safety rescue worker on two way radio

Ground Search and Rescue teams depend on Motorola MotoTRBO Digital Two Way Radios to Save Lives.

Mapping search routes more accurately and tracking the movements of searchers in real time are just two of the many reasons Ground Search and Rescue teams deploy the Motorola MotoTRBO XPR Digital Radio Series during emergency situations.

The MotoTRBO XPR Series is the digital workhorse of Motorola’s radio fleet and includes a unique GPS function in every portable radio, mobile radio, and repeater/base model.

Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) teams, in particular, are taking advantage of the technology to save lives and improve search efficiency.

GPS and Virtual Mapping Software

The MotoTRBO XPR6550 contains a built-in GPS receiver that records the latitude and longitude of you and your team. The radio automatically transmits the data, at predetermined times set by the user software, back to the base station or on-site repeater.

At the radio base station, a USB connection is made from the radio to your laptop computer, streaming GPS data into a specialized mapping program. Several types of software are available to facilitate the transfer and control of the data, but the end result for SAR is real-time tracking with updates from 30 seconds to 3 minute intervals.

The TDMA Advantage

One other software technique involves polling the radio to inquire about its location and status. Since the radio has Time Domain Multiple Access (TDMA) technology, the channel assigned to your radio is capable of two simultaneous conversations at one time. In this situation, voice and GPS data share the channel without interaction or interference from either.

The TDMA technology gives the MotoTRBO radio an advantage over other types of GPS tracking schemes. For example, some manufacturers require sharing voice and data on the same channel.

The Motorola MotoTRBO advantage of GPS, over a private two way radio frequency, is control of infrastructure. When all cell phones towers and repeater towers have been disabled by a weather event, SAR can continue to operate as a self-contained unit.

Powerful Communication

During SAR events, it may be necessary to re-divert teams towards a subject or to monitor progress of recovery. The text messaging feature in the Motorola XPR6550 makes it easy for dispatch to send a team new coordinates. The base station will always confirm delivery of the message, too.

As central command monitors the progress of the recovery via GPS, members may be too busy to call in updates. Remote Monitor allows the dispatcher to eavesdrop on the conversations at the scene, covertly gaining an understanding of events without disrupting the scene activities.

Should the dispatcher lose radio communications with a specific team, the radio can be “pinged” to see if it is active. If the radio is active, a Call Alert beeping signal will be triggered in the radio, notifying the team that they are missing important dispatch calls.

Increased Recovery Time

Recovery progress via GPS is a valuable feature for SAR since deep woods retrieval is usually a Litter Carry operation with an unknown ETA at the pickup point for EMS. By monitoring the progress on a mapping program, the dispatcher can more effectively coordinate meeting points and estimate arrival times.

With all of these features, and waterproofing, the XPR6550 was designed for SAR in mind.

Download the FREE MotoTRBO Guide to Making Your Organization Better Connected Learn how to accelerate performance and advance productivity with digital two way radios in this FREE guide. Download Now

Emergency Services, Government Departments, Healthcare, Motorola MotoTRBO Digital Radios, Two Way Radios


  1. Mary Archie

    Hello my name is Mary. I’ve spoken with the captain of SAR in Comox BC many years ago when SAR was looking for me as I was reported lost and SAR searchers were looking for me for three days. In communications with the captain he suggested that I invest in a high quality radio that is used via SAR MAR. Can you recommend where I can buy a good quality transceiver please? Thank you for your time and considerations.

    Kind regards

    • nadinemansour

      Hi Mary,
      We will reach out and provide more information.
      Nova Communications

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