orange button and the radio immediately sends out an alert to either the entire network or a specific user. The signal can also announce exactly which radio sent the alert. Finally, in the age of deadly and highly contagious corona viruses, two-way radios also help create personal separation while never losing the ability to instantly communication.
Efficiency – Two-way radios are the perfect tool for maximizing efficiency in any custodial setting. Imagine this: a cleaning crew is dispatched to a large office building with multiple floors. A co-worker encounters a problem on the 7th floor and requires an additional set of eyes or supervisorial instruction. With a professional grade two-way radio, they can instantly and notify another person or supervisor to receive additional support they need to get the job done. Not having to separate someone from one job just to travel to another location saves time and money.
Productivity – Never before have cleaning firms had to work so hard and do more in less time. Margins are always under pressure and many crew managers have to do more with less. Using two-way radios as a communications tool allows workers to instantly communicate with other team members which helps crews complete jobs not only faster but also better. If another worker requires a special tool or supplies, a cell phone only lets you communicate with one person at a time. Two-way radios allow workers to put out a request to an entire team with one push of a button. Plus, because two-way radios can be programmed to have isolated channels, different employee groups can communicate on their own channels (supervising janitors, cleaning crews on specific floors of a building, floating cleaners, etc.) to keep communication organized while avoiding distracting cross talk noise.
Durability – Commercial grade two-way radios are designed to hold up to abuse better than “consumer” radios often called Family Radio Service (FRS) or General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS). These consumer grade radios are built for infrequent use like weekend camping trips, multiple care caravans, amusement park visits etc. They are lightweight with a thin plastic casing. Similarly, cell phones are notoriously fragile and prone to breakage when dropped or exposed to water. Commercial grade two-radios however are designed to be used for hours every day are constructed with a heavy-duty commercial housing that make them incredibly rugged. Many are built to exacting military specifications for resistance to shock, vibration, extreme temperatures, dust and even water.
When it comes to buying high-quality professional grade headsets for two-way radios, there are literally hundreds of options from which to choose. That’s because there are a wide variety of needs and requirements depending on what business you are working in. However, regardless of what industry you work in, adding high quality headsets to your two-way radio equipment will improve the efficiency of your job while also improving safety. In addition, two-way radio headsets allow you to have private conversations and improved performance by freeing up your hands.
How Repeated Noise Can Damage Your Hearing
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hearing loss can happen when any part of the ear or the nerves in the ear are damaged. Loud noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. Loud noise can damage cells and membranes in the cochlea. The CDC explains that the average person is born approximately 17,000 hair cells within their cochlea. These cells allow your brain to detect sounds. Loud sounds can force these hair cells down, like a blade of grass, reducing the ability to hear. Unfortunately, a person can lose more than 40 percent of these hair cells before they detect any hearing loss. So, by the time you notice something is wrong, many hair cells have been destroyed and cannot be repaired. Eventually, if hearing loss continues, it can become hard to understand speech even in quieter places. Using professional grade headsets with your two-way radio equipment will greatly help reduce the effects of hearing loss due loud noise exposure.
Important Reasons Why You Should Use Professional Headsets
There are many reasons you should consider using radio headsets for your two-way radio system. Below, are some of the most important benefits of using radio headsets.
1. Improved Privacy for Any Conversation
Two-way radio headsets are great when you want to limit the number of people who can overhear your conversation. This can be if you are working inside a building or when you are working among outside observers. When you use a radio headset, one of the most inherent benefits that you will receive is the ability to communicate privately while minimizing eavesdropping. Therefore, if you need to use your two-way radios in a location where bystanders could otherwise access sensitive information, it is highly recommended to use headsets.
2. Easy to Wear and Lightweight
While it is true that modern professional grade headsets are larger than surveillance headsets, it is also true that they are lightweight and generally super comfortable. This is important because if you are working on a construction site or warehousing facility, there is a big chance that you will need to wear your headsets all day. Because there are many different models of headsets available, make sure to consider the weight and comfort features of any radio radio headset before using it.
