Metropolitan Fire Brigade transition to Fire Rescue Victoria. Farewell to ‘VKN8’ – 1st July, 2020.

Final official transmission of the callsign ‘VKN8’ as they commence using ‘FIRECOM’ instead as part of the Metropolitan Fire Brigades transition to the entity known as Fire Rescue Victoria.

Also provided are few earlier calls by some who used the term ‘FIRECOM’ prior to 0800Hrs. Wonder who gets the honours of the first use of the callsign, the earliest I’ve located so far in my logs are a few Commanders at 0657Hrs & 0717Hrs  and the crews on Pumper 10 at 0704Hrs and Pumper Tanker 30 at 0712Hrs.

Farewell VKN8, thanks for the memories of that call at what have been some of the biggest incidents and events in  the history of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and Melbourne in general.

Final VKN8 at 0759Hrs

Commander at 0657Hrs

Pumper 10 at 0704Hrs

Pumper Tanker 30 at 0712Hrs

Commander at 0717Hrs

Royal Australian Air Force – 26th June, 2020

RAAF C/S ‘STALLION 10’ heard in contact with Melbourne Approach on 132.0MHz on Friday 26th June, 2020. Heard being cleared for approach and cleared to land on Runway 16 at Tullamarine before being passed off to Melbourne Tower and then being heard on 120.5MHz

The aircraft in question was a C-17A Globemaster III that departed Richmond in NSW, although the aircraft’s home location is with 36SQN from RAAF Amberley in Queensland. Also heard are a few civil and an Air Ambulance asset which I’ve left in for continuity purposes.

Royal Australian Air Force – 18th June, 2020

RAAF C/S ‘ENVOY 36’ heard on 132.0MHz during final approach to Tullamarine Airport. The aircraft in question was one of the the relatively new Dassault Falcon 7X type used for VIP duties and operated by 34SQN. Aircraft serial noted was A56-003. The aircraft had a one and a half hour turnaround before departing and returning to Canberra.

Royal Australian Air Force – 4th February, 2020

Gary Luxton from NSW has kindly shared some audio files of RAAF KC-30A MRTT operations he captured from his home location. The files relate to traffic heard primarily between CS prefix of ‘DRAGON’ and aircraft using the prefix of ‘COBRA’. In this instance that callsign was being used by RAAF F-35A Joint Strike Fighters.

Also heard at one stage is CS ‘RAIDER’, a common F/A-18A Hornet and F-35A JSF callsign and CS ‘APACHE’, both are known 3SQN callsigns. All traffic heard on 301.5000MHz, a common 33SQN KC-30A MRTT refuelling frequency.

Royal Australian Air Force – 5th January, 2020

RAAF C/S ‘BLACKCAT 66’ heard in contact with Melbourne Centre on 122.4MHz. The aircraft a P-8A Poseidon, along with several others of the type, were flying tasks as part of the Federal Governments response to the bushfires across several states and was known as Operation Bushfire Assist. Many of these sorties were observed to be prolonged with the aircraft being on station for several hours before either moving on to another location or returning to base.

Australian Army Aviation (AAAvn) – 2nd January, 2020

 AAAvn CS ‘FATBOY 2’ & ‘FATBOY 3’ which were active earlier this evening at Wagga Wagga. Flight consisted of 2 x CH-47F Chinooks.

Heard in contact with Melbourne Centre on 122.4MHz discussing traffic for Wagga Wagga. Showing ADSB of ‘FTBY’ but on Mode-S were using ‘CHSW’ which is for CS prefix ‘CHAINSAW’, another common CH-47 Chinook CS.

Royal Australian Air Force – 21st November, 2019

RAAF CS ‘TROJAN 17’ in contact with Melbourne Approach on frequency 132.0MHz on Thursday evening 21st November, 2019. The aircraft, a C-130J Hercules is heard whilst on approach for runway 27. I have obviously edited out other transmissions that took place in between those of ‘TROJAN 17’ and ‘MELBOURNE APPROACH’.

Victoria Police MMR TG 101 – Channel 01-01, 20th January, 2017

Part of Victoria Police communications released during a coronial inquest in to the events of 20th January, 2017 in what has become known as ‘The Bourke Street Massacre”.

