Best VHF Radio For Firefighters – Top Handheld Radios Reviews!

Fire service is a different job that plays an important role in saving our lives in emergencies, and each firefighter require a VHF radio to communicate with each other, 

So picking the best VHF radio for firefighters is an essential thing, and this is where our well-researched review comes in. 

In this post, we’re going to share a list of the most popular VHF radios that are currently ranking on the top of the market.

Our entire reviews and recommendations are based on the features needed along with reliability, durability, and waterproof rating. 

Note: As we know, there are two types of VHF radio, handheld and fixed mount. Since fixed mount VHF radios are not portable, you may need to use a handheld VHF radio. 

So we’ll only review some handheld options.

Best VHF Radio For Firefighters

1. Radioddity GA-510 10-Watt Ham Radio Dual Band

If you’re searching for a solidly designed VHF radio for your firefighting job, this Radioddity GA-510 might be an ideal pick for you because the design looks pretty solid and professional!

This model is one of the latest VHF devices that offers a huge number of advanced features and benefits. It’s a dual-band tri-power handheld radio based on a brand new generation chip. 

It has 10-watt high power that allows it to transmit further. It comes with two batteries that enable it to stand by longer compared to others at this price point! 

The device can be set in three power modes, 10W, 5W, and 1W to provide you with the best talking point under various conditions.

If you select the high power mode (10W), the battery will last for up to 12 hours and 24 hours when selected 5W or 1W power mode. 

The device includes a great feature called the SOS button at the top of the radio, with the help of this button, you can easily send an alarming signal to the current channel by hitting and holding the button!

The screen size is ideal for watching important information. You can programme the device via your computer or keypad with the provided programming cable.

Due to its three scanning mechanisms time, carrier, and search scanning, you can meet all your needs. 

The pack includes two 2200 mAh rechargeable batteries, a programming cable, dual-band antenna, an adapter and charger, belt clip. User manual, and wrist strap. 

Technical Specifications:

  • Brand: Radioddity
  • Colour: Black
  • Frequency Range: 144-148MHz, 420-450MHz
  • Impedance: 50 Ohm
  • Memory channels: 128
  • Weight: 1.63 pounds
  • Operating temperature: -20°C – 60°C

Pros:

  • Comparatively longer battery life compared to others
  • Easy to read user manual book
  • Easy to use
  • The Display is quite bright
  • The price is within your reach
  • Best for firefighters 
  • It is rugged and very easy to use

Cons: 

  • Only black color is available

2. BAOFENG BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen)

The BAOFENG BF-F8HP is a dual-band handheld VHF radio that works well due to its more transmit power based on a brand new generation chipset.

If you’re a firefighter, you may need to change your radio power level according to your needs to save your battery life, you can simply do it due to its three power levels, 1, 4, 8, watts. 

In our list, this is the only device that offers the highest battery capacity which is 2000mAh, so no matter how long you use this device for any emergencies, this powerful device will always support you!

If you’re new to using a VHF radio as a firefighter, you may need to know about how to use a VHF radio, this issue can take a long time to learn, but with the help of the user manual that will be provided with this pack will allow you to set up the entire process easily!

It has a High Gain V-85 Antenna that is great for covering a long area without any additional issues. The pack contains all the required and common parts that are necessary such as the V-85 Antenna, a power adapter, Earpiece, Hand Strap, battery charger, user manual, and also one year of Complimentary Concierge Service and Warranty Support.

Technical Specifications:

  • Brand: BAOFENG
  • Colour: Black
  • Channels: 128
  • Battery: 1 Lithium-ion (Included)
  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 2 x 2 inches
  • Weight: 0.63 Pounds
  • Voltage: 7.4 Volts

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly and easy to use
  • High Gain V-85 Antenna
  • 30% larger battery
  • One-year warranty support

Cons:

  • The overall design seems a little bit heavy 

3. BaoFeng UV-82HP (RED) High Power Dual Band Radio

The BaoFeng UV is the latest version of the classic UV-82 Series. This high power dual-band radio offers some extra features compared to its old version. 