3. Operational Efficiency
Perhaps the most significant benefit of using professional-grade radio headsets is that they allow you the ability to keep your hands free. In busy, and noisy, work environments, there are often many distractions that can sometimes jeopardize your concentration and expose you to additional safety concerns. However, by using professional grade headsets, your hands are free to focus on the job at hand and not worrying about grabbing the two-way radio, adjusting the volume, or pressing the push-to-talk button.
4. Better Sound Equals Better Communications
Using professional-grade headsets allows you to have a direct line of audio that goes directly into your ears, without having to struggle with understanding words through the collision of ambient noises. In many cases, incorporating a high-noise reduction headset with built in boom microphone can greatly improve the communication comprehension between workers, and help reduce hearing damage. Being able to better recognize words easier improves communications among everyone, and therefore increases efficiency and productivity while simultaneously improving safety.
5. Better Productivity
One of the best reasons to consider using professional level two-way radio headsets is that it will absolutely help you save time because you will be focusing on the job in front of you instead of constantly adjusting the volume knob, or pressing buttons, or moving the radio back-and-forth when communicating. All of this extra movement simply wastes time. So if you work in the hospitality industry, security details, construction sites, or large manufacturing facilities, headsets can improve productivity and efficiency by up to 40 percent.
Discount Two-Way Radio today announced they are introducing 2-Way Radio Kleen ™. The kit is designed to help shield professional two-way radio users from inadvertently being exposed to potentially harmful pathogens like COVID-19. 2-Way Radio Kleen will protect workers from 99.9 percent of all bacteria, germs, and viruses that can collect on radio equipment before being passed along to the radio user or other crew members.
According to Ben Burns, Founder and CEO of Discount Two-Way Radio, 2-Way Radio Kleen was designed to not only help protect American workers from germs, but also help reinforce proper radio cleaning techniques and sanitary best practices often neglected in industries that use two-way radios.
“It is becoming clear that practicing social distancing, constant hand washing, and liberal use of disinfecting wipes are here to stay. So, we started thinking about how we can help reinforce this same message for our customers who use two-way radios on a daily basis. After talking with our customers and conducting extensive product research, we determined that a self-contained two-way radio cleaning kit was the perfect solution,” said Mr. Burns.
According to Chattanooga-based KRCB-tv, the 2-Way Radio Kleen includes the following 37 items that were specifically designed to sanitize, disinfect, and protect the radio user and every external component of the radio itself, including the metal housing, plastic programming knobs, and rubber antenna:
- 4 oz. bottle of specially formulated cleaning solution that cleans, deodorizes, and disinfects two-way radio equipment from all viruses including influenza A (swine flu), H1N1 (bird flu), and COVID-19.
- 4 radio cleaning wipes
- 4 Moist Wet Cleaning Wipes
- 8 Precision Wipe Tissues
- 8 Non-Sterile Cotton swabs with wooden handles
- 1 antiseptic brush
- 8 Large Nitrile Protective Gloves
2-Way Radio Kleen will retail for $29.95, while individual bottles of the cleaning solution can be purchased for $9.95.
Mr. Burns explained that the cleaning kit was especially designed to clean both soft surfaces (like rubber antennas) as well as hard surfaces (like two-way radio chassis). In addition, the disinfecting solution has a neutral PH formula which will not dull or scratch high-gloss surfaces as display screens.
“At a time when reducing disease, bacteria and viruses is more important than ever, Discount Two-Way Radio’s 2-Way Radio Kleen Two-Way Radio cleaning Kit is playing an important role in helping protect some of our country’s hardest working people through easy to apply cleaning tools. It’s everything you need for cleaning one radio or an entire fleet,” said Burns.
There is no doubt that titanic shifts taking place in the $2.17 trillion behemoth industry called Manufacturing. Politics and pandemics aside, one of the major changes directly affecting the United States Manufacturing industry is technology. Early forays into Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and Robotics Process Automation (RPA) are just the tip of the iceberg. Other technological advances like Configure Price Quote software and Direct to Consumer (D2C) marketing will be at the tip of everyone’s tongues in no time. However, despite these gargantuan leaps in technological overhauls, there is still one important manufacturing tool that technology can never replace: the two-way radio. In fact, more and more manufacturing professionals are incorporating two-way radio technology into their operations because radios continue to improve both productivity and safety throughout every phase of today’s manufacturing processing.
