How are you alerted to calls?

How are you alerted to calls?

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Veteran Member
WhiteLite03 said:
Sounds like you're either running on a simplex radio system, or you need a higher/better repeater. My pager alerts with the tones in most of the surrounding counties. I've had it work over 40 miles away before, but the audio was crappy.
We have been trying to get a repeated setup in different locations with no luck. Our dispatch can't put up a decent radio tower do to pineland restrictions. Hopefully we can have a good repeated system in the future, but nothing has changed so far in years. I can always here other townships dispatch, but when I'm in there area, I have horrible reception.

Jarred J.

Archive Expert
Silver Supporter
mr. awesome said:
can't vote... no bat signal option :D
i cant vote becuase "my spider senses are tingling" is not an option either...


Premium Member
We are issued minitor 5 voice pagers as our primary dispatch our secondary is the roof sirens on top of the stations but they havent been used in a number of years. Optional to members is we get a text message on our cell phones if we choose to.


Most of the time it's by voice pager. Because I work at dispatch I will sometimes get a text for an incoming call with the address. I generally get the message a second or two before the pager goes off. The nice part about it is I don't need to ask for the address!


Senior Member
ISU_Cyclone said:
Are some of you actually saying that a text message would wake you up at 3am????

This is what it takes to get me out of a deep sleep (and the neighbors too probably)

hahahahah! Are you a UWM grad!?
My volunteer fire department on Long Island issues each member a Minitor V voice pager. Each firehouse also has audibles that sound during the hours of 0800-2000hrs for all alarms, and will sound after 2000hrs only for a working fire. As of last year members now also have the option of receiving alarms on their cellphones via text message.

And at work I get notified by the bee-boops! :p



So I was recently trolling around on volunteer fire pages on facebook, and seen a guy who posted a minitor 4 for sell. He got a reply from someone on another dept., who cackled and said "Haha you still use pagers?"

So, therein lies the question; What does your dept. use to alert you to calls these days? Every dept in my county issues their people pagers, even on career depts.(they grab one when they clock in) Officers of the career depts grab radios at the start of their shift as well, but that's not the topic.

Do you still use pagers? What kind? Dept. issues radios only? Town alert siren? What else is out there?

My dept uses minitor 5s. Looking at swapping to 6s some time soon. We also have a text page system that is activated when dispatch drops tones. I myself also own a radio that has a page function set up, but mainly for use when I have to POV directly to scene and am first to show or have to establish command.


Site Minion
Platinum Supporter
We use Minitor 5s for my EMS gig, as does the rest of the county for FD/EMS. We have access to text paging for special incidents (dive, ERU, etc.) but it is under utilized.


My previous dept had a mix of radios. Some member had Motorola, Kenwood, Vertex, Icom. I had a P110 that I was issued the night I got voted on.

The new dept I'm hoping to get has it set up where, I think but I'm not sure yet, the newer members get pagers and the ones who have been on a while get radios. I'll know more when I get on.

On a side note: I prefer to have a radio so I can communicate back and forth with higher ranking people if need be and not just have to listen on the pager. But that's my preference and opinion.


Wilson LED
We have 4 portables. I have purchased my own for sake of having one.

We use IAR and get the text message dispatches but for RF we use managerie of pagers from minitor II's to V's
We have an advanced yet lacking system here in Kent County Michigan.

We have minitor 5's, and emails(through PremierOne) they come in 2 parts, 1 is the address and basic call ie med 1, brush fire, ect. That email usually comes just before or as tones are dropped. Then a 2ed email comes with audio the recording from dispatch. Not all the townships here have the emails it's a pilot program right now and still has glitches.

It's cool and works well. (I have a special alert on my phone for the dispatch emails). The reason I say it's lacking is that other counties around us gets texts with the info, emails that have a simple click and it pulls up Google maps(or your default mapping system) some get emails when they call clear with all the times for everything including when each apparatus/FF called in service and on scene.

I hope Kent County can update to the digital paging with the emails, texts ect.

My career dept uses station alerting and portables and the officer keeps his ears open when we're out of the station. The battalion Chief keeps a pager on him encase of issues. We can get all the digital pages at work if we wish but no one does because when you're off shift your phone would never stop.
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Veteran Member
We use a combination of text messaging and VHF high band for pagers and back-up alerting (we use the US Digital station alerting and text-to-speech synthesis on VHF; just recently dropped the patch from 800 to VHF). We will also be looking into various alerting packages such as Active 911 and others like that, but that seems to be on hold for right now.

One other tool in the toolbox that's really handy is web-based CAD. Pager goes off, and the phone comes out to log into CAD and read the comments. Often, the comments are what determines if I'm going to go or not (I'm not dispatched until the task force, which is an upgrade above the box alarm.)


