By Mark van der Feyst
The portable radio is our lifeline. We carry our radios in many different spots within our gear. Some radios are carried in the radio pocket on the chest of the jacket, some in a pocket on the sleeve, and others (officers) will hold the radio in their hand the entire time as a way to force them to maintain a position behind the crew to direct and supervise.
Regardless of where the radio is carried, it needs to be protected from extreme heat. The radio is made from a durable and tough plastic that stands up to normal wear but is not designed for extreme heat.
Using bunker gear is one way to protect the radio. Carrying the radio under our gear using a radio strap or using the inside pocket, provides more thermal protection for the radio. The radio microphone can be threaded through the space between the collar and the zipper. If the radio has no external microphone, then it will have to be carried in an outside pocket.