Scanners help police and fire departments by providing communication interoperability that is important to ensure public safety, as noted by ScannerMaster.com. Communication interoperability is the ability of different agencies, such as fire departments, police departments and emergency medical services to exchange information in the event of a major emergency.
A scanner is an instrument that can scan many radio frequencies. They are often used by the public to listen or monitor police communications. However, scanners are crucial for the various agencies or departments that are involved with public safety. In a disaster or crisis, scanners help police departments give assistance to other law enforcement agencies. Communication interoperability is also useful between agencies that may be in other jurisdictions, as noted by the State of New Jersey's Public Safety Communications.
The ability to relay data between different departments can help in case of a department needing help from another agency, such as police requesting aid from EMS and the fire department when there is a bad automobile accident. So that public safety communication may be utilized by these different departments, a trunking radio system is useful. A trunking scanner gives different groups the ability to share and have access to a limited number of radio frequencies that are controlled by computers. Regular scanners, which are made to work with basic radio systems, are unable to scan a trunk radio system, notes Hamuniverse.com.