1. #1
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    Question Radios or voice pagers ?????

    First of all I'm talking about a small rural volunteer dept. Which do you think would be better to issue to members hand held radios or voice pagers, as a means of notifying members of emergencys. Radios provide a constant means of 2 way communication, but there are draw backs, high cost to replace if they are lost, some members regardless of what they are told, some may still use them to chit chat back and forth. Some pagers can cost nearly as much as some radios and they dont provide the 2 way. By the way some one in the past thought it was a good idea to provide us with alpha numeric pagers, which dont comply with NFPA and ISO, I say I'M told because I dont have access to NFPA. If anyone has advise or question post because we need some help on this....

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    Lightbulb

    Take a look at the Motorola Minitors. They are rechargable, belt clipped and will do a great job. You can get a home and or mobile charger ampilfier and you won't miss a call, unless you have it turned off!

    The cost of a portable radio is very expensive, and should a member loosing one, someone finding it can cause havoc over the air waves until the battery dies.

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    Actually you can buy some of the new radios with paging capabilities for less than the price of a Minitor 4. The only problem is that they are larger and more of a hassle to carry every day than a pager. A few area departments have tested radios as an alternative and found that battery life is a problem. You need to carry a spare battery to make it through a long day at work. The main problem was that after the radio had been on most of the day and the firefighter was paged for a fire call the battery was too low to transmit anyway. Another problem was if the radio was on “scan” they had a problem with it missing pages. How well it would work would depend on each individuals needs. If you work in a fixed area all day at your job and could place the radio in a charger there it probably would work fine. If you are a plumber or contractor and are on the go for many hours a day it will not work as well as a pager.
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    All of our members are issued both a Minitor and an alphanumeric pager. We have a combination of Minitor IIs and IVs...we've found the IIs have a somewhat greater range and many members prefer them, but as they "die", they're being replaced by IVs.

    The alpha pagers receive a CAD message from dispatch within a minute or two of the voice dispatch. It's the same message that prints out on our station printer and on the MDTs in our rigs. It's a good backup in case you miss part of the voice dispatch. We also use the alpha pagers for non-emergency communications, such a drill info, duty schedules and just routine communications between members.

    Currently, only officers are issued radios, and they're actually going to soon be taking them away from the Captain Is (we have a Captain I and a Captain II on each of our three Crews).

    I personally wouldn't want to carry a radio with me all the time...the Minitor and alpha pagers are small enough to not get in the way.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

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    Default Pagers-

    I would go pagers. With radios, you get the "open mics"
    radio traffic, more bulky and you have to recharge
    every night.

    Plus your members can put the pager in silent mode at
    night vs. listening to all of that radio traffic.

    Remember, keep the other half of the volunteer FF
    family happy too is important. Mrs. Volunteer should
    not have to listen to all of that chatter at night
    while try to get a good nights sleep.

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    I would also recommend pagers. I think that you will have better luck with your members carring the pagers vs the radios. Also, your reoccuring expenses for the pagers will be less than radios.

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    Default Re: Radios or voice pagers ?????

    Originally posted by winfieldff20
    By the way some one in the past thought it was a good idea to provide us with alpha numeric pagers, which dont comply with NFPA and ISO, I say I'M told because I dont have access to NFPA.
    Forget the thinking of "It doent meet NFPA."

    You know- I respect NFPA, but they are not the "law of the
    land." I have never read or been told I must follow exactly
    what they say or recommend.

    Also, again, nothing is "NFPA approved." They do not approve
    anything.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 03-09-2004 at 05:07 PM.

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    Default

    All of our members are issued both a Minitor and an alphanumeric pager. We have a combination of Minitor IIs and IVs...we've found the IIs have a somewhat greater range and many members prefer them, but as they "die", they're being replaced by IVs.

    The alpha pagers receive a CAD message from dispatch within a minute or two of the voice dispatch. It's the same message that prints out on our station printer and on the MDTs in our rigs. It's a good backup in case you miss part of the voice dispatch. We also use the alpha pagers for non-emergency communications, such a drill info, duty schedules and just routine communications between members.

    Currently, only officers are issued radios, and they're actually going to soon be taking them away from the Captain Is (we have a Captain I and a Captain II on each of our three Crews).

    I personally wouldn't want to carry a radio with me all the time...the Minitor and alpha pagers are small enough to not get in the way.
    What are " IVs"? I know what alphapagers are, because I have one but I don't know what an IV is!?
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    Default

    Originally posted by mustang911


    What are " IVs"? I know what alphapagers are, because I have one but I don't know what an IV is!?

    It is a monitor made by Motorola and it is a Minitor 4. Very good for keeping posted and for alerting....










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    Default Minitor 4s...

    They are popular and VERY TOUGH. FYI- There is a guy
    on ebay selling 100 new ones cheap on ebay!
    Here is your link-

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...6&category=296

    Here is a picture- (You can almost anything on ebay)
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Thanks I guess I was having a brain fart!
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    i am from a small rural dept also. we are issued minitor 1-4 pagers. also some of the senior members have radios. however we are allowed to purchase our on radio if we want. some FF are issued radios because of their call attendance.

