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National Interoperability Field Operations Guide

The Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) publishes the National Interoperability Field Operations Guide (NIFOG) as a reference guide for public safety radio technicians and communications planners. The waterproof, pocket-sized guide (also available in PDF format) contains radio regulations, tables of radio channels, and technical reference information. This guide is ideal for those establishing or repairing emergency communications in a disaster area.

New in NIFOG Version 1.5

New content:

  • IP Addresses – Private Networks
    • Non-routable IP address ranges
  • N11 Numbers
    • Telephone services from numbers 2-1-1 through 9-1-1
  • Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) Filing Instructions
    • How to contact FAA and what information to provide to request FAA to issue a Notice to Airmen to alert aircraft pilots of any hazards (such as a temporary tower or tethered antenna platform).
  • HF – (High Frequency)
    • Maritime HF and VHF Distress Frequencies
      • GMDSS International Distsress Channels – for ships and coast stations (Part 80 licensees), not for LMR, not nationwide interoperability channel
    • HF Disaster Communications
      • Frequencies licensable only to state and territorial governments - called “Operation SECURE” in some states (State Emergency Capability Using Radio Effectively)
    • HF Long Distance Communications
      • Frequencies licensable to certain industrial users for repair of telecommunications circuits, power & pipeline distribution etc.
    • Standard Time and Frequency Broadcasts
      • When “close enough” isn’t good enough...
    • Standard Time by Telephone
      • When “close enough” isn’t good enough… and you don’t have HF radio.
    • Amateur Radio
      • Many public safety agencies use Amateur Radio operators for auxiliary emergency communications. A Part 90 public safety radio license does NOT authorize use of these frequencies – an individual must have a Part 97 license (Amateur Radio Service) license to transmit (but anyone can listen).
        • Emergency Frequencies
        • Calling Frequencies
        • Repeater Coordinators
        • Frequency Bands
        • Power Limits

Revised Content

  • Added FCC rule 90.423 about airborne operation
  • New name and phone number for FCC STA requests
  • New phone numbers for ESFs and FEMA HQ
  • Reordered Interoperability Channels section by band
  • Color-coded channel charts by band

VHF-low       Purple

VHF-high     Blue

UHF               Red

700/800        Yellow

Mixed bands and Search and Rescue (SAR)  Orange

  • Annotated Mutual Aid channel charts to indicate that they are NOT nationwide interoperability channels and must be specifically licensed
  • Search And Rescue common channel 155.1600 MHz SAR NFM renamed VSAR16
  • 700 MHz channels now follow ICS-205/217A format

Changed the arrangement of frequencies to match the format used for other bands – easier to determine frequencies for simplex or repeater use

  • Changed 700 MHz pages to landscape, so the entire Interoperability Channels section has the same orientation
  • Moved Texas VTAC17 Counties list to follow the VTAC17 map
  • Three additions to the 25 Cities listing

Nationwide, Newark NJ, and San Diego CA

  • P25 Digital codes now include decimal values in addition to hexadecimal
  • Telephone Block Wiring

Changed to a two-page spread showing the colored wires positioned to match the physical layout of a type 66 punchdown block

  • …and several minor changes for style and copy-fitting

To request a copy of the NIFOG

Public safety communications professionals and emergency communications specialists in private voluntary organizations can receive reasonable quantities of NIFOGs at no charge by completing the NIFOG request form.

Businesses may purchase copies from the U.S. Government Printing Office – go to and type "Interoperability" in the Simple Search box.


If you require assistance in accessing these documents, please contact Ross Merlin at or 703-235-4085.

For further information on the NIFOG, please email

Last Published Date: May 14, 2014

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