1. #1
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    Default Do Career Firefighters have pagers?

    Do Career Firefighters have pagers just like the volunteers? I've heard some career firefighters in Sonoma had pagers and I was wondering why they would have any considering they are at the station anyways.

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    Some do. Some do not. In busier understaffed departments the primary reason would be for Call-Back, and not while on duty.

    Sometimes it is limited to off-duty Battalion Commanders or Line Officers.

    Other times it may include people with Specific Skills, such as Hazmat Tech or Technical Rescue.

    So to answer your question... yes and no.

    Our department requires all personnel to carry a/n pagers or cell phones capable of receiving text messaging. The dispatcher can send one message to all personnel subject to CALL-BACK, or as the need arises. Dispatch can page one person, or up to 1000, if we had that many.

    It takes longer to decipher the talent required than to dispatch the required talent.

    The message is brief and usually requires the person(s) to contact the Shift Commander or Station Officer via phone to receive Instructions or check availability. It has happened that a few are in the middle of party-hardy when paged, so they are removed from the CALL-BACK list.

    If the situation warrants, an ALL CALL is issued and all contacted personnel are required to report to their Station by a certain time (usually 30 minutes), without any preceeding communication or additional instructions. They will receive instructions as they are 'briefed' in house. These people are usually used for relief crews or in support roles unless we are under the gun and have a shortage of front line personnel on duty. In some cases, instructions may be issued to report to a scene, with their equipment waiting their arrival.
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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    In addition to callback/overtime, some members of specialty teams are issued department pagers for specialized activations.

    I paid for my own A/N pager, programmed to get the "duty" pages from dispatch. Want to see what is going on in the department when I was not working.

    (Yes, even career firefighters have an intense interest in the job.)

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    We had pagers for the reasons listed above, but late last year we was all switched over to text messages. The plus is you don't have to carry a pager the minus is that they can always get a hold of you (no more saying I left my pager at home). One other disadvantage of text is that you get the message when you're on vacation or anywhere else for that matter.

    When I say pager I'm meaning A/N.

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    we have had off duty pagers since 1994. We are fixing to go to a digital radio system and the pagers will be obsolete. We are going to a one call type system that will call cell/house numbers
    Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down?Ē (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt387 View Post
    we have had off duty pagers since 1994. We are fixing to go to a digital radio system and the pagers will be obsolete. We are going to a one call type system that will call cell/house numbers

    Hey Capt,


    Not really, if you keep the old dispatch frequency and simulcast it with the new dispatch frequency, it will still operate very well. Departments do it every day, with the 800 trunking system.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    We have pagers at my department, mainly for all calls. Also hazmat team members have them for getting calls while off duty. My department is relitively small (60 union members). Like said above This is a more common practice with smaller departments.

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    Department has about 110 firefighters. Pagers are used for communication, not dispatch. Hazmat/Rope alerts. Training reminders. Off duty call ins etc.

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    We have pagers also and use them for call backs, either for additional manpower for an incident (fire) or station coverage if on-duty units are tied up on a call. We are also now getting text messages to our cell phones for our dispatch for call backs as a secondary notification method.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    Hey Capt,


    Not really, if you keep the old dispatch frequency and simulcast it with the new dispatch frequency, it will still operate very well. Departments do it every day, with the 800 trunking system.
    If you are simulcasting the original frequency just to page, could it also be done automically on the new frequency? We were told that they could similcast the dispatch, not the whole process, it was supposed to be cost prohibited. I can see the regular carriers going by the wayside as if they cant hear regular traffic with the runs, most will quit carrying the pagers.
    Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down?Ē (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)

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    I believe the most important reasons for keeping your pagers for dispatch are the better coverage you get with an analog VHF system plus the reliability. I keep hearing from reliability issues with digital trunked systems. Does anybody share this experience? I also don't think that everybody would like to carry a p25 brick on his belt all day.

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    In my last assignment, we moved back to the VHF analog due to issues with digital interference or complete Signal loss in noisy environments. That was most every fire ground. Some departments have performed internal studies to determine their course. Some just accept what they get. Some have moved back or preserved their analog systems for safety reasons. Your life isn't worth risking over an inferior radio signal.
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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    We are a career FD, and we do have alphanumeric pagers for call backs for incidents that require them, to contact members with specialty positions, etc.

    We also have a computer program called PageGate that enables our personnel to get pages via cell phone and email if they are on their personally owned computers.

    Pages sent to cellphones, computers and the alphanumerics are done through PageGate.

    http://www.notepage.net/pagegate.htm
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Like it's been said it depends on the department. Our county has 5 different departments, some career, some part-time, some 100% volunteer. Due to this, we all carry pagers. In neighboring departments (aurora, naperville) they just use overhead station paging, no pagers. They also have 9 stations that are filled with career personnel. Pages are made over the air with a "warble" tone if they are out of the station.

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