Discount Two-Way Radio Featured in Manufacturing Outlook Magazine
Recently, Discount Two-Way Radio was asked to contribute an article on how two-way radios create a safer, more productive, and efficient manufacturing work environment. You can read the article here.
The Evolution of Two-Way Radios
Two-way radios have evolved significantly over the past 100 years but continue to be an indispensable tool for today’s manufacturing industry. From resolving plant-floor problems like a shortage of material on a production line to sudden changes in warehouse operations and transportation yards where gate assignments need to be switched on the fly, reliable two-way radio coverage is critical to maintain operational efficiency and being better prepared to respond rapidly to the unexpected.
Most of today’s professional grade two-way radios use digital technology rather than analog. Digital circuitry opens up a much more robust collection of features that can be very valuable to the manufacturing industry. One of these features is the built-in digital algorithm that can automatically differentiate the human voice and background noise allowing it to cancel undesirable background noise for clearer, cleaner sound quality.
Another evolution in two-way radio equipment is that they can incorporate software applications that can integrate into existing computer networks and phone systems. As a result, digital two-way radios have the potential for incorporating a multitude of additional functions, including GPS, text messaging, and other forms of communication technologies and information sharing applications.
Core Benefits of Two-Way Radio Technology for Manufacturing Industry
Safety – Accidents can happen when communication fails. A misunderstanding in instructions; a delay in reporting a hazardous situation; a call for assistance that fails to connect can all add up to trouble.
Without professional communication tools, accidents can happen just because someone misunderstands an instruction. Two-way radios provide crystal clear audio in noisy manufacturing environments and can be equipped with hands free accessories and emergency features. Think about how noisy a plant can get, where shouted instructions get lost in the sound of machinery. Quality two-way radios, especially when equipped with headphones, can make the difference between the safe completion of a task and a dangerous accident.
Safety During the Historic COVID-19 Pandemic
the age of deadly and highly contagious corona viruses, two-way radios also
help create personal separation among factory workers while never losing the ability to instantly
communicate through "Push To Talk" technology. Make sure you read our safety guide on how to keep your two-way radios sanitized.
Efficiency – Two-way radios are the perfect tool for maximizing efficiency in any manufacturing setting. In fact, studies have found that two-way radios are so effective for manufacturing facilities that the equipment pays for itself in just a couple of months because of the amount of time they save. Unplanned down time caused by equipment malfunctions, spills, or other disruptions can cause a domino effect that will impact your operation’s output.
It doesn’t take much to stop operations unexpectedly, and that can be costly. Sometimes all it takes to figure out a quick solution and keep things moving is communication between two or more areas. Knowing where your people are in relation to where the problem has occurred can save time and money. Two-way radios can instantly connect multiple people which reduces response times when problems appear and improve results across the entire production line.
Productivity – Never before have manufacturers had to work so hard to do more in less time. Margins are under constant pressure, and in many cases plant managers are having to do more and more with less. Using two-way radios as a communication tool allows workers to instantly communicate with others and help them find quick solutions to problems that may occur. A recent survey by of manufacturing productivity said that 46% of manufacturing workers say that two-way radios reduces downtime by as much as 20%! In fact, there is virtually no area of a plant where using two-way radios doesn’t improve throughput and productivity.
Durability - Professional quality two-way radios are designed to withstand the abuse of hard-working manufacturing plants. They can withstand being dropped on concrete, in water, or even in dust. There is no way cellular phones can withstand this kind of treatment. Consumer radios by contrast are usually built for infrequent use: weekend hunting trips, multiple car caravans, camping trips, amusement park visits, etc. They are lightweight with a thin plastic casing. Commercial radios are designed to be used for hours every day and are constructed with heavy-duty commercial housing. Many are built to military specifications and are waterproof with significant transmitting power.
