Thread: paging problems

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    Default paging problems

    we are currently paged out for fire/rescue/ems through alphanumeric pagers. they are based off of a commercial system, and sometimes have long times from time of dispatch sending it out to the pagers receiving the actual call. it has on occassion taken HOURS for the call to go through.

    looking for any viable options to replace/ back up this current system. the voice paging system is too expensive. does anyone know of any way cell phones can be utitilized.. for example text messenging or voice calls through the phone? any help is appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by asstchief700 View Post
    we are currently paged out for fire/rescue/ems through alphanumeric pagers. they are based off of a commercial system, and sometimes have long times from time of dispatch sending it out to the pagers receiving the actual call. it has on occassion taken HOURS for the call to go through.

    looking for any viable options to replace/ back up this current system. the voice paging system is too expensive. does anyone know of any way cell phones can be utitilized.. for example text messenging or voice calls through the phone? any help is appreciated.
    Are you Vol. or Career?
    “The garbage man doesn’t get excited when he turns the corner and sees trash. You shouldn’t get excited either; you should be expecting fire on every run.” - FDNY Lt. Andrew Fredericks

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    The cell phones will be subject to the same delays a commercial paging system is subject to. Actually the phones will probably be worse.

    You need to install your own paging system, whether it is voice or alphanumeric.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ncoliva1200 View Post
    Are you Vol. or Career?
    volunteer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by asstchief700 View Post
    we are currently paged out for fire/rescue/ems through alphanumeric pagers. they are based off of a commercial system, and sometimes have long times from time of dispatch sending it out to the pagers receiving the actual call. it has on occassion taken HOURS for the call to go through.
    This is a good example of why NFPA 1221 requires the paging system to be under the control of the agency.

    Is there any regional entity that has a radio system that blankets the area such as a county sherrif or state police? It might be that you can piggy-back onto their infrastructure.

    Is your topography such that there is one high hill in your area that already has a radio tower on top that you might be able to get space on? There are departments that use alpha-numeric paging as their primary dispatch circuit, it's just that they own the equipment/system.

    A yes to any of those questions would at least put you in a position to move your paging off of the commercial service and onto a public safety owned system.

    If there is no other way than to continue on the commercial service, how about contacting your paging company and see if there is some way that they can prioritize the paging so that your pages jump to the head of the queue.

    Brian

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    Default Few problems

    We are in the midwest and switched over from a local alpha paging service to Verizon paging and have had very little delay or problems.

    When we have had delays - normally traced back to issues with dispacthers computer - or the dispatch center getting swamped and the dispatcher not typing the page in a timely fashion.

    We get a pre-page via tones/announcement over the radio from one dispatched while the 2nd dispatcher is typing the page.

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    Quote Originally Posted by asstchief700 View Post
    looking for any viable options to replace/ back up this current system. the voice paging system is too expensive. does anyone know of any way cell phones can be utitilized.. for example text messenging or voice calls through the phone? any help is appreciated.
    Couple of questions:
    * Your existing system. Are you individually paging each device (pager) separately or you paging a group or leader number?
    * Are you paging via a modem number or are you paging through an internet web page?
    * How many people are you trying to contact at once?
    * The other question is do your members use Verizon cellphones? Verizon requires you to send messages from off-net as e-mail as there is not an SMS gateway . E-mail can have delays as well There's a work around, but it's not cheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SWFD22 View Post

    Is there any regional entity that has a radio system that blankets the area such as a county sherrif or state police? It might be that you can piggy-back onto their infrastructure.
    we use the same paging as the county sheriff, which they use to contact off duty, detectives, admin stuff like that.

    Is your topography such that there is one high hill in your area that already has a radio tower on top that you might be able to get space on? There are departments that use alpha-numeric paging as their primary dispatch circuit, it's just that they own the equipment/system.
    the only available tower, the owners of it want a rent paid per foot, dont know the exact amount but know it was expensive.


