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    Exclamation Communication Grant AFG 2009

    Hey brothers and sisters looking to see if AFG will fund computer software (CAD)for our dispatch center which also dispatches our PD to so both agencies will benefit from it. The PD already has MDT but the FD doesn't so the grant would include software for dispatch, and mdt any suggestions? Also any sucessful grants for this? Thanks!

    dkosir@villageofmccook.org

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    I have a similar question. If we apply for a communications-related project, can some of the equipment purchased with grant funds be allocated to a dispatch center that is run by a police department if it will benefit the requesting fire department? For example, microwave equipment to replace leased lines or narrowband compliant radios. If so, is it ok for the dispatch center to supply the matching funds for that portion of the equipment?

    Andy

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    Default Let Me Throw My Question In Too

    Anybody had success with writing an AFG for upgrade to 800 mhz? Our county is "shovel ready", but expects the 15 independant FD's in the county to but their own radios. They plan to switch exclusively to the 800 system before the 2013 deadline, except for a VHF alert tone for pagers, so the upgrade is not an option. My estimate is it would cost us around $100k to be fully operational. Just left the Motorola rep and got the sticker shock. Any help or suggestions are welcome.
    Glenn Rainey
    Colington Fire Department
    Dare County, North Carolina
    The Outer Banks

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    Remember, the only 2013 deadline is to take your VHF or UHF system to
    narrowband. There is no mandate to go to 800.

    100k for a backbone system seems fairly cheap...... I take it is only one site? Why not include radios for all the departments?

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    Could you include a system where members are notified via cell phones of an emergency recall. The system would operate similar to what schools use to notify parents of emergencies, etc. Can this be tied in to communications?

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    Quote Originally Posted by achief15 View Post
    Anybody had success with writing an AFG for upgrade to 800 mhz? Our county is "shovel ready", but expects the 15 independant FD's in the county to but their own radios. They plan to switch exclusively to the 800 system before the 2013 deadline, except for a VHF alert tone for pagers, so the upgrade is not an option. My estimate is it would cost us around $100k to be fully operational. Just left the Motorola rep and got the sticker shock. Any help or suggestions are welcome.

    We got a regional grant to go to 800 mhz for all the FDs in my county in 2007. It has been done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Not2L84U2 View Post
    Could you include a system where members are notified via cell phones of an emergency recall. The system would operate similar to what schools use to notify parents of emergencies, etc. Can this be tied in to communications?
    I suppose you could try - even though those systems are unreliable, and not recognized by NFPA and ISO as a primary alerting method.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    I suppose you could try - even though those systems are unreliable, and not recognized by NFPA and ISO as a primary alerting method.
    I would be interested to hear any feed back on these types of systems because it sounds as though they are going to try and do something like this for our emergency recall system. It was brought to me to see if we could tie it in with our communications project for this year.

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    Reliablilty - the Obama Campaign had the most well known failure of using SMS messaging early on in their notifications of who was going to be his running mate. Many people never got the message, or got it days late.

    NFPA 1221 states that it will not be a primary method of dispatching, as does ISO.

    Now, as a secondary it would be allowed, but I tend to think that the peer review will dump on it. If it was me I would leave it out.

    Its not a real expensive thing if it is not primary, just put in Inforad software in an old computer, or network it, from 89 bucks for first responder, all the way up to 700 for networked stuff you could put on everyones computer.

    You could do your recall paging, individual paging, even public notification from it, all to cell phones, pagers, email, etc

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    Quote from not2la84u2:I would be interested to hear any feed back on these types of systems because it sounds as though they are going to try and do something like this for our emergency recall system. It was brought to me to see if we could tie it in with our communications project for this year.

    Hardware/software might be, but any subscription costs or user fees probably would not. I think. Maybe.

    earl

    P.S. Hey Ryan--from the looks of our forecast tomorow, i'm definitely not going to make it to Steger in the morning!!
    Last edited by Greenacres2; 02-20-2009 at 02:51 PM. Reason: added Ryan's question.

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    To go back to earlier questions:

    Yes, equipment for CAD can be purchased to put into the PD or Sheriff's Office dispatching center if that's who handles the FD/EMS paging. The only thing they won't buy is radios for the cops.

    Only hardware allowed is repeaters/antennae last time I looked at it so not sure if microwave would be in there or not. Probably cost prohibitive since leased lines would most likely have to be kept as a secondary anyway. Not completely sure on that part.

    Same with MDTs, if the backbone is already in place and the FD/EMS can tap off of the existing infrastructure that's a good deal.

    I'm with Blake, the callback system wouldn't be that expensive to implement. I wrote a text messaging program for the paging system for my old department since that was easier than using the web site interface. Just an email address most of the time for texting so very simple to automate for us nerds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenacres2 View Post
    Quote from not2la84u2:I would be interested to hear any feed back on these types of systems because it sounds as though they are going to try and do something like this for our emergency recall system. It was brought to me to see if we could tie it in with our communications project for this year.

