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Old 10-11-2010, 10:00 PM
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Default Fire calls sent to cell phones

I am wondering what kind of setup I need so that I can have our fire pages converted to either voice or text format so that it can be sent to our Firefighters cell phones so they can receive the calls, when out of radio range.
I have looked into companies that provide this type of service and am thinking there might be a way I could set it up on our own.

Anyone done this before, or know how to do it?

Thanks,

Ian
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:20 PM
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I use Twitter and my subscribers set their accounts to receive my tweets via SMS. The only downfall is I have to send the tweets manually. I actually talked with a guy who runs software called PDW that decodes the fire departments traffic and sends the data message of the event to his twitter account automatically. PDW only works with certain departments using certain dispatching and often you will need to "modify" your scanner to make it work.
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:04 PM
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Have your dispatching authority modify the 911 system to send out text notifications by e-mail/SMS. I am a member of an agency that does this and in addition to hearing of calls whenever i am out of voice pager range, it comes in quite handy; there are things that cannot be said OTA sometimes, it's nice to be able to see those notes as a text message.
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:05 AM
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Wireless Messaging Software and Communication Software
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustN View Post
Have your dispatching authority modify the 911 system to send out text notifications by e-mail/SMS. I am a member of an agency that does this and in addition to hearing of calls whenever i am out of voice pager range, it comes in quite handy; there are things that cannot be said OTA sometimes, it's nice to be able to see those notes as a text message.
Our dispatch center sends them out this way and it works great. They will only put so many numbers/emails in though. To get around this we set up a google groups account (one for each department) that forwards the message to our phones.This also allows you to send out messages to your department without having to have dispatch do an announcement for work details, finding another crew, etc.

For Cell 911 calls, we are provided with Cell #, Cell tower location, sector (N, S, E, W of tower), and the GPS coordinates of caller in addition to the address info that the dispatcher has gathered.

Here's an example of what the text/email looks like. Info has been changed.

Subject: DISPATCH XX91
OVERDOSE/POISON|123 STATE ST:ANYTOWN(V)|36 YO FEMALE - COMBATIVE / EITHER INTOXICATED OR THEY HAVE TAKEN SOME KIND OF PILLS
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:18 AM
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Default page outs via sms

there are several titles of software the allow a sms message to be composed like an email and out pulse to phones..

You may also depending on your vendor have it as an option and just need it turned on.. or paid for to have it activated..

there are several sms servers that are ran as a service or stand alone boxes can be built.. and ran given you have access that is unfettered to the net.. or better yet a managed network team that can help..

It isnt a turn key thing that you can do without lots of planning..
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Old 10-12-2010, 8:35 AM
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Also, remember the character limit. "Long" (concatenated) SMS is 153 for 7-bit encoding, 134 for 8-bit encoding and 67 for 16-bit encoding and relies on the phones themselves to separate or combine longer messages. "Short" SMS is 160 7-bit characters, 140 8-bit characters, or 70 16-bit characters.

Nothing like a phone and carrier combo that won't get the second half of the message.
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Old 10-12-2010, 9:05 AM
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TwoToneDetect will do that for you for free... It's available here at RR.
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Old 10-12-2010, 9:08 AM
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Another member of this forum created software called "TwoToneDetect", which is installed on a computer. You attach a scanner/receiver via the line in, and when the program detects a tone that you set it records audio for a set time, and then E-Mails it to you as a .WAV file. I'm sure it could be used in combination to another program to text you that a tone went out, so you can check your E-Mail. It's not as fast as a text stating the call, but it's free and it's a way you can set it up yourself.
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Old 10-12-2010, 9:21 AM
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Edispatches
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:42 PM
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keep in mind that while cell is great for wide area coverage, timely delivery of messages can be an issue at the worst times. if the guys are out of range of your fire paging system, would they even be able to respond to the scene? if so, maybe you would be better served with improving your system range.

don't get me wrong, SMS/email are great for keeping up with stuff. but relying on them for rapid message deployment is not recommended. i've seen hospitals where the doctors get a SMS/email about a code blue 20 minutes or more after it was sent!

do any cell carriers in your area support PTT? a group setup would deliver the voice message rapidly, though all the guy would have to be on the same carrier and pay any additional PTT fees.
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Old 10-12-2010, 4:36 PM
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Thanks guys for all the info. I looked up the TwoToneDetect software and that might work in combination with some other software I've looked at.
I also contacted Second Signal about their service and talked to eDispatches too.

I think I've got some good ideas now and options to go with.

