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  1. #1
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    Default Inter-Connecting Fire Stations

    I am looking for ideas for ways to inter-connect fire stations into the current city-wide network.

    We are trying to tie each station together for connectivity to our 911 CAD system and to connect each stations computers to the main "FireHouse" Software File Server.

    How are other fire stations doing this?
    -- T1s to each station?
    -- Dial up?
    -- Tunnel across existing Cable Company (COX) using VPN?

    Thanks,
    Patrick


  2. #2
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    We've been working on this, but it hasn't been fun and/or easy. Maybe it's the guy we hired to do it, but it's been a big pain. We are going to beusing a VPN to connect Station #1 to the City's network in their building/Station #2.........

    Good luck........

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    We recently interconnected using MS Remote Desktop and a wireless internet connection at each station. We run Firehouse software, but I couldn't tell you what version. It's not ideal but it gets the job done.

    The wireless internet service is available to us because of a negotiated deal giving the wireless ISP a spot on our tower in exchange for service at three stations.
    ullrichk
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    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

  4. #4
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Also, if you happen to speak to your FH software rep, make sure you explain everything IN DETAIL how you plan on doing it. Ours initially tried to tell us we would need to upgrade to the Enterprise Version ($6,000+ for the software itself, plus roughly double the annual service agreement cost), until we had him come out for training and he actually saw how we were doing it, then he told us there was no need to upgrade......

  5. #5
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    T1's - probably more bandwidth and cost than necessary for a firestation, however, you can move your phone lines to it and usually save money there (VoIP)

    Cable Modems - cheaper than the T1 and fairly reliable, providing your cable company offers this. You can get a Static IP address by request also.

    DSL - cheaper than the Cable and offers close to the same features.

    Plain old POTS lines - cheapest going, but most likely way to slow to make it worthwhile.


    Assuming your main "Firehouse" Software server has a firewall protecting it, you will most likely need VPN software (may be included with the firewall) to get into the system. You can also use software like GoToMyPc (?) or PcAnywhere to remote session straight into the fileserver.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  6. #6
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bones42
    Cable Modems - cheaper than the T1 and fairly reliable, providing your cable company offers this. You can get a Static IP address by request also.

    That's what we're using....... With our cable company, we were going to see a large increase in cost for the static IP....... We get free cable TV from the company and only pay for the cable internet right now (roughly $37/month). If we went to the static IP, I believe it was going to be over $100/month....... Needless to say, we didn't get the static IP.....

  7. #7
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    We get free cable TV
    Town buildings get free cable TV and free internet access. Unfortunately, even though we are the town fire department, we own the buildings and the cheap b@$t@rd$ won't give us the free access. Tried for DSL, but since we are Non Profit Agency, they want to charges us business price, which is about $90 month instead of the $30. I doubt they would need a static IP at the remote buildings anyway.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  8. #8
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    How is the city wide network already setup? I'm guessing your town or city has an existing network that you'd like to tap into. This is probably the best approach.

    To accurately answer this...

    How many fire stations are you looking at connecting?

    How many computers are at each station that will need access to the network?

    Will you be using the internet or email over this connection, or just the firehouse software and CAD?

    What are you using the connection into the CAD system to do? Print run info out on dispatch, or just to pull the info in for your report?

    Do any of the firehouses have an existing connection to the internet? If so, how do they connect?

    How far apart are the firehouses? Is there any proximity to existing city buildings already on the network?

    And probably the biggest question... what is your budget for this?

    What are your priorities in establishing the connection... Is price more important than connection speed, or reliablity, or security?

    I'm a Network Admin/Engineer so I'd be more than happy to help you out if you need.

  9. #9
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    We are planning on doing this within the next year. In the last year, both FD's in town have migrated to FH Software. The FM's office has had it for long time prior. Now that all three entities (2 FD's and FM's office) are using the software, we are actively persuing connecting them all together WITH integration to the dispatch CAD. Our plan consists of the broadband internet and VPN method. We have DSL at our firehouse already. They will be getting it downtown if they don't already have it. Obviously, town hall where dispatch and the FM's office is located has internet access.

    We are told it will work. I'll report the results when it actually gets done.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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