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Question about Minitor in VA

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Chester
#1
Hello,

Hope I am posting in the right place. I am a Volunteer with Chesterfield Fire and EMS and every now and then when the resources get depleted (ex. Brush Fires...Mutual Aid... Rescues) The ECC will page out a volunteer recall (fire or EMS)...my problem is the Vol. Firefighters have minitors set to receive the pages but not the EMS providers. When scanning and my EMS station is dispatched I noticed there are no tones like when the FD is dispatched just one beep. My self and one of my crew mates were thinking about buying minitors so that we could better serve our agency what would we need to program it? and can it be set to receive county wide alerts with/without all the dispatches? (I know the simulcast dispatch frequency is 154.1600) Any and all help is appreciated!

Thanks

Waterboy
 

fredva

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#2
Somebody from Chesterfield can probably give you better info than I can. But based on what you are saying, your county may not have a policy to page off-duty EMS workers and instead, relies on mutual aid EMS from neighboring counties when resources are tied up. Having a pager when there is no actual tone paging taking place may not give you much more than what you have with your scanner.

My advice is to ask your chain of command what the policy is on recalls for EMS workers, if tone paging is done for that situation, and if your organization could supply you with a pager.
 

tglendye

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#4
Hello,

...I noticed there are no tones like when the FD is dispatched just one beep...
Waterboy
How long is the beep? Is it really short, or a few seconds long? I don't know how Chesterfield does their EMS. In the county I am in we use a long single tone across the paging frequency to alert each agency when an announcement is made. Probably different than what you are hearing, though, but for the Minitors it only takes a single tone programmed to activate them.
 

Drachen_Fire

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#5
Chesterfield used to use a single long-tone for 15 Bravo. They may still do it, but maybe not. Let me explain this to you, if it hasn't sunk in yet.....If you are a volunteer EMS provider in Chesterfield County...

Chesterfield County hates your guts.

They want to see the volly squads GONE. Yesterday. It was that way in the late 1990s. In the mid-90's, they took away red lights for POV's. In the late 90's, they stopped allowing first responder calls, and in the early 2000's, they discontinued the EMS simulcast with the paging.

That used to be found on 155.265. The long tone idea MIGHT work on the Minitors. Try to get that info from County Radio. It would be much simpler to subscribe to the text pages.
 
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Old Dominion
#6
Well alrighty then, after Drachen_Fire's warm and fuzzy post from Pennsylvania, I'll see if I can provide some insight for you.

"Volunteer recall" used to be called a Signal 15-Bravo, so if you're not familiar with that term, that's what some of the posters are referring to.

When the recall is initiated, the handful of fire stations that still use two-tone sequential paging have each of their individual stations toned out, one at a time (in the video you provided, the very first set of tones you hear going off are Company 5, followed by Company 6, etc). Some jurisdictions are able to page multiple stations or volunteers at once using an 8-second "group page," but CFEMS doesn't use this.

At one time, each volunteer rescue squad station and it's members could be toned out via the old EMS Simulcast channel on 155.265. However, that's no longer done, as all fire and EMS calls are now dispatched on "Dispatched" and then sent to either "Ops" or one of the tac channels. The VRS stations are only dispatched when they're staffed now, and the building is alerted using the FRAP protocol, which uses inaudible signals on the 800MHa system to set off the speakers and lights in the station. The single beep you hear before a routine EMS call is just a bit of an attention getter to tell people who might be getting ready to talk on the radio to shut up, because a call is about to go out.

Unfortunately, what you're looking to do just won't work exactly the way you want it to. About the closest thing you could do is get a Minitor and program it for 154.160 (CSQ) and listen to it all the time. Probably the better option would be to talk to your squad captain/chief and see if you're allowed to receive the text messages from the ECC.

Good luck...
 

Drachen_Fire

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#7
Yep. PA now, Chesterfield in the late 90's/early 2000's, as a member of a volunteer EMS service. I do still have family and friends in the area, and I listen in on any conventional that is left down there when I visit.

What I said is true. The fire service is mostly volunteer up here, and if you had to choose between staffed stations or no response, 9 times out of 10, you'd get no response. This theory renders the vollie EMS in Chesterfield to be next to nil.

In any case, you are right in that 155.265 is shut down, all VRS activations are done by in-station FRAPS, and that the only answer appears to be a full-time listen on 154.160. The much better option is to get the pages to your phone.

I mean, quite honestly though, a 15-Bravo occurs so seldom, and is predicated by very abnormal circumstances. If there is a huge sweeping forest fire, an ice storm, impending blizzard, tornado, or hurricane, your best bet is to go to your station and staff because you know that 15B call is coming, if it hasn't happened already.

Which one of the 4 squads are you with?
 
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#9
The fire service is mostly volunteer up here, and if you had to choose between staffed stations or no response, 9 times out of 10, you'd get no response. This theory renders the vollie EMS in Chesterfield to be next to nil.
Its next to to impossible to make a comparison between the volunteer fire service in PA and almost anywhere in VA. The staffing, response areas, proximity of the stations next to one another, political makeup, citizen expectations, and a number of other factors between the two areas are vast.

As for the second thought, I would say the volunteers that are routinely staffing fire companies 4, 5, 6, and 10, along with RM1, RF2, EM1, and RM2 (on weekends) would disagree with your assessment of the their effectiveness.

Which one of the 4 squads are you with?
None of them. However, I've been involved in various aspects of public safety in the Richmond region since 1992 and have a pretty fair assessment of the dynamics of things.
 

Drachen_Fire

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Center Township, PA
#10
The squads question was for the OP, but I figured it out by his location and username. 510+Chester=BBVRS.

As for the differences, they are indeed vast. Most EMS up here is paid, but we still use two-tone dispatching and such. However, I do know that BBVRS has taken that mandated staffing hit the hardest. That writing went up on the wall the first time I saw CFD Firefighters staffing a Bensley truck.

Is the Wilson family still sole ruling dynasty at EMVRS? I haven't been down to south County for over a decade.

I can remember a time when no one staffed. Call would come in, the ALS provider would go to the scene POV, the EMT would go to the station and get a truck. Things still worked, and it didn't require a large membership and a rotating block of 12-hour shifts to get it done. Manchester and Forest View do a great job, but theirs is among some of the largest memberships in the county. Does anyone staff RF1 anymore? I haven't seen a car in the parking lot since 2005. As for the volunteer fire stations, a lot of those guys are young and want to be a paid fireman one day. They staff.

The main point is that I don't know why county pretty much disallowed home response by taking down the EMS simulcast and tone paging. Responses were still happening. Districts still get stripped with too many calls from time to time. It's like Chesterfield just said "thanks, but no thanks".
 
Joined
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In Da Bucket
#11
It's become a disease that many of the central va fire-EMS agencies have caught. I believe some have personal agendas to help pave the way to a fully paid dept, no matter the expense. Many of these decisions are based soley on perception and not factual data, it's very disheartening.
 
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