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Samuel Villani, III
  • Male
  • Baltimore, MD
  • United States
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Samuel Villani, III shared their blog post on Twitter
Dec 8, 2016
Samuel Villani, III posted a blog post

The BDA and the VRS

A good majority of the fire service community has at least heard of a Bi-Directional Amplifier (BDA) and a Vehicle Repeater System (VRS). But what exactly are they and why are they a valuable tool in the tactical fire communications toolbox?A BDA is a booster of incoming (Rx) and outgoing (Tx) radio traffic. You can find them in most large, modern buildings, and in most below grade transportation systems. The actual BDA is typically in a room with other telecom equipment. A system of conduit,…See More
Dec 8, 2016
Samuel Villani, III posted a blog post

5 Ways To Resolve Your Own Comm Problem

Top FIVE Ways to Resolve Your Own Tactical Communications Problem(Requires NO equipment outside of what you already have)1. Move to a window2. Stand up (if conditions permit)3. Orient portable radio VERTICALLY4. Raise your portable up high (again, if conditions permit)5. Switch to SOP/common practice-driven Simplex/Talkaround/Direct ChannelSee More
Sep 27, 2016
Samuel Villani, III posted a blog post

Include Telecommunicators in Your Mayday Training

This past Wednesday I was a guest on Fire Engineering's TenCate Humpday Hangout, hosted by mentor and friend Frank Ricci. In our discussion, Rex Strickland from Fairfax County mentioned that his department conducts regular mayday radio discipline training- including their telecommunicators in the training. THIS IS GENIUS!The first line in public safety is used to operating in the background and on the periphery- and we rely upon them to send us to calls for service and  "send the world" when we…See More
Jul 29, 2016
Samuel Villani, III posted a blog post

Quick Communications Drill 1: Practicing fire ground transmissions while breathing air.

Attempting to transmit through your face piece is what some might call an art, but it’s actually a science. And like other sciences, it requires experimentation. Your variables are voice quality, voice strength, mic placement, and noise cancelling and isolation.How can you ensure your message is getting through? First, you must ensure you're speaking clearly- call it voice quality. You have to fight the nose cone and chin cup that are doing their job in keeping a good seal on your face and open…See More
Jun 6, 2016
Samuel Villani, III posted a blog post

A Dirty Portable Radio Will Fail You

In earlier posts I've discussed a lot of information regarding the fire service portable radio. It's important. It's the most used piece of equipment assigned to you. It goes with you on rip-roaring blazes and on the 80 percent-plus EMS runs you take in. And if it's not properly maintained, it will fail you.To better illustrate how a dirty fire service portable radio will fail you, below you will see two pictures. Both illustrate signal strength while transmitting. Clearly the dirty radio's…See More
May 25, 2016
Samuel Villani, III posted a blog post

The Portable Radio Battery

The chirp (or beep, honk, etc) indicating a low battery charge on your portable radio is annoying enough when we're not operating on a call. Add an incident where you need your portable radio to relay important information, and it becomes a disconcerting reminder that you have a finite amount of transmitting and receiving before it becomes dead weight.You can minimize the above situation by knowing what kind of battery you have, how best to maintain it, and how to test it to ensure it's ready…See More
Mar 20, 2016
Samuel Villani, III posted a blog post

Tactical Communications Preplanning

In my last post (part 3: Troubleshooting), I mentioned a the radio relay and Vehicle Repeater System (VRS). The former is a quick solution that requires personnel in dedicated positions; the latter requires a unit with VRS to arrive on-scene and activate the VRS. I will address both in this post, as they are the simplest options for fixing a tactical communications problem.Tactical Communications PreplanningTactical Communications Preplanning (TCP) begins where you have difficulties with…See More
Feb 3, 2016
Samuel Villani, III posted a blog post

Part 3: Fireground Troubleshooting

This is part 3 (of 3) on care, maintenance, and troubleshooting of the fire service portable radio. In the previous two parts, I shared how to perform a checkout of the radio and how to clean it. Now on to fire ground troubleshooting.Regardless of whether your radio system is 800-megahertz digital, P25-compliant (newest type of public safety radio system) or V/UHF analog trunking (older system), there are likely areas of your response district where you have little or no comms. Most of us know…See More
Dec 18, 2015
Samuel Villani, III posted a blog post

Part 2: Using, CLEANING, and troubleshooting fire service portable radios

*This will be a multipart topic covered over several posts, all focusing on the use and maintenance of the fire service portable radio*Part 2: Cleaning The Fire Service Portable RadioSeveral months ago, one of my tech ops friends approached me about a portable radio assigned to my station that had been sent in for repair due to transmitting and receiving problems. The photographs of this portable were shared with me, and the exterior of the radio had seen quite a bit of fire duty. While debris,…See More
Dec 2, 2015
Samuel Villani, III posted a blog post

Using, cleaning, and troubleshooting fire service portable radios Part 1: Use/Checkout

*This will be a multipart topic covered over several posts, all focusing on the use and maintenance of the fire service portable radio*Arguably, the fire service portable (aka the handie-talkie or portable) is the most used piece of equipment at our disposal as a firefighter. I would also argue that it is the most under maintained piece of equipment. This series of blog posts will focus on the use and maintenance of the fire service portable radio, and will cover checkout (this post), proper…See More
Nov 14, 2015
Samuel Villani, III posted a blog post