    Hardware/software might be, but any subscription costs or user fees probably would not. I think. Maybe.

    earl

    P.S. Hey Ryan--from the looks of our forecast tomorow, i'm definitely not going to make it to Steger in the morning!!
    Not a problem Earl, actually tomorrow was supposed to be Hoopeston but had to cancel so glad it ended up working out for everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er View Post
    To go back to earlier questions:

    Yes, equipment for CAD can be purchased to put into the PD or Sheriff's Office dispatching center if that's who handles the FD/EMS paging. The only thing they won't buy is radios for the cops.

    Only hardware allowed is repeaters/antennae last time I looked at it so not sure if microwave would be in there or not. Probably cost prohibitive since leased lines would most likely have to be kept as a secondary anyway. Not completely sure on that part.

    Same with MDTs, if the backbone is already in place and the FD/EMS can tap off of the existing infrastructure that's a good deal.

    I'm with Blake, the callback system wouldn't be that expensive to implement. I wrote a text messaging program for the paging system for my old department since that was easier than using the web site interface. Just an email address most of the time for texting so very simple to automate for us nerds.
    Thanks Brian and everyone else for input. This is what I was looking for. I think the system they are looking at is more than just SMS or text messaging. They mentioned that you could punch in a code when you recieve it to show that you are responding. The idea isn't to make this a primary dispatch system but to come up with a quicker way to call back people when there is a large incident instead of having to go down the phone tree. Still sounds as though it's best not to roll this in with our grant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Not2L84U2 View Post
    Thanks Brian and everyone else for input. This is what I was looking for. I think the system they are looking at is more than just SMS or text messaging. They mentioned that you could punch in a code when you recieve it to show that you are responding. The idea isn't to make this a primary dispatch system but to come up with a quicker way to call back people when there is a large incident instead of having to go down the phone tree. Still sounds as though it's best not to roll this in with our grant.
    Ok, now that only one I know of that does this is a pay service. You have to subscribe - and I don't think AFG will pay for a subscription.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Not2L84U2 View Post
    Could you include a system where members are notified via cell phones of an emergency recall. The system would operate similar to what schools use to notify parents of emergencies, etc. Can this be tied in to communications?
    Cellphones are specifically prohibited, but there is software (relatively inexpensive) for mass alerting multiple devices (cell, text to email, alpha-numeric pagers, etc.) . If you can show that it is a suitable SECONDARY or BACKUP system then the answer is yes, it can be done. NFPA and FCC both have sufficient regs and standards in place to prevent a "commercial" dispatch service using non-dedicated frequencies and repeaters as a primary dispatch system. They are, however, outstanding back-ups and secondary systems.

    If you can get the phrase "overarching interoperability leading to multiple agency interoperability" into at least three paragarphs of your narrative, you are almost GUARENTEED a FEMA grant! ;^)
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."

    George S. Patton

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    DFD, The FCC could care less. But you are so correct to state that it is a secondary or backup system.

    I talked with an ISO field rep that was telling me about an un-named fire department in the midwest that told ISO they still used voice pagers for their primary dispatch.

    When the ISO rep visited the dispatch center however, they told him that that department insisted on the cellphone SMS Text dispatch because they only had a few pagers left but everyone had cell phones.

    Its hard to get below an ISO 9 without a dispatch method!

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    Hey Ryan, what the rest of your schedule for seminars? I may be in the area and just wanted to take in a good class. I will be in Indy in a couple of weeks, but Earl has already shot that reunion down, says he has to "work".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limeforever View Post
    Hey Ryan, what the rest of your schedule for seminars? I may be in the area and just wanted to take in a good class. I will be in Indy in a couple of weeks, but Earl has already shot that reunion down, says he has to "work".
    I am over by Bloomington tomorrow and then Saturday our local is having it's Texas Hold'em Tourney so I will be dealing it up that day. The following Friday I am in Effingham then on duty Saturday and then in Urbana on Sunday. March 14 I am in Belleville and the 15th I am in Sherman.

    When are you going to be in Indy? I may have to see what my schedule allows me to do because I am game for a reunion

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    9 10 11 March, Downtown, already got tickets to watch the pacers play the Jazz. Kurt may let you cover class while he still recovers from the trip up to ND

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    Remember, the only 2013 deadline is to take your VHF or UHF system to
    narrowband. There is no mandate to go to 800.

    100k for a backbone system seems fairly cheap...... I take it is only one site? Why not include radios for all the departments?
    Sorry. Should have been more specific on that. The county, which has all control over the radio system, is tying in with VIPER (the NC 800 system set up by Highway Patrol) and build an additional tower that will give them their own system. They will cover the system. They also told us it would be up and running in a year, and begin using the 800 system. We have to fund our own radios, both portable and mobile. The quote I just received is now $125,000. I know about the 2013 narrow band deadline, but we now have no choice but to go to 800. Thats why I was hoping folks had some success with an AFG for this.
    Glenn Rainey
    Colington Fire Department
    Dare County, North Carolina
    The Outer Banks

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