An old thread but just some observations about the comments.
Yes, it would be nice if only very dependable, typically higher priced brands of radios could be used. But that's not always possible for some departments, especially volunteer department that depend on 'self-bought' equipment. Think about that, your equipment, radios, bunker-gear, etc, comes out of your pocket. That's a pretty good 'chunk' of $$$! Not using the most expensive equipment is always a consideration, no matter if it's your 'neck' or someone elses. You do that economizing in areas that aren't an 'absolute sure thing' life endangerment. That's true for the bigger, paid departments too you know. (Don't know about you, but I couldn't afford the higher priced stuff, and I was a firefighter, I know how important gear is.)
The 'Chinese' radios aren't the 'best' in the world, but they can certainly be useful. You can't use a Motorola HT for a hammer either! Things have improved, you don't find many volunteer departments fighting grass fires with wet tow-sacks anymore. But you also don't find many with $50,000 grass rigs either.
Do I think all departments should be using the 'Chinese' HTs? No, I don't. But if that's what is affordable, then why not?
If you have to self purchase radios as the only option (assuming you've tried for grants, etc), I'd sooner trust a good used radio designed for the abuse (for example motorola) rather than the chinese made ham stuff that is NOT built for the type of abuse.