Thanks again,

Ian
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:11 PM
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What I am debating on doing personally is either a scanner capable of two tone decode, a spare minitor, or even a 16 pin maxtrac that two tone decodes.... I was going to then host that as an online scanner which i have the app to receive on my blackberry... the only audio that will be sent will be ones that match your codes.
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:32 PM
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Default I am going to be frank with you

I would not venture into supporting a public service without creating an LLC and operating under that.

Here is a quick example of my personal concern..

I setup some kind of solution, a families house burns to the ground and she is a pissed off soccer mom..

she over hears one of the FD guys saying that his phone didnt get the message since he were off of work and away from the radio and his phone didnt get it since he was in a parking garage or at a movie or even just had an outtage..

she does a discovery of info and you are on record for supporting them.. she has a great lawyer and you are a nice guy and donate YOUR money to the kids or in radios to the local club.. and you dont have a great lawyer.. you are now on the hook for her house since your service failed to get one more fireman out to the house..

Nice guys finish last and this is a paraphrase of something that happened down here in Louisiana at a VFD..
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:44 PM
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I have often wondered how companies are doing that... sending info to a personal phone seems like a huge liability. I mainly wanted to do this with just our alert channel and maybe our dispatch channel to acquire additional info while in route, but your right... what if my phone was in for service, or out of range, or dead ect... there are many variables that exist... thats why i will always rely on my minitor IV as my primary form of notification.
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Old 10-14-2010, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 70cutlass442 View Post
I have often wondered how companies are doing that... sending info to a personal phone seems like a huge liability. I mainly wanted to do this with just our alert channel and maybe our dispatch channel to acquire additional info while in route, but your right... what if my phone was in for service, or out of range, or dead ect... there are many variables that exist... thats why i will always rely on my minitor IV as my primary form of notification.
All traffic that is sent to your Minitor is easily accessible by anyone in the world. Chances are there are online scanner feeds for your dispatch, but if not anyone nearby can turn on a receiver/scanner and hear it themselves.
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Old 10-14-2010, 2:22 PM
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Originally Posted by geoff5093 View Post
All traffic that is sent to your Minitor is easily accessible by anyone in the world. Chances are there are online scanner feeds for your dispatch, but if not anyone nearby can turn on a receiver/scanner and hear it themselves.
We actually have two that cover our pager frequency and our dispatch, however, the idea of me setting up another one and allowing the receiver to only open when it is my tone would be to keep traffic to a minium, especially if i have my phone on my night stand or what not... no need to hear that the city next to us has going on when im in full REM sleep
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Old 10-15-2010, 6:04 PM
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Our Sheriff's department uses a software called inforad Paging Software for Wireless Text Messaging to Smart Phones, Alphanumeric Pagers, and AlphaCastŪ LED sign boards

The dispatcher types in the message, selects a group of personnel and the message is sent to their cell phones.

not quite as automated as you asked for, but it will do the job, just adds a step to the dispatcher.
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:37 AM
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Your right, the fire pagers need to be the main notification system because text messages and pagers can have some long delays depending on system usage. Though it's best to work with your dispatch center because they may already have the ability to send text messages to E-mail addresses built into their system already or purchase the software.

It's a great feature to have a hard copy of the call sent to the stations E-mail address and responders so if they were in a bad coverage area they can still get the messages. The other option as others have said is to purchase a software program and have that included with your dispatch center and add another step to include that in the dispatch process. The final low cost option is to have a distribution list built in your dispatch e-mail server and ask them to send an E-mail to the distribution list, that could include cell phones, pagers, or any other device with an e-mail address. The only limit is about 140 characters for most devices.
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i_galbreath View Post
Thanks guys for all the info. I looked up the TwoToneDetect software and that might work in combination with some other software I've looked at.
I also contacted Second Signal about their service and talked to eDispatches too.

I think I've got some good ideas now and options to go with.

Thanks again,

Ian
eDispatches is the way to go, my family down in Jersey there FD uses it and is very reliable, also you can try firecompanies.com, they can set you up with a communications package i believe it's $150.00 onetime set up fee with $50 a month deal, sends out a dispatch text of the CAD info to your members phones. Also with the package you can get Response Check which with that you can set up small monitor screens around the firehouse and when there is a call you get sent a text of the dispatch and you press or call the number and it shows your responding to the firehouse on the screen and will also allow you to show how long you will be. But the Text Dispatch is easy they set a portal at your dispatch center and that's all it needs. You can also access the system in codemessaging.com i believe and are able to send messages to a certain member, company or all members by any computer, phone and PDA that has authority to do so. Look into it, a lot of dept.'s are going text for secondary dispatch.
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