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  • Alerting system

    The county I'm in is building a new station to replace the one I'm currently in right now (it's a combination station). From what I understand, the new station is going to have this fancy new alerting system, and I wonder what you guys think of it. Does it sound like a good idea, something you'd like? Or do you like the old way better?

    Specifically, I'm talking about the way personnel are alerted at night that there's a call to go to.

    The old way, and I assume this is more or less the way pretty much everywhere does it, is that when there's a call, tones go off over the P.A. system, a bell rings, and the dispatcher starts talking over the P.A. The call is heard loudly throughout the entire station, and everyone is woken up.

    The way the new system is supposed to work, from what I understand, is this. Each person somehow (I assume on a computer) assigns himself or herself to a specific seat on a specific apparatus. Then each person also assigns himself or herself to a specific bunk. Now suppose there's a call for just the engine, and the medic crew isn't required. In every bunk (which each one will be in like a cubicle space) that has someone assigned to it that's also assigned to the engine, an alarm will start to go off, somewhat quietly at first. The lights will also start to turn on, but will start dim, and increase in brightness, just as the alarm gets gradually louder, until the person wakes up and shuts it off.

    The theory is that only the people who need to go out on the call are woken up, and they're woken up gently. I guess they must have studies or something that shows the "shock" of being jarred awake by the "old-fashioned" way isn't healthy.

    So what do you guys think about that?

    Personally, and there are some in the station who agree with me, I think that I'm not likely to wake up with this new system. The sudden loud noise will wake me up, but the gradual ramp-up system will not, at least not quickly. Even my regular alarm clock often doesn't wake me up until it's been going off for 10-15 minutes.
    -Justin J. "JJR512" Rebbert

    The comments and opinions I express are solely my own and do not necessarily represent those of any employer or volunteer organization with which I am associated. Nobody is responsible for anything I say other than I alone.

  • #2
    What happens if you are in the can or watching the late, late show in the day room. It sounds OK in theory but it seems if for some reason you weren't IN the bed you could miss an alarm.

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    • #3
      It beats waking the whole house every time the meat wagon goes out on a drunk run...
      "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
      sigpic
      The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
        It beats waking the whole house every time the meat wagon goes out on a drunk run...
        Amen! The ladder guys won't even have to get up to reset the alarm anymore.

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        • #5
          We have something similar here. Only the Rescue, or Engine, or Ladder, etc, etc. Each Co. sleeps in their own bunkroom so they are seperated, and the common areas (kitchen, office, day room) go off with every activation.
          AJ, MICP, FireMedic
          Member, IACOJ.
          FTM-PTB-EGH-DTRT-RFB-KTF
          This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.

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          • #6
            It is pretty standard now on new installs to have the alerts and lights ramp up. I don't care how much of a sparkwacker you are, getting thrown from bed by (what at 3am amounts to...) a set of train horns mounted 5ft from your head is unhealthy for just about every part of your body. Same with the lights, although that is more to help you see and adjust rather than being blind and squinting. The speed at which the alert ramps up is variable and it is quick. Just not instant bomb detonation. I used to have a motorola CDM1250 in my house setup to ramp the alert. It was very nice to wake up to that rather than BOOOM.

            Now this individual bunk cubical thing is and interesting idea. Normally it is the entire bunk room all or nothing. I love the idea of not being woken up for someone else's call because I'm a big fan of sleeping. This is probably overkill if you don't have separate crews on units that always go to different calls. If you have an engine and a ladder and they both go to every call, there is no point. But if your in a station like mine where you have an engine, tower, squad, ambulance, and medic, and all are assigned differently, it would be nice.

            Regarding being on the can or in the common areas and dayroom... These common areas usually receive all alerts for all units at all times for that very reason. The individual isolated alerts are only for sleeping quarters.
            Last edited by nmfire; 10-23-2010, 10:11 PM.
            Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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            • #7
              Sounds like you're getting the WestNet system like is being used in a great deal of Northern Virginia stations. Check with Falls Church and Prince William County, they've been using the systems for many years and continue to install it.

              We're installing a very similar system in our station under construction. The only reason we didn't select WestNet itself is due to the cost of their product.
              Career Fire Captain
              Volunteer Chief Officer


              Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JJR512 View Post
                From what I understand, the new station is going to have this fancy new alerting system,
                I checked with the Fancy New Alerting System Corporation, they assured me that you will like your fancy new alerting system.
                IAFF

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                • #9
                  Does it come with a sweet young female voice rather than beeping and buzzing?
                  Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nmfire View Post
                    Does it come with a sweet young female voice rather than beeping and buzzing?
                    It's the "Fancy" new alerting system, so you get the voice of Thurston Howell III.
                    They would have gotten the sweet young female voice, had they chosen the "Awesome" new alerting device.
                    IAFF

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                    • #11
                      How do you get Jane Barbe?

                      http://www.porticus.org/bell/recordedannouncements.html

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                      • #12
                        I am with the majority on this one: I love to sleep. I do want to be waken up for a bus run if I am on engine. However, I am kind of hard to wake up sometimes, as some tend to be. We have tones drop for everything, and everyone wakes up, and it sucks sometimes, but me personally I can see myself sleeping through something softer. I only have to put up with it every 3rd Friday or Saturday night, my opinion may change if I were pulling regular paid shifts.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LVFD301 View Post
                          HA! http://www.porticus.org/bell/audio/recann/No911-.wav

                          "We're sorry. The engine you have called, Engine 1-2-3, is not in service at this time. Please hang up and try your call again."

                          However I was thinking more along the lines of Carrie Underwood or Jessica Simpson....
                          Last edited by nmfire; 10-24-2010, 12:06 AM.
                          Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by snowball View Post
                            I checked with the Fancy New Alerting System Corporation, they assured me that you will like your fancy new alerting system.
                            Snowball, you make some of the best posts I've ever seen anywhere.

                            Originally posted by nmfire View Post
                            Does it come with a sweet young female voice rather than beeping and buzzing?
                            Umm...It's usually female...But because I don't know who is watching/reading, it might not be wise for me to make any other comment.
                            -Justin J. "JJR512" Rebbert

                            The comments and opinions I express are solely my own and do not necessarily represent those of any employer or volunteer organization with which I am associated. Nobody is responsible for anything I say other than I alone.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              There is some department in the mid-west I believe that is dispatched by LeAnn Rimes. Really.
                              RK
                              cell #901-494-9437

                              Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

                              "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


                              Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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