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Old 07-20-2014, 6:55 PM
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Default Bethlehem NY Fire

Hello,

Just noticing a change in things here in the past few days with respect to Bethlehem NY fire. Normally, if I hear the fire whistle, I turn on the scanner and hear the call. Last couple of times I do this, I hear no call. But, I do here the units calling dispatcher enroute, etc etc. But, yesterday after "not hearing any call the dispatcher on both police and fire frequencies were asking the units if they heard the call and they said "yes"!

Anybody know what is up or hear anything new?

Thanks!
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Old 07-20-2014, 7:24 PM
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Maybe they changed the order and the siren is toned after the voice announcement? Have you tried listening waiting for a call to go out (meaning not waiting for the siren first)?
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Old 07-21-2014, 6:24 AM
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Default Bethlehem NY Fire

Thanks. I'll listen. I live close to a couple stations. Generally, as soon as you hear the siren, you will hear the call.
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Old 07-21-2014, 6:56 AM
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You might want to have your radio on all the time, our department had a 30 sec to 1 min delay on the sirens from when the tone call goes out. Also some department dispatching sends out the siren tone after the dispatching of the call. Years ago it was thought to help stop gawkers from showing up at scenes, but with today's apps and tone decoding that no longer works to prevent this.
Not that onlookers showing up was the only reason our department as of March 15 of this year have no more sirens at all. An issue that seems to be happening all over as city people move further into the county side and don't like the sirens. (My opinion)
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Old 07-21-2014, 8:42 PM
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I know in Colonie the dispatch goes out and then the siren page.
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Old 07-22-2014, 12:28 PM
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Voice calls precede siren tones almost everywhere. The exception would be where the same tones activate everything including the house siren.
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Old 07-22-2014, 12:30 PM
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For Joe - If you miss the dispatch by Bethlehem Fire Control, you could try quickly checking the County channel. The Sheriff's medic units notify County Control when they ride on Bethlehem and Coeymans calls.
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Old 07-22-2014, 4:31 PM
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In Bethlehem, fire departments are dispatched on Fire Control. Voice follows tones, no voice precedes the tones.

EMS is dispatched on EMS-1, tones go over Fire Control via multi select preceding the voice transmission on EMS-1.

If you just hear tones (and no voice) on Fire Control it is likely that it is a call for ems, what you heard may have been an error in which a departments siren tones were activated by accident.

As soon as most fire calls are dispatched a department chief will ask for an operations channel and the units will be advised to switch to Fire-1 or Fire-2.
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Old 07-22-2014, 5:12 PM
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Default Bethlehem Fire

Thank you all for the feedback. I will listen more. It has always been the tones activating the siren, then the call. Seems to be different the past couple days.

I will advise as to what I hear in a few days.

Thank you.

Joe
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Old 07-23-2014, 8:27 AM
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If you're interested, I have a twotonedetect system that monitors Bethlehem as well as Guilderland and Albany county. If you PM me your phone number, name, and cell provider I can add you.


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Old 07-25-2014, 8:49 AM
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In every county I've lived in here in NYS (five of them), they transmit tones and then the voice message. Pager and siren tones, if separate, are transmitted sequentially prior to the voice dispatch. I've never heard of a sequence of pager tones, voice message, siren tones.

What I do know is that many departments have a lag time built into the siren control. This means that the siren doesn't sound until a predetermined time after the tones are transmitted. In the village where I am now, the delay is 30 seconds or more. The end result is that that turning the scanner on when you hear the siren results in little or no information unless the dispatcher re-tones for some reason. Since I carry a pager with the local tones programmed, it's a non-issue for me.
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:45 AM
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The Capital District has several variations.

Rensselaer County - pagers on VHF-Low, voice on VHF & 800, sirens on VHF-Low
Troy - voice, pagers, voice, repeat pagers & voice (sometimes)
Colonie - pagers on VHF-High, voice on VHF & 800, sirens on VHF-Low
Albany County - pagers, voice, sirens, voice
etc.
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Old 07-29-2014, 6:30 PM
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Columbia county uses a sequence that activates sirens after the voice dispatch.

Pager tones, voice dispatch, repeat pager tones, repeat voice dispatch, siren tones.

The point is there are lots of variation depending on the needs and history of the particular area/agency.
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