    If there is no other way than to continue on the commercial service, how about contacting your paging company and see if there is some way that they can prioritize the paging so that your pages jump to the head of the queue.
    tried that, still have problems at times

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    Quote Originally Posted by spareparts View Post
    Couple of questions:
    * Your existing system. Are you individually paging each device (pager) separately or you paging a group or leader number?
    * Are you paging via a modem number or are you paging through an internet web page?
    * How many people are you trying to contact at once?
    * The other question is do your members use Verizon cellphones? Verizon requires you to send messages from off-net as e-mail as there is not an SMS gateway . E-mail can have delays as well There's a work around, but it's not cheap.

    *pages as a group
    *modem i believe
    *25 volunteer firefighters
    *some do but not all

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    http://www.secondsignal.com/

    Check out this link. When a tone is sent out over the radio, it automatically records the call and sends a message to your cell phone. You can then call in and listen to the call as it was dispatched. I haven't used it, but I have heard good things about it. Doesn't seem to be too expensive either.

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    To all... ISO won't recoginze a primary paging system that works through a commercial provider. They simply won't.

    Commercial paging providers are not dependable for public safety. As in the words of a certain comedian "I know, I is one".

    Your own alpha paging system can be set up and deployed CHEAPER than
    a voice paging system. The advantage of course of a voice system is you
    can also use the repeater for your voice traffic.

    SWFD - What part of the world are you located in? We may be able to help, or send you in the right direction for help on that tower....

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    Are you SURE you can't invest in some nice minitor's? Try even going with the minitor 2. Seriously. It's well worth it!

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    I have a used Zetron Model 640 Paging terminal, if you're interested. Two Tone, Pocsag, Golay etc.. etc..

    Just the terminal, you will need to interface it to a transmitter, or I can do that for you also.

    Just got the model 640 back from Zetron. Had it gone through and tested complete, replaced the memory batteries and everything.

    PM me if you are interested.

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    The 640 would be a dandy terminal for an agency looking to go alpha.

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    Chief,

    We specialize in providing service to small agencies like yours with our shared services model. If you would like to discuss options and capabilities I would be happy to talk with you.

    Many times it's the process of getting the message to the carrier not the carrier, and we can distribute a given messages to multiple devices in parallel mode. Pager, Cell, E-mail, Other....

    Firebuff880.
    http://www.dapage.net


    Quote Originally Posted by asstchief700 View Post
    It has on occassion taken HOURS for the call to go through. Looking for any viable options to replace/ back up this current system. the voice paging system is too expensive. does anyone know of any way cell phones can be utitilized.. for example text messenging or voice calls through the phone? any help is appreciated.

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    We use alpha paging as well. We've had the same problems, although 95% of the time, no issue. Of course, if it's YOUR house that's on fire, that 5% seems pretty significant.

    After the meeting with our ISO rep last week, we are now looking at going to radio paging.

    The only way ISO will recognize alpha paging is if an agency has control over the system, which we don't.

    I'd like some info on what it would cost to set up our own alpha system, if anyone has it.

    We already have the frequency and dispatch capabilities to go with radio paging, just not the right radios. I've got quotes from Motorola on pager/radios at $5000 for 15. I also got a quote for Icom radios for $3000.

    Anybody know anything about Icom?
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    its kind of interesting that you are in OK. We have discussed the commercial paging issue with a number of departments near Tulsa, and they never seem to understand that ISO will not recognize commericial paging.

    And no offense to firebuff880, but passing off products like dapage notification server as a method of paging for "CRITICAL MESSAGING" is
    a terrible disservice to the Fire Service.

    Perhaps clearly identified as a SECONDARY messaging service, but never, never, never a critical service.

    Nextel is also guilty of this, to the extreme of getting cities to DROP THEIR
    two way radio systems for Nextel. The cities end up coming back to the
    two way radio systems in the end normally.

