Originally Posted by jpjohn
Follow up on my post from yesterday
Listening today it sEems to be at least three different things going on.
1. Tones and voice broadcast of all EC (city and county)fire and EMS calls. Just the dispatch with nothing heard of any response traffic.
2. Paging tones only with no voice. Didn't seem to correspond with any public service traffic.
3. Rapid DTMF strings. Sounds like about 10-15 DTMF tones sent out rapid fire.
Maybe someone can come up with what the DTMF thing is?
This is a dedicated paging channel. There are a number of counties throughout the State that use such a system and more are heading that direction with WISCOM in the picture. Details depend on the specific county and how they operate, but normally a page will be broadcast on the paging channel and all subsequent communication is through other means.
Sawyer County does things slightly different in that the initial page will be transmitted on the paging channel and then simultaneously as the incident is developing with communications occurring on Fire dispatch additional pages will be transmitted with informational updates including what crew members are responding, locations individuals are responding to, additional units, additional calls for other units, cancellations, etc. It tends to be a very streamlined process because there is no bottleneck, although there can be a large amount of pages in a short period of time.
Specific responses to your questions:
1. Sounds like it is the single countywide dedicated paging channel and only used for alerting instead of updates as with Sawyer. So all pagers in the county are on that single frequency and are independent of voice communications on the dispatch channels.
2. Maybe just testing, or to activate/deactivate non human resources (pumps, sirens, dam gates, etc.) This is one of the advantages of having a dedicated paging channel is that other things can be done and sent without bothering anyone because the pagers can be taken out of monitor mode and only activate when receiving the proper tone set(s). This is unlike a voice dispatch channel where everything will be heard by at least a small number of people and if a no-voice page where to be broadcast it could create a lot confusion.
3. Similar to number 2, these could be for pretty much anything. With such a high number of digits this could be polling occurring between sirens and the base controller. At 10 digits long, there is a large number of resources that can be accommodated with unique individual codes. It also supports limited security in that only 1 or two of those digits are the actual command but hidden within the rest of the string.