When your firefighters are confronted with a large blaze, their hose and axe aren’t the only tools that enable them to save the day. Their BK radio is just as much of a lifesaver.
Many fire departments and police departments feel this way. That is why the market for these two-way radios is expected to increase by more than 6% between 2021 and 2028, growing from more than $7 billion to more than $12 billion.
The question is, why are BK radios so important? And what does the BKR5000 radio in particular have to offer?
Here’s a rundown on the many benefits of using a BKR5000 BK radio.
Let’s jump in!
What Is the BKR5000 BK Radio?
The BKR5000 BK radio is the product of BK Technologies Corp. This holding company features a subsidiary that markets, manufactures, and designs two-way radios for professionals who work in the public safety space.
The BKR5000 radio is the first portable radio model in a brand-new BKR radio series. This series is part of APCO International’s Project 25 involving land mobile radios.
The BKR5000 offers a high level of programmable functionality. In this way, first responders can maximize their communication during emergencies. In light of this, this BK radio is an essential fire department and police department tool.
All in all, BKR5000 radios are designed to improve the quality and efficiency of your staff’s communication no matter the size of your staff or your budget.
Technology Used in the BKR5000 BK Radio
A two-way radio, like the BKR5000, uses electromagnetic energy that is measured with the RF, or radiofrequency, spectrum. This makes communicating over vast distances easier.
Note that electromagnetic energy takes several other forms besides RF energy as well. These include x-ray, sunlight, radar, and electric energy.
The RF energy that a portable radio generates isn’t strong enough to harm your staff. That’s because engineers work with different agencies to create standards for limiting exposure to RF energy.
These standards highlight the recommended RF exposure levels for both members of the public and public service professionals. Manufacturers test these radios to ensure their compliance with various regions’ exposure standards (more on this later).
Let’s take a look at the numerous reasons why the BKR5000 is a top choice for public safety workers.
One of the top reasons to invest in BK radios for your team is that they are extremely durable. Because they are so well made, forest services in America generally choose these radios for their wildland firefighters and rangers.
Part of the reason why BK radios can be used as wildland fire radios is that they feature waterproof, rugged housing. As a result, even when water splashes on them, they won’t lose their signal.
This means that no matter the situation, your team will have no problem sharing and receiving vital information when using these radios.
This is important given that firefighters often have to navigate treacherous terrain. BK radios will easily keep up with them as they perform their dangerous jobs.
The fact that these radios are durable also means that you can save money and time long term. After all, you won’t have to worry about dealing with repeated repairs and replacements with these radios. You can expect these radios to last for years versus a handful of months.
Another reason to choose the BKR5000 radio is that it offers clear communication.
Perhaps your department is accustomed to using cell phones to communicate. Or, maybe you’ve used BK radios in the past but you’re looking into upgrading to the BKR5000. Either way, you’ll find that the BKR5000 will improve your workers’ communications.
The reason for this is that the BKR5000 will improve the speed and quality of your team members’ messages. This radio option also comes with high-level distance and volume capabilities.
Let’s say that one of your team members tries to send a message to a fellow team member. This message can easily get lost if the second person doesn’t hear it at a hectic and noisy fire scene. The same is true if the two parties are trying to communicate in a wilderness setting.
However, the BKR5000 stands out for its increased volume. This will lead to louder and clearer audio outputs for your team.
In addition, these radios will allow every officer who tunes in to a certain station to hear other officers’ messages. This will especially benefit a fire department that needs a big team to collaborate on handling an emergency.
All in all, BKR5000 radios are a top choice for public safety communications. They’ll send your messages far and ensure that everybody on a given channel has no problem hearing them.
Meeting Industry Compliance Standards
Yet another reason to turn to the BKR5000 radio is that its maker is committed to consistently meeting national and international safety standards.
If firefighters and policemen are exposed to RFs for prolonged periods, this may end up harming them physically. For this reason, several regulations and laws have been created to protect humans from such side effects.
Unfortunately, not all manufacturers of two-way radios follow them.
In the US, the FCC has to certify any electronic device that emits radio waves before it is imported, sold, or used. The only exception to this rule is an amateur radio.
However, the FCC especially noticed that more and more retailers were offering portable radios that did not meet their standards. For this reason, this government agency released an advisory regarding portable radios. It specifically cautioned against having them imported into the US.
Today, it is critical that fire departments and police departments shop for only two-way radios that are marked as being FCC compliant.
