1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    3

    Question Station Alerting Systems

    I'm doing research on various types of station alerting systems. I have read about new systems that are designed to wake sleeping firefighters more "slowly" by using vibrations, modified tones, lights that gradually get brighter, etc. Is anyone familiar with these types of systems? Can you recommend specific makes/models? Thanks.

    ---

    GFD
    IAFF Local 1042
    Last edited by emaziarz; 07-30-2004 at 07:10 PM.

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Plugmedic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA, USA
    Posts
    31

    Default

    We have an electronic computerized tone that goes off throughout the entire station. All stations are set to have lights come on, but some houses have disabled the light especially in the dorm. Some stations have gone a step further and placed red lense covers over the lights in the dorm. That way it is not too bright when the lights activate.
    Good luck!
    Jason S. - SFFD
    Local 798

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    New South Wales, Australia
    Posts
    262

    Default

    About 3 years ago the loud constant tone alerting bells at my career station were replace with an electronic "woop woop" tone that starts at a lower volume and then increases to a higher volume. Somewhat less startling in the middle of the night when you are asleep, although I didn't mind the old system.

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    235

    Default

    I know there was a study done quite a while ago that found that the human voice was less stressful than bells or horns. Some departments went to a public address system with voice anouncement giving the nature and location of the call along with the companies assigned.

    I've worked in stations that have had bells, horns or the PA system. I always preferred the latter. The only drawback is I have seen some firefighters sleep through the voice anouncement. I've never seen anyone sleep through the bells or horns.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber
    CFD Hazards's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Cranston, RI, USA
    Posts
    381

    Default

    I know several departments around here have gone to that system and it is made by Zetron. It is much better than the gong we still use.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber
    fyrmnk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: Station Alerting Systems

    We use Plectron station systems. We set them to monitor at night. When our tone drops, it activates the speakers, a tone alert sounds, and hits the lights.

    We still have to catch the address, unit assigment(s) and nature and write it down. We do have Minitor IV pagers as a backup that also records and allows playback of dispatch info, and we have Nextels on each unit that dispatch sends a text copy of the info to as well.

    It can be pretty startling at night in the REM sleep, but it works. It has been much better with the backup devices.

    Kevin
    www.iaff2542.org












    Originally posted by emaziarz
    I'm doing research on various types of station alerting systems. I have read about new systems that are designed to wake sleeping firefighters more "slowly" by using vibrations, modified tones, lights that gradually get brighter, etc. Is anyone familiar with these types of systems? Can you recommend specific makes/models? Thanks.

    ---

    GFD
    IAFF Local 1042

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    S. Jersey/Northern Delaware
    Posts
    363

    Default

    At my Fulltime Career Station we are alerted for incidents via "Hotline" or Red-phone - Hooked to this phone system is a series of Buzzer Klaxons through out the station. - Because the station is a mainly a Volunteer House {5 Fulltime Career Members} there is still a Siren and Minitor Paging in affect.

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Lawng Eyeland, New Yawk, USA
    Posts
    354

    Default

    I know there was an article a couple of years ago in Firehouse Magazine I believe that detailed the various innovations in alert systems that were starting to emerge.

    The article mentioned that studies had found that the newer less
    intrusive systems reduced the adrenaline rush that was released with bells which over time contributed to high blood pressure & cardiac problems including heart attacks.

    Some of the things they pointed out in the article that some progressive career depts. were doing including using alert tones coupled with lighting that increased in volume/intensity as the page went out, using blue lights in hallways (keeps night vision intact)& one dept. even used a female dispatcher on the night shift as they found that a woman's voice was more soothing to hear (hmmm....guess some guys don't like getting woken up by some big truckie yelling "get out da house, engine & truck goes!!!!")...

    Last year at Firehouse Expo, there was a company that made all the new style alerting systems (LED lights, automated voice announcement for companies due to respond, etc.)....while I don't remember their name (they didn't come back this year), you could probably find them pretty easily doing a web search..they had a 2 level 40' trailer custom built for their display so they were a pretty big company I imagine.

    I do seem to remember that some of those ideas I mentioned above (blue lights, female's voice, etc.) that some depts. were using were being used/tested by the Las Vegas FD so maybe you can tap into them as a resource for ideas.

    Well, that's my 2 cents....Stay Safe.
    Last edited by Firescueguy; 08-02-2004 at 12:13 PM.

  9. #9
    55 Years & Still Rolling
    hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Default

    Originally posted by HM604OH
    I know there was a study done quite a while ago that found that the human voice was less stressful than bells or horns.
    Yup, seen that. I've thought about replacing our bells with a recorded announcement: "All Right you lazy @$&%#&*#@ GET UP. FIRE.FIRE." Or something like that. We also have lights that come on all over the building, and yes, we've put red covers over the ones in the dorm rooms to help with the transition from Dark Sleeping areas to lighted Apparatus Bays. Now if we could only measure the speed of Dark..........
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Our stations (full-time dept.) are alerted directly by the dispatcher so there is no need for a house-watch area. The dispatcher basically clicks the station number on the computer and hits talk to put the call over the appropriate stations speakers (I believe it is transmitted over a seperate phone line. The speakers make a quiet pop sound when it turns on so you sometimes hear it a second or so before the dispatcher starts talking. There is also a couple beeps/tones depending on the nature of the call. Calls for structure fires go over all house speakers and there is a list of sections that dictate who goes depending on who's in and out at the time, similar to "boxes" I guess. No auto lights, doors or anything like that.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber
    ff7134's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,093

    Default

    Anyone know where I can get a copy of that article from firehouse or the test data???? We are trying to get our Chief to get rid of our Air-raid klaxon out of the bunk rooms.
    AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

    IAFF Local 3900

    IACOJ-The Crusty Glow Worm

    ENGINE 302 - The Fire Rats

    F.A.N.T.A.M FOOLS FTM-PTB

  12. #12
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    University of Vermont
    Posts
    24

    Default

    A local full time ambulance service got sick of waking up to the deafining klaxon and jammed the speakers with foam padding to lighten the blow in the middle of the night. Still really loud.