In addition to the audio a transcript has also been released. Download here: Police communications PDF transcript

Royal Australian Air Force – 17th November, 2019

RAAF CS ‘STALLION 77’ in contact with Melbourne Approach on 132.0MHz on Sunday evening 17th November, 2019. The aircraft, a C-17A Globermaster III, can be heard advising of 5 POB and being told they’re following a SAAB aircraft and are approximately number 7 in the queue to land on runway 09.

Royal Australian Air Force – 15th November, 2019

RAAF CS ‘THUMPER 22’ heard in contact with Melbourne Approach on 132.0MHz earlier this evening. The aircraft was an Airbus KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) which can be used as a mass transport option or an inflight refuelling asset. CS ‘THUMPER 22’ is heard advising of 170 POB.

Royal Australian Air Force – 7th November, 2019

RAAF CS ‘COBRA 11’ in contact with RAAF Edinburgh in South Australia. The aircraft CS was in use by an RAAF F-35A JSF belonging to 3SQN from RAAF Williamtown in NSW.  Monitored on Edinburgh Tower frequency 118.3MHz. Audio courtesy of JP.

Royal Australian Air Force – 17th March, 2019

An RAAF F/A-18A Hornet of 77SQN, from RAAF Base Williamtown in NSW, heard in contact with Melbourne Radar on 135.7MHz on Sunday 17th March, 2019.

The aircraft had been conducting a solo public display over the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Albert Park, Victoria and was using a CS prefix of ‘DESPOT’. (A common 77SQN prefix).

The aircraft can be heard requesting a track to Avalon located to the city’s west.

Australian Army Aviation – 3rd March, 2019.

A flight of 2 x CH-47F Chinooks using the CS ‘CHAINSAW’ advising other aircraft of their intentions on Point Cook CTAF frequency 126.2MHz. This frequency is usually rebroadcast on 380.950MHz in P25.

Royal Australian Air Force – 3rd March, 2019.

RAAF CS ‘WALLABY 27’, a C-27J Spartan of 35SQN based at RAAF Richmond in NSW, in contact with Avalon Tower in Victoria on frequency 120.1MHz.

Royal Australian Air Force & Australian Army Aviation – 2nd March, 2019

An RAAF flight consisting of 2 x C-130J Hercules from 37SQN, using the CS prefix of ‘ARCHER’, confirming with a flight of 2 x CH-47F Chinooks of ‘C’ Squadron, 5th Aviation Regiment of the Australian Army, using the CS prefix ‘CHAINSAW’ if they’re still okay to collect a load with one of their CH-47F’s . The load in question had previously been deployed by the C-130J Hercules.

Royal Australian Air Force – 1st March, 2019.

An RAAF King Air B350 of 32SQN heard on initial contact with Avalon Tower. The aircraft was using the CS ‘BEAUFORT 37’ at the time .

Royal Australian Air Force – 1st March, 2019.

RAAF CS ‘MARINER 13’, a P-8A Poseidon based out of RAAF Edinburgh in SA and operated by 11SQN, heard in contact with Avalon Tower on 120.1MHz during the Avalon Airshow.

Royal Australian Air Force – 25th February, 2019.

A flight of 4 x RAAF PC-21 aircraft using the CS prefix of ‘CORSAIR’ heard in contact with Avalon Tower on 120.1MHz. The CS prefix of ‘CORSAIR’ would normally denote the aircraft in question were from the Central Fly School (CFS) out of RAAF Base East Sale in Victoria.

Royal Australian Air Force – December, 2018.

Communications between an RAAF KC-30A MRTT and two RAAF F-35A Joint Strike Fighters using the call-signs DASH 1 and DASH 2 during an in-flight refuelling mission. The mission took place during a delivery flight of aircraft A35-009 and A35-010 from the US to Australia December 2018.

Victoria Police – 20th November, 2018.
On the 20th November, 2018 shortly after 1000Hrs the Victoria Police in rural areas, through its project partners the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority, Emergency Management Victoria, Motorola and Telstra, turned on encryption on their new RMR Network, thus saying farewell to their legacy communications system known as the SMR Network.