Fortunately, BK radios meet IEEE, FCC, and Canadian safety regulations. For this reason, no matter where you use the BKR5000 radio, you can rest assured that your RF energy exposure level will be a safe one.
Additional Compliance Considerations
Another benefit of purchasing BK radios is that they come with detailed instructions for users. This means you can make sure that your staff are using them safely according to IEEE standards.
For instance, the IEEE will recommend that a BK radio user keep the radio’s RF exposure below a certain percentage of the energy being transmitted when talking.
You can easily measure a radio’s RF energy to see if it complies with FCC and IEEE exposure standards. To do this, you should monitor the radio’s RF energy when it is transmitting. You should not do this when it is in its standby mode or when it is receiving.
Also, when testing and using your BK radio, you should use only approved power supplies. They operate within limits that meet the IEEE’s and FCC’s parameter regulations. BK radios’ instructions should tell you the power percentages that these radios’ batteries operate at in standby, listen, and talk modes.
Keep in mind that BK radios also use microprocessor cores. These microprocessors power the radios’ advanced features (more on them later). They also allow users to easily program their units.
When you speak with a seller of BK radios, they can help you to choose the most appropriate radio settings for you.
For example, they can show you how to use scan delay. This feature makes it possible for you to get responses before your unit begins scanning for other radio channels.
Your dealer may also help you to program an individual channel to transmit in your desired low-power BK radio mode every time.
You’ll also love the fact that a BK radio costs about 50% of what lower-quality products cost. The BKR5000 radio’s affordability combined with its quality makes it a smart investment for your team.
This is invaluable given that fire stations cost hundreds of thousands of dollars or more to build. In addition, outfitting just one firefighter can easily cost thousands of dollars, with their radios being a major part of the expense. This is particularly true in big cities or big areas, such as national parks.
Sadly, many fire stations don’t have revenue bases to recoup their costs, as they provide volunteer services. Sixty-five percent of firefighters in 2020, or just under 677,000, were volunteer workers.
However, buying BK radios versus other types of two-way radios is just one more way for a small volunteer operation to keep its costs down. These cost savings can also benefit large fire stations that simply wish to save some money.
Flexibility and Features
The BKR5000 radio is available in three radio tiers. As a result, it allows maximum customization and flexibility for your staff’s needs.
BK Technologies Corp.’s engineering team developed and designed this radio with a large amount of input from their customers. That’s why the radio includes many options and features that first responders need, such as GPS and Bluetooth.
The radio also offers cloning capabilities. With this feature, fire departments can set up command centers in the field and clone all of their team members’ BK radios to each other. This is ideal for any group that receives frequent calls to respond to fire emergencies.
Your team of firefighters or police officers will also embrace the fact that BK radios are simple to use.
For instance, these radios feature big control buttons. Your firefighters can easily use these buttons even while wearing heavy gloves.
Each BK radio’s user interface is also intuitive with its top display. There are no excessive controls that your workers have to learn. That means your officers or firefighters can start sending and receiving messages right away.
This is important because when you’re dealing with public safety emergencies, time is of the essence. These radios don’t come with a big learning curve, so your team can jump into using them fairly quickly. The training time needed for these radios is minimal.
The fact that the BKR5000 is lightweight is a bonus as well. Your workers can easily tow them along with their other equipment when tackling any incident.
BK radios also stand out for their non-slip texture and easy-to-see-through glass screens. Their mics are also high quality, so they’ll effortlessly pick up their users’ voices when they’re trying to send messages.
With the BKR5000, you can additionally try out a variety of accessories that will make using your radio even more convenient.
These accessories include intelligent charging and battery solutions. For instance, you could take advantage of a new “clamshell” alkaline battery for radios used for wildland fires.
In addition, you can give a remote speaker microphone, like the IP68 microphone a try. This type of microphone comes with unique options, such as an emergency button you can program. It is also waterproof and offers noise-canceling acoustic capabilities.
Paving the Way for the Future
Today’s internet technologies are further transforming the BK radio industry for the better. For this reason, you can expect BK radios to offer even more advanced capabilities in the years ahead.
For instance, internet switching now enables police officers to speak to ambulance drivers who are across the country or the city. This type of capability was unheard of years ago.
How We Can Help
The BKR5000 BK radio offers several benefits for public safety professionals who rely on them for communication. They are durable and high quality. They are also cost-effective and easy to use.
At King Radios, we are excited to offer the BKR5000 radio as well as other top-tier portable radio options. We have been serving America’s public safety industry for nearly four decades with our one-of-a-kind radios.
Get in touch with us to learn more about our portable radios, and order today!