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    I would suggest the pagers also, but the Minitor IV's aren't all that they are cracked up to be......... Missed pages, constant squelching, beoken clips....... those are just a few problems that we have had in the 8 months or so that we've had them.......... Minitor II's are much better but they are no longer making them or parts for them......... Once Motorola started to make the Minitor III's, things started to go down hill......

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    As to the previous statement to mine....Broken Clips,Missed pages come with any pagers....Clips are just how well you treat the pager...My Dept Uses III's and IV's...I have yet to have a problem with my IV....now as to the topic...Definately Pagers...if yah got the money..all members of the dept have Pagers...Chiefs,Capt's,Lt's,Safetys and Constables get Portables and respond to the scene if they are in the area....Chiefs repsond to all calls..

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    I'd definately go with the pagers. All of our members have them and all of the officers also have portable radios.

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    Originally posted by KVFDCAPTAIN21
    As to the previous statement to mine....Broken Clips,Missed pages come with any pagers....

    I have yet to have a problem with my IV....

    Typically, yes. I can honestly tell you that we have had many, many more problems with our Minitor IV's than we did with the Minitor IIs or even the Minitor Is we originally had. Part of it, I've been told, is due to the technology. Once they "upgraded" to the new technology, you started to see the problems.......

    As for the clips..... With the Minitor IIs, when you broke a clip, it didn't rip off half of the case with it........ We've had at least 3 of them like that since we've had them, out of roughly 45 people......

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    Here we are issued Minitor 3 pagers and a alpha numeric is an option for $5 a month and it comes with a personal phone number so it can be used as a personal pager as well.
    If you want a radio you are paying full cost for one I should know I have a ht1000 and a 1250 both have paging capabilities.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Pagers-

    Originally posted by CALFFBOU
    I would go pagers. With radios, you get the "open mics"
    radio traffic, more bulky and you have to recharge
    every night.

    Plus your members can put the pager in silent mode at
    night vs. listening to all of that radio traffic.

    Remember, keep the other half of the volunteer FF
    family happy too is important. Mrs. Volunteer should
    not have to listen to all of that chatter at night
    while try to get a good nights sleep.
    1. Any modern radio is capable of decoding pager tones.

    I've found that the easiest way for your crew to understand it is to reserve one channel as your "paging channel." It will work the same as a pager.

    2. Good Lithium Ion batteries provide comparable battery life to pagers.

    3. Open mic's can be remedied by programming time-out's, so you can't key the mic for more than X seconds.

    The only thing you can't program is your people: they don't need to talk just because they have a radio. You can reduce this through training, but it's very tempting to talk just because you can.

    4. There are many radios that can do all of the above and are priced similarly to voice pagers.

    I'd just caution against using the lower end radios as interior ones. For that, I'd stick to the heavier-duty styles from the big names.
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    funny you should ask about pagers. We had voice pagers
    for years they worked ok. We upgraded to display pagers
    last Thursday. I missed 2 pages Sunday, pager went crazy
    Sun night. beep all night no pages just beeped. The date
    kept changing,the settings would change on thier own.
    it would turn it self on and off. so I took the
    battery out and was going to take it to the meeting
    tonight.but my black lab decided it looked tasty!!!
    she destroyed it,so now I get to tell the chief
    and town hall that my DOG ATE MY HOMEWORK. Cant
    wait to hear the ribbing I will get from the guys.
    So remember radios,pagers,IVs,IIs,doesnt matter
    keep em away from the D@MN DOG ( by the way
    dogs name is "DD" d@mn dog

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    We have Minitor 4 pagers and Kenwood radios set up with a page channel and it works perfect for use as a pager. But.......
    Have you ever tried to carry a radio all day long? My pager was out a while back and I had to carry the Kenwood for a few days, what a pain in the arse! As far as cost is concerned you can get the Kenwood radios for about $30.00 less than a Minitor 4. As far as radio chatter is concerned, discipline is the key! Radios may provide more bang for the buck in the long run. Anybody still using the old Keynote pagers, we still have a few and everbody likes them better, but are no longer supported by Motorola. If you are still using them who doing your service work?
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    My county is considering going to text paging. However the system would be used on a county owned infrastucture.

    firemanpat29 - Who owns the system that your department uses. Is it some cell phone company or is it a private system used only for emergency services?

    Also, can anyone verify/deny wheter or not this could have an effect on your ISO rating....

    Todd

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    As far as I know its a cell phone or pager company
    we are supposed to get priority over other users.

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    I'm thinking ISO might not give you credit if you are using a system that is not owned by you or used for purposes other than emergency services.

    However, if you are using your own system. I don't see why they would not give you the credit.

    Anyone have any answers to this?

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    I agree with both radio and pager, if the funds allow it. If the money is tight maybe going with radio's is the better way, just need some extra batteries though.
    .
    Last edited by Fire40man; 03-09-2004 at 10:38 PM.

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    Originally posted by Fire40man
    I agree with both radio and pager, if the funds allow it. If the money is tight maybe going with radio's is the better way, just need some extra batteries though.
    .
    Ditto on the spare batteries for the portable if that is the way you go........

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