The new RMR Network system provides clearer communications and a level of security their metropolitan counterparts have enjoyed for nearly 13 years since the inception of the MMR Network in the metropolitan and greater Geelong areas. Below are samples of the farewell messages read out to signal the end of the SMR Network for rural police communications and to welcome their new encrypted radio network. Audio courtesy of RH.

VKC M1 & M2 Farewell message.
VKC P1 & P2 Farewell message.
VKC Q1 & Q2 Farewell message. Audio courtesy of RH.

Victoria Police – 29th August, 2017.

Recording of a Victoria Police pursuit that occurred after an armed robbery that involved the production of a firearm. During the attempted intercept and subsequent pursuit numerous radio pirate transmissions occurred. Those transmissions on the Victoria Police’s rural VHF voting radio network contained wrongful commands and instructions to Victoria Police Officer involved in the pursuit.

In October of 2017 after an investigation, and other alleged incidents of a similar nature, a 42-year-old Buchan man was charged with a number of offences. They included causing interference to transmission, transmission of false information, interference in relation to certain radio communications and hindering police.

The recording below commences shortly after the alleged armed robbery. Victoria Police Highway Patrol members from call-sign ‘Wellington 613’ are heard locating a vehicle possibly involved and then engaging in a pursuit of the vehicle. Examples of some of the subsequent illegal transmissions by unknown persons can be heard initially at 6min & 19secs, 6min & 30secs and again at 8mins & 37secs mark of the recording. Further transmissions occur throughout the event and subsequent file.

Victoria Police  – 24th November, 2015. 

Provided here is nearly 1 hour of Police communications that occurred during a prolonged standoff in Castlemaine by an individual armed with a crossbow. This is unedited audio and as such includes moments of silence on the airwaves. It provides a good example and cross-section of call-sign prefixes in use. The file is around 27mb in size. File provided by RH.

Victoria Police – 23rd September, 2014.

Recording of an ‘All Channels’ broadcast that was relayed across all Police Regions & Divisions following the shooting of a male by Police Officers from a joint Victoria Police and Australian Federal Police Anti-Terrorism investigation on Tuesday evening 23/09/2014.

Victoria Police – December 2013.

After successive ‘pirate’ transmissions appearing on the Victoria Police’s VHF Voting Network used for it’s rural communication needs the ACMA in conjunction with Victoria Police R.E.D technicians commenced a more concentrated effort in tracking down those responsible. In this recording one of the ACMA’s investigations team can be heard requesting a radio check on a Victoria Police channel.

Victoria Police – 30th November, 2013.

Recording of a Victoria Police transmission on the night of the 30th November, 2013 on the old ‘P2’ rural channel. The initial pirate transmission occurs at approximately 1min & 32secs mark of the file.

VKC farewell transmissions – Multiple dates.

Series of ‘farewell transmissions’ as the Victoria Police’s rural call-taking and dispatch is taken over by the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA), resulting in the closing of several remote locations used for such previously staffed by Police members.All rural operations now transferred to ESTA Ballarat and staffed by employees of ESTA.

VKC Moe – 18th March, 2012

VKC Mildura – 11th December, 2011

VKC Bendigo – 17th July, 2011

Victoria Police – 18th February, 2003. 

During this clip Officers can be heard requesting a ‘TOMCAT’ unit if available. The ‘TOMCAT’ prefix was used by the Theft Of Motor Car Action Team a unit. TOMCAT units came about due to a period of time where there was a dramatic increase in theft of and theft from vehicles. TOMCAT’s operated at Regional & Divisional level and worked closely with Regional Response Units, Crime Investigation Units and the then Organised Motor Vehicle Theft Squad (currently known as Vehicle Crime Squad). This was recorded on what was Channel 65 on the then UHF Network, a voting channel consisting of several UHF frequencies.

Victoria Police –  20th April, 1998.

Call-sign ‘Transit 234’ advising that two Officers have been shot and their location in the Melbourne suburb of Box Hill on the 20th of April, 1998.

The Officers had stopped Brendan Luke Berichon and another man, Berichon’s identity was not recognised at the time. Berichon was at the time ‘on the run’ with the notorious ‘Post Card Bandit’ and Australia’s most wanted man Brenden Abbott who had escaped a QLD Jail on November 5, 1997 assisted from outside by Berichon.