Veteran Member
For my agency (reserve police) we use text messaging. All our officers (45 officers) register their cell phones & we have a web portal that sends out text meesage or email or both when there is a call out/ call back. Seems to work very well for us.
Does your agency pay for all, or part, of your cell phone bill?


Silver Supporter
We use Minitor V's


Paging towers are patched into our counties MPSCS fire dispatch and we used to use Minitor 2/3/4/5 but have started switching to Swissphone, much better pagers for us. As a matter of fact I had left my Swissphone at home and had to carry my Minitor today for the first time in months, reception issues and the size reminded me why I love Swissphone lol...

We also use Active911 as a department and we pay the yearly fee for one device per member and the County has an Active911 account and switched our rip/run printers to one iPad per station. Eventually we would like to have one iPad per truck.


Senior Member
VHF Swissphone pagers, portable radios, text messages on our phones, and LiveCad for smart phones.

We can pick and choose what wee want and what we don't want. I use all four currently but will be getting rid of the text messages soon, I can turn off the other three when I don't want to be bothered, I always have my phone on.
I have a dept issued apollo alpha numeric pager. I also have a motorola Minitor 4 pager which is privately owned by me. Some dept's in my county also use text alerts on phones my dept does not and personally i am not a fan of them or the apollo pagers neither get me up at 3 am but my minitor does lol. Oh and some of us have portables either our own personal or dept owned set up to alert on our uhf dispatch channel. we also use a dedicated low band dispatch channel.
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Veteran Member
Something is flawed with the poll. My vote is shown as EMAIL, as is a TON of other users. I've never had email alerts for fire calls and would have no reason to have ever voted for that. The vote numbers and percentages do not match with the poll options or the people listed when you click on it. Hmmm????


Gold Supporter
I work for the county 911 center and we use several systems.  For the city's full time dept (12 stations) they use house speakers primarily with voice pagers (VHF Minitors) as a secondary alert if they are out of house. 

For the rural depts. (1 full time w/vollies and 14 straight volley) we use voice pagers (VHF Minitors).  Some depts. pay for text services like I Am Responding if they have the funding.   One even has an email setup but from what I know it is usually 3-5 minutes behind.

And I hear scuttlebutt that we will be going to a text based system in the future. 


Im on a small town volunteer dept with full time paid ems, we are issued minitor 4/5 voice pagers 2 way radios mix of kenwood and motorola and the department pays for all of the vplunteers to have the active 911 system on their phones. Plus some people have the county texts.


Hmm lets see , cell phone, radio or portable, MDT.and  maybe telepathy? :cool:

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Registered Member
We have VHF Minitor 5s for all members of our dept (and one new M6). We also have a page to SMS for our cell phones.


Minitor V is fire district's default, but I haven't had a working one.  Motorola XTS2500 stays on the dresser when home, or in the vehicle I normally drive.  Have received alerts via IAmResponding, but now thru Active911.


My favorite is when we get toned out for a structure fire just as we're sitting down to eat. Nothing like coming back to a cold meal that you may have spent the better part of the last two hours preparing.


It never fails; once we get sent out past 1am, we won't be coming home until almost 6am. We typically get multiple calls back-to-back at night. >:\


Senior Member
Well, usually my wife yells "Hey a**hole! Phone!"


Older thread I know but we use Kenwood/Vertex radios and a mix of Apollo Pro/Minitor pagers.

I like the radio better than the pager. The only thing about the pager I like is it has the storage system and will pay back the last page for me.

We also use eDispatch on our phones. They usually go off about 30 seconds after the tones drop. It is kind of finicky sometimes.


Just Another Faceless Member
Silver Supporter
Being that most of our department members were participants in a secret government experiment years ago, we just use ESP.

Wait, I think Im going to be paged at 2336 this evening...



Established Member
My department is Vhf pagers, I have a Minitor 4, text, and if you are close enough to the station, the fire siren goes off, which is triggered by county dispatch.

My department has a mix of Watchdog pagers, Unication pagers, and a few Minitors.

We are working on phasing out Watchdog and Minitors, for all Unication pagers.
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Senior Member
Both EMS (paid job) and the Rescue Squad, I have a portable radio with paging ability. For those on the Rescue Squad that don't have the minimum trading, they only get a monitor. Also,I get texts to my phone for both, as doors almost everyone else.


Registered Member
We use Minitor pagers as well as a house siren, I also recently set up a text message/email alert system that sends an mp3 recording of the tone. The phone alert system is anywhere from 30sec to a minute behind the actual tones.

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