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Two-way radio – Essential Phrases for improved communication


Short-hand two-way radio phrases have been around for many years.  We have collated the most commonly used ones to give you “two-way radio chat – essential phrases”.

These phrases are commonly used and have stood the test of time, BUT they are only useful if your team are using them consistently and all your team members understand what they mean!  When these phrases are used with clarity and consistency, your team communication becomes more professional and effective.  As a result, you will see an improvement in efficiency and critically, be able to respond to a “code red” situation in a calm and confident manner.


Essential Phrases: 

Affirmative – Yes.

Negative – No.

Come in – Asking another to acknowledge they can hear you.

Go ahead – I am ready for your message.

Say again – Repeat your last message.

Roger that – Message received and understood.

Over – Message finished.

Out – Conversation is finished with no response required or expected.

Radio check – Can you hear me? What’s my signal strength?

Read you loud and clear – Your message is coming through clear.

Wilco – I will comply.

Break, break – Interruption to transmission to communicate urgently.

Emergency, emergency – Distress call to be used only when there is a danger to life or immediate assistance is required.

Stand by – Wait for a short period and I will get back to you.

Wait out – Waiting period is longer than anticipated – I will get back to you as soon as possible.

I spell – The next word will be spelled out.


Codes are often used to describe a situation:

Dangerous or serious incident requires immediate response – Code red 

Non-dangerous incident but still requires immediate response – Code yellow 

Non-crucial incident – Code blue 

We hope  you find our “two-way radio chat – essential phrases” useful.  Another news item “Radio Talk – Utilise the Phonetic Alphabet” will make your two-way radio transmissions more effective and is recommended to be read in conjunction with this article.


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