No matter how many times we tell people, using commercial paging is a BAD thing, people persist. Tell it to this homeowner.
And of course, the county trys to find another commercial provider in a dead industry.
FANNIN COUNTY, TX -- Some Fannin County fire and police departments have to find a new way to communicate after their pagers were turned off. Officials say the pagers were shut off right when they needed it when a fire broke out in the county. Rita Kotey talked with fire officials to find out what they will do until they find a way to get new pagers.
Randolph Volunteer Fire Department Chief Rodney Blackerby says the pagers they used from Advanced Communications in Denison were a valuable tool because they allowed dispatchers to provide them with all the information they need quickly. Now that business has closed their doors.
"They are alpha numeric pagers. It comes out written on the screen- where you are to respond to, what type of structure it is," Blackerby said.
Blackerby says Randolph, along with other fire departments in Fannin County, received no notification that Advanced Communications was closing or that their pagers would be turned off.
And without the use of those pagers the consequences could be dangerous possibly even fatal.
On Monday night, a home on Farm Toad 4509 in Trenton caught fire after a burning candle fell over.
" It was unknown to the fire departments that the pagers were not working. 911 dispatch in Fannin County had to call each individual fire chief and tell them about the structure fire, and we had to call our firefighters,” Blackerby said.
Blackerby says due to the delay, the home was destroyed.
Pagers were the lifeline to send out information about what to do and where to go during emergencies, but now that this lifeline is dead they will have to find another option.
Bonham Police Captain Tim LaVergne says until they get a new system, dispatchers will continue to alert fire and police chiefs first so they can contact other responders. Dispatch will also contact responders on an emergency radio frequency.
"To help alert those individuals from particular areas that there is a problem in your area, you need to listen up and they can hear the information and not have not necessarily have to wait for that phone call and be in route," said LaVergne.
Officials say they have not been able to make contact with the store owner to find out why the business closed, but they have contacted another company to supply them with new pagers hopefully in time for the July 4th holiday weekend.