    I have said it before, you can put in a good alpha paging system, owned by
    your agency, for less than you can put in a good voice paging system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    I have said it before, you can put in a good alpha paging system, owned by your agency, for less than you can put in a good voice paging system.
    Where can I get information on this? I've got a presentation for our Board tomorrow night on our communiciation issue with ISO. One of the possible solutions is installing our own paging system, but unless it can be done for less than about $3500, it's more cost-effective to go with radio paging.

    The only information I've found on paging systems is for the systems they use in hospitals and industrial settings. I need a paging system that will, at a minimum, cover 24 square miles. The radio system we have set up out here covers just about the whole county, and it's at half power right now.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    No offense taken. Some departments cann't afford anything else, so we try and improve the success rate and delivery throughput with our product. But one point I did not make clear, and our product happens to do well as do others, is that any quality product should be able to deliver the same message to multiple carriers using multiple protocols with the same urgency.

    Since we support parallel feeds, we can drive a Zetron or Prisim encoder over an Agencies network at the same time we are sending the page to Verizon, and USA Mobility. Our concept was you need to know and we don't need to know rather your in your agency car, home on the couch or in a meeting with the Political management you report to. An it should not matter rather the Internet is up or not.

    To answer the other issue here, Zteron and a Georgia Company called Prisim Technology both make quality paging encoders for the POSAG data protocol that you can hook to a quality Kenwood, Daniels, M/A-Com, Motorola VHF base station and have your own system in house either standalone or in parallel to the commercial systems.

    We are also working on paging right to the Field Portables with a Short Message Format text message.

    Good Luck..

    http://www.prismpaging.com/product-paging.htm
    http://www.zetron.com/data/site/temp...roducts/paging





    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post

    And no offense to firebuff880, but passing off products like dapage notification server as a method of paging for "CRITICAL MESSAGING" is
    a terrible disservice to the Fire Service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firebuff880 View Post
    Many times it's the process of getting the message to the carrier not the carrier, and we can distribute a given messages to multiple devices in parallel mode. Pager, Cell, E-mail, Other....

    Firebuff880.
    http://www.dapage.net
    Actually, no it isn't. The bottleneck and slowdowns are almost always the carrier and nothing else. I watch it happen daily. The messages leave the building lickity split. The bottleneck and delays are 100% carrier. And all the carriers have the same problems. There is NOTHING you or anyone else third party can do to fix it.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    See that's where we disagree. If for example you go through the hoops and register with Verizon for the "Enterprise Gateway" or pay AT&T for the "Enterprise Messaging Service" or USA Mobility for a TNPP connection you can get around the gateway / network congestion issues and have a reliable delivery system. Although the RF Highway with all these carriers is just so big so rush hour can be a B.......

    An I still think where budgets allow ISO is Right... Build and maintain it yourself, but use it in conjunction with Commercial offerings.

    ---------------

    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    Actually, no it isn't. The bottleneck and slowdowns are almost always the carrier and nothing else. I watch it happen daily. The messages leave the building lickity split. The bottleneck and delays are 100% carrier. And all the carriers have the same problems. There is NOTHING you or anyone else third party can do to fix it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firebuff880 View Post
    No offense taken. Some departments cann't afford anything else, so we try and improve the success rate and delivery throughput with our product.
    Nope. I can't go for that. A substandard alerting method is still a substandard alerting method.

    You can dress up a pig - but its still a pig.

    Do you have a good product? I think you do. It works great, I have seen it in action.

    Is it a good product for the fire service in its initial paging? Nope. Is it your products fault? Nope.

    Poor departments? Look at your customer list. I don't see a lot of poor there. Although my department did not invent the words "poor department" we are the picture next to the dictionary listing. A poor department needs just as good an alerting method as anyone else.

    My gripe with your company, with Nextel, etc, is marketing. Don't market this stuff as a primary method of alerting. Market it for what it is great at - a secondary method of alerting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firebuff880 View Post
    See that's where we disagree. If for example you go through the hoops and register with Verizon for the "Enterprise Gateway" or pay AT&T for the "Enterprise Messaging Service" or USA Mobility for a TNPP connection you can get around the gateway / network congestion issues and have a reliable delivery system. Although the RF Highway with all these carriers is just so big so rush hour can be a B.......