The best part of this device is you can program your radio exactly how you want it. More than 126 easy programmable memory channels offer this device and you can join and remove channels from the scanning list with the help of their cost-free computer software.

Although this model does not offer the same battery power as the BAOFENG BF-F8HP, 1800 mAh will be enough for most jobs. 

The unique part of this model is you can lock your frequency mode via software, since the device has a Dual Push-to-Talk switch, it can be synchronized by software.

Due to its flashlight, you don’t need to carry additional light to see something in the nighttime. The device also includes external accessory compatibility, an FM radio, and an emergency alarm system. 

Although it has one built-in receiver, you can watch two channels and frequencies. It supports CTCSS, DCS, and DTMF calling methods.

Technical Specifications:

  • Brand: BAOFENG
  • Colour: Five colours Available
  • Tuner Technology: UHF, VHF
  • Dimensions: 4 x 10 x 7 inches
  • Weight: 1 Pound
  • Voltage: 7.4 Volts

Pros: 

  • It can Transmit on Wideband (25kHz) and Narrowband (12.5kHz)
  • Three power levels
  • Frequency lock and unlock mode
  • Dual Push-to-Talk Switch
  • Scanning feature with free software

Cons: 

  • The body is not enough strong

4. Motorola RMV2080 VHF Rugged Two-Way Radio 

All the Motorola VHF radios are designed with one goal in mind, better performance, long-lasting battery life and well customer service, and this is not exceptional. 

The Motorola RMV2080 is such a radio that works nicely and has a combination of advanced and regular features which make it one of the best VHF radios for firefighters.

As a firefighter, if you face a situation where you need to communicate with others in 2.5 miles areas, this model might be the all in one solution for you to try once!

The look is pretty good and it has enough durability. Although we’re quite disappointed when we looked at the price of this model, once we completed our research about it, we noticed that the price range is perfect for its overall features and functionalities. 

What makes this model unique? Well, it can provide clear and enhanced audio quality, and due to its versatile HTML-based customer programming software, anyone can use it to programme themself easily!

One of the advanced features is the customized channel announcements, it will keep your hands free, so you can get enough chances to focus on the job at hand. With the single device, you will get all the NOAA weather alerts directly. 

Technical Specifications:

  • Brand: Motorola Solutions
  • Colour: Black
  • Number of Channels: 8
  • Tuner Technology: VHF
  • Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.6 x 2.2 inches
  • Weight: 0.56 Pounds
  • Voltage: 3.7 Volts

Pros: 

  • Rugged design
  • Easy programming software
  • Improved voice quality
  • All NOAA weather updates and alerts
  • Tri Color LED interface
  • Channel Enabling and disabling option

Cons: 

  • The price range might be a fact

5. BPR40 Mag One by Motorola VHF

This model is a professional-grade device that is easy to handle. Most people prefer this model not only for its heavy-duty body but also for its clear voice speaker. 

The long-lasting battery will last for up to 9-10 hours after being fully charged. The best part of this device is it can be programmed to work with other two-way radios programmed to the same codes and frequencies. 

The dimension of this model is approximately 5 inches tall and the antenna is 2.25″ wide and 1.5″ thick without the belt clip. It comes with a 1 Lithium-ion battery, antenna, and drop-in charger, battery and clip, and one year warranty.

Although the programmable software doesn’t come with the pack, you can download the software from Motorola for free of cost and use it. 

Technical Specifications:

  • Brand: Motorola
  • Colour: Black
  • Number of Channels: 8
  • Water Resistance Level
  • Frequency Range: 150 – 174 MHz

Pros: 

  • Water-Resistant
  • Durable Body
  • Reliable Brand
  • Speaker is loud and clear
  • Easy to handle

Cons: 

  • Expensive

Conclusion:

Since the fire service is a little bit of a different job, it is always hard to find a good VHF radio for this task, but if you follow today’s reviews, hopefully you’ll be able to pick the right option!

At the end of reviewing the best VHF radio for firefighters, we’d like to tell you that you should research a lot before purchasing a VHF radio because there are a lot of facts to consider!

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