Activation of Fire Station Sirens, Portable Two-Way Radios, Monitor/Pager Activation & Text Messaging Dispatch Messages
Fayette County 911 has many automated systems that assist our dispatchers in activating our emergency services providers when there is an emergency call requiring dispatching of Police, Fire, or EMS to an incident.
This page is to advise you how this process works.
When a 911 Dispatcher marks a fire department as dispatched on our computer aided dispatch system, there are two computer servers that receive notifications of dispatch and immediately go to work. The first computer server is the system that is referred to by our dispatchers as "The Encoder Server." The purpose of this system is to determine what department has been dispatched, then to determine what "tasks" it needs to perform.
These tasks include, sending out an activation to the fire base radio at your fire station, which in turn, activates your fire siren, sending out an activation to the portable radios that your department has indicated should be activated at the time of a fire call, and activating your pager tones over our fire dispatch paging channel. These activations (with the exception of pager tones) are two-way communication activations that require our equipment here at 911 to successfully communicate with the fire base, and the portable radios.
A burst is sent on the trunking radio systems control channel (data channel) to "alert" the radio when a fire call is dispatched. If the base or portable is not actively on the control channel (radio receiving voice traffic for example, the radio will not alert. If the radio that does not alert happens to be the fire base radio, our system will try every 10 seconds for a total of four times to activate the base radio. It is recommended that the base radios remain on Fire Dispatch when your department is not actively on a fire call. Portable radios are attempted only once.
The more channels your portable radio has in its scan list while scan is turned out, reduces your chances of receiving a successful page when we activate your department. If you are using on a portable radio for your primary means of notification of a fire call, it is recommended that scan be turned off, the radio left on Fire Dispatch, and volume of radio set high enough that you are able to hear communications.
Further, each radio on the trunking radio system has an individual ID number assigned to the radio. This individual ID number is similar to a cell phone Number . When an alert is sent to a portable radio for a fire call, Fayette County 911 is sending out an alert to an individual radio (repeated for each radio needed to page)
The second computer server for notifications is our text messaging server. The purpose of this system is to determine what department has been dispatched, then to determine what "tasks" it needs to perform. These tasks include sending out text messages to each device that your department has listed to receive text pages. Our server sends a text message to each of the cell phone companies systems at which point the text message is out of our control and can be anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours or more before the text message arrives. Delays in text paging are in your individual phone carriers system, not in Fayette County 911.
If you are experiencing issues with your fire siren activation, portable radio activation, or monitor activation, please contact us!