    An I still think where budgets allow ISO is Right... Build and maintain it yourself, but use it in conjunction with Commercial offerings.

    ---------------
    I got to agree with NMFire. I have seen it way too many times.

    Many of the regional paging companies have an inherent delay built into their
    systems - ENGINEERED into their systems. Its called batching. I am almost positive USA Mobility does the same thing, I can check.

    Yeah, I am a regional paging carrier, at least until the last hospital drops off the service. Then someone needs to turn out the lights on their way out.

    Cell carriers can be even worse with their SMS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firebuff880 View Post
    See that's where we disagree. If for example you go through the hoops and register with Verizon for the "Enterprise Gateway" or pay AT&T for the "Enterprise Messaging Service" or USA Mobility for a TNPP connection you can get around the gateway / network congestion issues and have a reliable delivery system. Although the RF Highway with all these carriers is just so big so rush hour can be a B.......
    Some, not all, of the carriers have an SNPP gateway. Sprint and nextel have one that is available to anyone for free and it hauls ***. It is what I use for my phone and all our department issued sprint/nextels. The messages are sent and received in a matter of seconds most of the time. However with most other carriers, IF they have SNPP gateway, it is an additional monthly subscription cost PER PHONE. That means everyone in your department has to pay another $10/mo or so to have that enterprise service added to their plan. Not gonna happen and even if people did want to pay for it, it still doesn't apply to all the carriers.

    Bottom line is this. You can get decently reliable text messaging if SNPP service is available. It may or may not cost a lotmore. But it is't going to cover everyone no matter what you do. And, what is and always will be the nail in the caufin, it is a commercial service that has no priority or gaurantee for emergency services communications. If it breaks, they'll get to it when they get to it. If the message doesn't go through for whatever random reason, oh well. And you're relying on cell phone coverage on top of all of that. Whether you have an SNPP gateway or not, it is still absolutely wrong to use this for primary alerting.


    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    My gripe with your company, with Nextel, etc, is marketing. Don't market this stuff as a primary method of alerting. Market it for what it is great at - a secondary method of alerting.
    Thats is what bothers met the most. 90% of the people reading the marketing do not know any better. If everyone was you or me, that crap wouldn't fly.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Actually, very few of the Companies have SNPP Gateways beyond the Commercial Paging Carriers, I prefer a Gateway function called TNPP if it fails, then fall back to SNPP, and then TAP Dial up Modems worse case.. For the Cellular customers you mostly have SMTP based e-mail (We wrote our own engine so we talk to the Registered Gateway directly, and can fall back to TAP if the Gateway is non-responsive.) AT&T has a WCTP gateway, but yes they charge per receiving unit that you talk to via the Gateway. Verizon has a registered SMTP gateway excreta...

    An I don't think I have any "get the Unit out the Door" exclusively by means of our product customers. Although I do have live CAD feeds that are 2nd or 3rd paths for active 1st line dispatch. Station Tone / Radio, RIP & Run, and Alpha Paging via the Cellular Carrier(s).

    But I think that an effective Alpha Paging system (Commercial and/or Private) is still key to today's incident management structure. An can solve a lot of information flow issues in a timely manner.

    I would be happy to provide a live time limited demo to any one in this thread that thinks our technology would help prove their case with management pro or con.

    -------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post

    Bottom line is this. You can get decently reliable text messaging if SNPP service is available. It may or may not cost a lotmore. But it is't going to cover everyone no matter what you do. And, what is and always will be the nail in the caufin, it is a commercial service that has no priority or gaurantee for emergency services communications. If it breaks, they'll get to it when they get to it. If the message doesn't go through for whatever random reason, oh well. And you're relying on cell phone coverage on top of all of that. Whether you have an SNPP gateway or not, it is still absolutely wrong to use this for primary alerting.

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