Box Hill 550 advising all units to use ‘extreme care’ in dealing with the offender responsible for the shooting of two Police Officer in Box Hill on the 20th of April, 1998.

VKC advises a unit there may have been an abduction by the offender wanted in relation to the shooting of two Police Officers in Box Hill on the 20th of April, 1998.

Victoria Police – 12th October, 1988.

The opening of the clip commences with D24 (VKC) dispatching ‘Prahran 311’ to a suspect vehicle call, providing details and ‘Prahran 311’ acknowledging receipt of the job. The radio was manned by Damian Eyre, 20 and the unit driven by Steven Tynan, aged just 22.

‘Prahran 311’ were initially dispatched to the job of a suspect vehicle at 04:34am and had arrived by approximately 04:41am.

By 04:48am both Officers were ambushed and shot as they inspected the suspect vehicle that had been left in the middle of the street.

At 04:49am D24 (VKC) would start receiving calls from the public reporting sounds of gunfire and additional Police resources were sent to investigate arriving within minutes.

The VKC operator had attempted to contact ‘Prahran 311’ several times by radio since receiving the calls from the public of possible ‘shots fired’ but to no avail.

VKC can be heard advising ‘South Melbourne 150’ (Senior Shift Officer for the then A District) that they had dispatched ‘Prahran 311’ to Walsh Street in South Yarra and were now receiving calls from the public for ‘shots fired’ and were unable to reach ‘Prahran 311’.

‘South Melbourne 250’ dispatched to investigate the reports of gunfire and welfare of ‘Prahran 311’ and on finding their two colleagues shot are the unit reporting ‘two members down’.

Victoria Police – 9th August, 1987.

Communications between numerous Police units and VKC during the “The Hoddle Street Massacre” on the evening of Sunday, 9th August 1987 in Clifton Hill, Victoria. By the end of the incident seven people would be killed and 19 injured.

Victoria Police – 27th March, 1986.

The initial radio call by ‘Russell Street 750’ advising ‘VKC’ of the blast at the Russell Street Police Complex bombing incident on Thursday, 27th March 1986. Also heard is ‘Russell Street 306’ advising of a loud explosion out the front of the complex.

‘VKC’ advising ‘Russell Street 150’, the senior shift officer for the District, of the blast at the Russell St Police Complex on Thursday, 27th March 1986.

Victoria Police – 19th June, 1985. Mad Max’ Police Shootings.
Senior Constable Peter Steele using the call-sign ‘Cheltenham 709’ advises that he and his partner have been shot at 3 minutes past midnight on June 19, 1985. By the end of the night a total of 5 Police Officers will have been shot by the offender dubbed ‘Mad Max’.

A Victoria Police Canine Handler, Senior Constable Gary Morell, advises that he’s been shot on the night of June 19, 1985 as he and SOG members searched for an offender who’d earlier shot and wounded Police Officers.

Random Audio Clips

Royal Australian Army – 2011.

Radio Communications example of transmissions from Exercise Chong Ju at Puckapunyal, Victoria.

Royal Australian Army – 2014.

Radio Communications example of transmissions from Exercise Chong Ju at Puckapunyal, Victoria. (Warning: Windy conditions).

Royal Australian Army – 2018.

Radio Communications example of transmissions from Exercise Chong Ju at Puckapunyal, Victoria.

Royal Australian Army – Afghanistan.

Royal Australian Army C/S ‘OSCAR 27’ advising they’ve been engaged during a combat patrol in Afghanistan.

Royal Australian Navy

HMAS Melbourne (III) helicopter deck operations. Pilot to flight and deck crews with integrated communications.

Royal Australian Air Force – AP-3C Orion (c/s ‘STRIKER’)

Royal Australian Air Force

C-130J Hercules start-up and integrated communications during Special Forces parachute insertion exercise & advising good to go for drop.

Royal Australian Air Force

Integrated communications and radio chatter between a pair of 77SQN Mirages during a training sortie. Possibly late 70’s to early 80’s. Call-sign in use is ‘DESPOT GREY’.


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