Turning a CAN into a CANOE

The CAN (Conditions Actions Needs) report has become a pretty normal thing to hear on fire radios, especially when a division or group are providing a return (update) to Command when asked (hence the return- a return transmission to a request from da boss). I've added a O and E to CAN (making my CANOE) to provide information my IC is going to ask me for as that division or group supervisor. The O is for occupant status and the E is for extension.The "trust but verify" zeitgeist that has taken…See More
May 11, 2015
Samuel Villani, III posted a blog post

Passive CO Meters- A Success Story

Below is a story I posted to "The 1st Battalion" Facebook page a few days ago. We write to a mixed audience, including many folks from the community, so please excuse the layperson language. I wanted to share it here because these little passive CO monitors work! My department chose the Protege CM- we have them wire-tied to every aide/BLS/jump bag in the department. Ours alarmed less than a minute after initial patient contact, at which point we very quickly removed the two residents and all…See More
Mar 31, 2015
Samuel Villani, III shared Frank Ricci's blog post on Twitter
Dec 31, 2014
Richard Riley and Samuel Villani, III are now friends
Dec 10, 2014
Samuel Villani, III joined Chief Anthony Kelleher's group
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"Outside The Box" Engine Company Operations

Engine Company work is often viewed as easy or not as fulfilling as "Truck Company work". This is absolutely not the case and some very "high speed" Engine Companies go to work everyday in very tough and arduous environments. They are only successful by relying on their relentless training, personal experiences and hunger to progress in the engine world.This group is geared toward Engine Company tactics that use "outside the box" thinking to accomplish. Its purpose is to exchange information…See More
Oct 20, 2014

Profile Information

Lives in:
Baltimore, MD
Department:
Montgomery County, MD Fire & Rescue
Title/rank:
Lieutenant
Years of public service:
22
Agency structure:
Combination fire department
Top issues in your department:
Staffing, apparatus, EMS delivery.
Professional Qualifications:
A.A.S Public Fire Protection, Montgomery College
B.A. Sociology, University of Maryland
Fire Officer I
Instructor II
FEMA COMS/COML
Topics you provide training for:
Engine & Truck Company Operations
Proactive/ Dynamic Rapid Intervention
Leadership & Command
Communications
Limited Staffing Operations
Areas of expertise:
Company Officer
Communications
Rapid Intervention
Bio:
Sam Villani, III, a 22 year fire service veteran, is a Lieutenant with the Montgomery County, Maryland Fire and Rescue Service assigned to Four Corners Engine and Truck 16. Sam started his life in the fire service as the Son and Grandson of firefighters in the Ocean City, Maryland Volunteer Fire Company where he still is an honorary member. Sam volunteered in fire departments in Prince Georges and Montgomery Counties while attending college. He holds an A.A.S. degree in public fire protection from Montgomery College and a B.A. in sociology from the University of Maryland. Sam was a Washington, DC Public School Teacher via Teach For America in the late 1990s before starting his career as a firefighter in Montgomery County. He teaches at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Academy and with Capitol Fire Training, and is a State of Maryland certified level II instructor.
Web site:
http://https://www.facebook.com/The1stBattalion

Samuel Villani, III's Blog

The BDA and the VRS

A good majority of the fire service community has at least heard of a Bi-Directional Amplifier (BDA) and a Vehicle Repeater System (VRS). But what exactly are they and why are they a valuable tool in the tactical fire communications toolbox?

A BDA is a booster of incoming (Rx) and outgoing (Tx) radio traffic. You can find them in most large, modern buildings, and in most below grade transportation systems. The actual BDA is typically in a room with other telecom equipment. A system of…

Continue

Posted on December 8, 2016 at 5:30am

5 Ways To Resolve Your Own Comm Problem

Top FIVE Ways to Resolve Your Own Tactical Communications Problem

(Requires NO equipment outside of what you already have)

1. Move to a window

2. Stand up (if conditions permit)

3. Orient portable radio VERTICALLY

4. Raise your portable up high (again, if conditions permit)

5. Switch to SOP/common practice-driven Simplex/Talkaround/Direct Channel

Posted on September 27, 2016 at 2:00pm

Include Telecommunicators in Your Mayday Training

This past Wednesday I was a guest on Fire Engineering's TenCate Humpday Hangout, hosted by mentor and friend Frank Ricci. In our discussion, Rex Strickland from Fairfax County mentioned that his department conducts regular mayday radio discipline training- including their telecommunicators in the training. THIS IS GENIUS!

The first line in public safety is used to operating in the background and on the periphery- and we rely upon them to send us to calls for service and  "send the…

Continue

Posted on July 29, 2016 at 6:01am

Quick Communications Drill 1: Practicing fire ground transmissions while breathing air.

Attempting to transmit through your face piece is what some might call an art, but it’s actually a science. And like other sciences, it requires experimentation. Your variables are voice quality, voice strength, mic placement, and noise cancelling and isolation.

How can you ensure your message is getting through? First, you must ensure you're speaking clearly- call it voice quality. You have to fight the nose cone and chin cup that are doing their job in keeping a…

Continue

Posted on June 6, 2016 at 6:00am

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