Two-Way Radios In A Crisis Situation
Two-Way Radios are incredibly valuable tools for manufacturing facilities, but they are also one of the most important tools for crisis management as well. This is especially true for anyone who works in an isolated or remote area, or who works in potentially dangerous environments. In many situations, a cell phone won’t have the immediacy, dependability, or reliability in a crisis. There are three specific features of two-way radios that can greatly improve survivability in a true crisis situation. These include:
- The Man Down Feature
- The Lone Worker Feature
- Emergency Alert Button
The Man Down safety feature detects when there is a lack of movement or if the radio suddenly tilts horizontally, typical signs an accident or emergency is taking place. This application has to be programmed into the two-way radio and is designed to identify when a worker has fallen. When the radio senses lack of movement or a sudden horizontal tilt, a timer is activated which will initiate a “chirp” following a couple of seconds to notify other radio users that there could be an emergency. If the worker is fine but just accidentally tilted the radio, he/she can disable the alert without an emergency signal being sent.
However, if a full minute passes and the worker has not turned off the notification, an alarm will sound to other radios announcing that something is wrong and that the radio operator is unresponsive.
Unlike the Man Down safety feature, the Lone Worker feature is triggered when a worker fails to interact with the radio for a specific period of time. For example, let’s say a worker doesn’t touch the radio for 10 minutes, a pre-warning signal will sound reminding the worker to reset the timer by pressing a button or adjusting a knob. If the worker doesn’t interact with the radio in the next couple of minutes, an emergency notification will be sent to other predesignated radio operators.
One of the simplest and most effective features for averting a crisis is called the Emergency Alert Button. Strategically located on the top of the radio for quick and easy access, the Emergency Alert Button triggers an alarm by pressing one button. Immediately, the radio sends out a voice and/or radio identity to notify specific individuals of an impending emergency. This drastically reduces response times and significantly contributes to a safer environment.
Hospital communication systems need professional grade two-way radios for a number of reasons, but especially during disasters or health crisis like the COVID-19 virus scare. After all, when it comes to cring for human lives, efficiency, timeliness, and safety are the keys to giving patients the best care possible, and two-way radios help hospital professionals accomplish all of these objectives with simple push-to-talk technology.
Download you free Hospital Disaster Preparedness Self-Assessment Tool Here
But who is responsible for including 2-way radios in the list of tools hospitals should have? Well, in most hospital across the country there is an Emergency Preparedness Department (EPD). According to the Department of Homeland Security, this department should be run by one person, often referred to as the “Chairman”, and a committee that helps guide and provides recommendations. The Chairman is responsible for the overall management of the EPD, and should possess certain knowledge and skills, such as:
- An operational understanding of emergency management and the Incident Management System (IMS)
- Detailed knowledge of their healthcare facility’s emergency response operations,
- Familiarity with facility safety operations and available emergency response tools
- Familiarity with community emergency response system
Healthcare facilities should include the following specialties in the Emergency Preparedness Department:
- Burn services
- Clinical pharmacology/toxicology
- Critical care services (medical and nursing)
- Emergency medicine and nursing
- Internal medicine
- Infection control/infectious disease
- Lab/blood bank/pathology (including morgue)
- Medical director
- Nursing supervisor
- Post-anesthesia care unit (PACU)
- Radiology (including radiation safety)
- Residents and students
- Trauma services
Obviously, running an Emergency Preparedness Department is incredibly challenging because of the scope of its responsibility, and the number of people involved. That’s why when it comes to managing any healthcare facility or Emergency Preparedness Department, two-way radios should be included into any communications system. No matter what department or what issue is being addressed, two-way radios help workers to communicate instantly when it matters most.
5 Reasons Hospitals Need Two-Way Radios
If you are the Chairman of the Emergency Response Department or are an active member, here are 5 reasons why two-way radio communication help all hospitals and their emergency preparedness departments, and why they should be considered as essential tools for all healthcare operations.
- Improved real-time communication
Real-time communication among staff members can improve service within medical facilities. It provides a reliable experience for patients and visitors where hospital workers can respond swiftly.
