"COPY" on radio

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"COPY" on radio

Postby Raker » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:56 pm

Hey everyone,

Our management team recently have made changes that prohibit us from saying "COPY" over the radio and instead want us to use terms like "ROGER", "AFFIRMATIVE" or other plain language.

My understanding of "COPY" after 18 years in the emergency services is that its an acknowledgment of understanding or having heard a message. Our management team suggests that "COPY" literally means "COPY" and that if it's being said the message received should be copied and repeated. Everything that I can find online suggests that I'm correct in my understanding but I'm wondering what others think and have experienced?

It's hard to change old habits and I'm not liking being pulled into the office and spoken to about occasionally saying "COPY", especially when it doesn't appear to me that I'm doing anything wrong.

I intend to live forever - so far, so good.

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Use of "Copy" in Radio Transmissions

Postby LTPVFD » Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:08 pm

Hi Raker,

In my opinion, your interpretation and use of the word "copy" is correct. We use it all the time in my department. It tells the sender that we have received and understand their message.

Dispatch uses "roger" all the time. Being a smart ass one night, when the dispatcher said "roger" I replied that he was on the ladder truck and not the engine :aetsch: Never got a response :eek:

Having worked in a police dispatch environment for many years I used 10-codes. Every now and then I will revert to using "10-4" instead of copy. Confuses some, but the old timers usually know what I mean.

Stay safe !!

Safety First - EVERYONE Goes Home !!

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Postby hmckay91 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:32 pm

That's a tough one as there are many industry and local variances in radio telephony usage in contravention to International and National standards.

"Copy" is not a reserved Procedure Word in radio telephony in Canada and the bosses are technically correct to suggest Roger or Affirm (not Affirmative due to confusion with Negative). However, their interpretation of "copy" seems even less correct than our customary usage of it.

I generally use "Copy" interpreted as below; as a response to a one to many message or overheard message.
... Copy does not mean the same as Roger or Received. It is used when communications between 2 other stations which includes information for your station that has been overheard and received satisfactorily.
But quite often in Emergency Services we still use "Copy" as an acknowledgement of transmission receipt instead of Roger even though it is not correct.

Good luck with the Management Team...

https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.n ... t-2011.pdf
There's never time to do it right but always time to do it over.

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