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Lincoln, NE
    Posts
    195

    Default station alert

    Try www.firestationalerting.com and www.locution.com They have products with electronic voices and "ramped" tones that start off quiet and get louder. Also www.westnetsystems.com

  14. #14
    Early Adopter
    cozmosis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    1,925

    Question Nice... But will it work for us deep sleepers?

    I visted firestationalerting.com and listened to their "human voice" style. As much as I'd like to be gently woken up with voice and soft lights... I'm not sure it would do the trick. The Minitor III we have in the bunkroom is often startling, but it's effective.

  15. #15
    Forum Member
    SafetyPro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    486

    Default

    Don't know how common this is for station alerting systems, but all the paid departments in our dispatch system are set so that when the tones come in, the apparatus bay doors open. This is in addition to the standard bunk room/apparatus bay lights coming on. We have the same functionality at our station, but since we're volunteer, its disabled (the Chief didn't want the doors opening with nobody actually there).

    At our station, the dispatch printer starts going about 10 seconds before the tones hit, so if you hear the printer going, you know a call's coming in (unless its at 7 PM when the printer test occurs).
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

  16. #16
    55 Years & Still Rolling
    hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Talking I'm Not Sure.....................

    I generally go to sleep with dim lights and soft voices, I don't think that would wake me up............
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    spearsm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Lowndes, MS USA
    Posts
    742

    Talking

    Man, ya'll have us beat..all we have is a hammer and a steel pot....
    YGBSM!
    Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

    If all you have is a hammer, then your problems start to look like nails.
    ___________________

    IACOJ
    Southern Division.

  18. #18
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Lawng Eyeland, New Yawk, USA
    Posts
    354

    Default

    Just a quick follow-up to my original post - the links a few guys have posted for 1st In Products is the company I was referring to. The trailer they take to trade shows is pretty interesting although kinda tough on anybody over 5'6" when you get to the upper level of the trailer (2nd floor)... ..hunker down boys...LOL..

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    131

    Default

    While the "ramped" methods may be more cardiac-friendly, I'm convinced that no system will wake everybody up. At our (combination) house, the lights come on full in the bunkroom, followed by a loud EMS buzzer + warble (slow for ambulance, fast for medic unit) and/or bell + "whoop-whoop" (engine co.) or "beep-beep" (truck or rescue squad), followed by tones and the dispatcher's voice alert. Some folks remain comatose throughout all this.

    A large mechanical hand that drops down from the ceiling and shakes the appropriate crewmembers may help, but I've noticed some people resistant to the "hand-shake", so even that may not do the trick. Perhaps the beds could be wired to deliver a little electric shock too.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Dalmatian90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    3,120

    Default

    We have the same functionality at our station, but since we're volunteer, its disabled (the Chief didn't want the doors opening with nobody actually there).

    The department North of us years ago turned off their siren. They re-wired the controller though so it unlocks the people doors to the apparatus bays so when they're toned out the DTMF tones that would normally be used to fire off the siren unlocks the doors. I think it's on a 10 minute timer or something like that to lock the station back up after all the trucks (should) be gone.

    We don't have a station alerting system, all volunteer, no bunk-ins normally. Most member primarily wear their alpha pagers (our dispatch center's own system so no time delay) -- they certainly seem to be "softer" and you I don't get the adrenaline shot the Minitor's sometimes give me. My Minitor III is normally off except nights I'm on ambulance duty to "remind" me. I can sleep through both Alphas & Minitors (even with the amplified Minitor charger I can hear outside in my truck...with the house & truck windows all closed!) when I'm in deep sleep though! OTOH it's not uncommon for me to be out of bed & dressed before our pagers ever go off for mutual aid runs 'cause I heard the request over the scanner while sleeping...go figure.
    IACOJ Canine Officer
    20/50

  21. #21
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    30

    Default

    We switched to the progressive tones and red lights in the bunk rooms about 4 years ago. We used to have the klakston style bell. Before we switched I was the guy most likely to sleep through the tones (which is bizaar 'cuz they were loud), so I was paranoid that I would miss a call when we switched. I haven't missed a tone at night since we switched.
    The best part is that my heart isn't racing when I get up. I think it has improved my night time focus when driving to a call because I don't have that fight or flight feeling drilled into me by that bell.

  22. #22
    Forum Member
    nmfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Maryland (DC Suburb)
    Posts
    5,738

    Default

    Way back when I was an Explorer, I was so happy one day when I got an amplifier charger for my pager. So the first night I had it I set the volume for maximum and thought "haha, this is great. I'll never miss a call now!" Bad idea. The first time the pager went off (likely for some BS alarm), it made me take even longer to get moving because someone had to peel my body off the ceiling and administer several sets of shocks to restart my heart.

    Louder is not always better.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register