- Increased productivity – mobile efficiency
Hospital facilities are complicated structures, occupied not only by doctors and nurses but also cooks, security guards, and volunteers. In many instances, these departments must work together or communicate with each other. Utilizing two-way radios allows hospital departments to seamlessly communicate with each other without having to drop whatever they are doing. Radios offer staff a mobile, efficient option for responding to other members. No more wasting time searching an address book or spending time reading text messages. Workers have a direct, push-to-talk option for answering calls.
- Quick response to emergencies
By using professional-grade two-way radios, emergency incidents can be addressed in literally seconds. If professional grade two-way radios are used, any first-responder will always have the right information, improving the outcome of crisis scenarios.
- Enhanced safety and security
Heavy duty two-way radios are critical for a safe and secure surrounding. Patients, staff, and visitors need to feel safe within and around medical facilities. Heavy-duty radios provide high-performance communication, which is reliable when dealing with security matters.
- Facility maintenance and disaster preparedness
To ensure that everything runs smoothly, it is important to have the facility maintained, with proper preparation in case disaster strikes. Collaboration is necessary during the maintenance process, where each party must respond accordingly. What better way to do this than to integrate two-way communication devices?
When the novel coronavirus started wreaking havoc across the globe, the Facilities Management Department at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine contacted Discount Two-Way Radio to help get the university’s two-way radio communications systems in top notch condition in anticipation of the impending pandemic.
“The Director of Facilities for Johns Hopkins School of Medicine selected Discount Two-Way Radio to repair their radios after a highly selective vendor process,” said Ben Burns, Discount Two-Way Radio CEO and Founder. “We pride ourselves on providing customer’s the fastest repair turn-around time in the industry, but we set a new record after getting the school’s radios back to them in three days,” said Burns.
Making It on the News
The repair feat was large enough that several media outlets across the country picked up the story and published it for others to see. Some of these outlets included:
Keeping Johns Hopkins Running Smoothly
The School of Medicine’s Facilities Management Department is responsible for ensuring the all of the school and medical equipment are safe and are able to support the institution’s mission of providing the best in patient care, education and research in the world. Specifically, the School of Medicine’s Facilities Department operates and maintains the campuses facilities and medical equipment, including everything relating to building and ground operations, electrical services, power plant, and business services. With a campus that covers 140 acres, the most efficient and reliable way to communicate is with two-way radio technology.
“Radios are an important tool for our maintenance department. We rely on them to communicate with our other maintenance team members. I’ve got 38 crew members that are responsible for the entire School of Medicine’s facility which includes 23 separate buildings. Unfortunately, my guys ride the radios pretty hard and put them away wet, but guys did a good job for us,” said Steve Jacobs, Assistant Director of Facilities.
Discount Two-Way Radio CEO Ben Burns explained that truly professional Facilities Managers know that using cell phones is just a ticket to disaster, especially when you’re talking about a critically important facility like Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
"They oversee literally every piece of moving equipment on that campus, and if they need something, especially during these days, they need it right away. Cell phones can’t compete with two-way radios from many perspectives including reach, reliability, functionality, durability, and price,” said Ben Burns, CEO and Founder of Discount Two-Way Radio.
Free Shipping and Expedited Repair Service
According to Burns, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine took advantage of Discount Two-Way Radio’s free shipping policy for all repairs. They shipped them out and they landed in the company’s state-of-the-art repair facility where factory trained technicians used the latest technology to repair the fleet of radios.
“When a customer sends in their radios for repair, first we double check the radios to make sure everything is working correctly. We attach the batteries, inspect the antennas, and run expert diagnostics to determine exactly what’s is wrong with the radios,” said Burns.
After running a complete diagnostic analysis on the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine radios, Discount Two-Way Radio discovered several issues that needed to be repaired.
“Two of the radios were fine, but the others needed some help, including internal components, broken track pads, broken speakers, and broken channel knobs. But we successfully repaired the radios and got them back to school in tip-top condition within just three days. They were ecstatic at how quickly we responded and were very impressed at the caliber of our repair work,” explained Burns.