Medicine Hat EMS

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avgas

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Hey guys.

Today the EMS dispatcher was telling the guys they could go the Main channel. This is something new as far as I know. The have been using the provincial channel for as far back as I can remember.

Does anyone have any idea what this might mean. Did they go digital like the city police and fire dept? I am going to search for there freq today so if I find anything I will post it.

Kel

I found them talking on 155.490 Conv. I will keep you posted if this remains the freq they are using.
 
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Jay911

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That, sir, is very interesting. 155.49 is the Wheatland County main dispatch frequency for Strathmore Town Fire Dept and WADEMSA (Wheatland And District EMS Association) ambulances. However, it's also licensed to Bassano, Oyen, and Medicine Hat, as the Palliser Health Region's EMS channel:

Code:
155.490000	 159.450000	 500220	 1103728	MED. HAT, AB. GLENTEL VEINERVILLE	PALLISER HEALTH REGION ATTN: HOWARD SNODGRASS	 5056476	VFV557
Interestingly enough, Wheatland uses a different input freq (159.615 IIRC), and CSQ - is the Hat using any tone? If not, I could envision skip/crosstalk quite easily, considering the range of Wheatland's tower, and the distance from Strathmore to Medicine Hat.
 

avgas

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Jay911

I didnt check if there using a tone or not because I didnt know if this was something they were doing as a temporary thing. If your saying that its Palliser Health Region then my guess is that they will be staying on that freq and keeping the prov ems channel open for other traffic. I will monitor them for the next few nites and let you know what happens.

Kel
 

Jay911

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OK. I always found it unusual that they'd use Provincial Ambulance for day to day use, but I guess I shouldn't be, since about half the departments around me use VHF Provincial Firetac as a tactical/fireground channel.

I would imagine a lot of interesting things are going to happen in the next year prior to the province 'taking over' EMS - if they do go through with it this time. I already know of at least one dispatch center run predominantly by an EMS agency, whose fate is being debated right now by its county council and/or the agency's board of directors. I would not be at all surprised to see a large amount of these EMS-based dispatch centers fold up if/when the province pulls EMS and/or EMS dispatch into provincial/regional operations.

For what it's worth, nothing seems to be a 'lock' yet. By this I mean, nobody has come out and said "there will be x number of dispatch centers, one in Anytown, one in Nowhereville, and a third in Road Narrows". Nobody knows if existing dispatch centers will be able to vie for the job, or if the province plans to establish a new dispatch operation like they did with the provincial Sheriffs. Personally I'd be inclined to believe that the days of regional dispatch have come (and not just because I work for one).
 

avgas

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Interesting.

I wondered how this new radio system in alberta would change things. I will be testy if I cant listen anymore! I can see things changing untill the new radio system is up and running. I can understand why they would want a system that can be used to communicate with each other (Fire, EMS, Police). I just dont see this system working smoothly. I fint there is too much radio traffic when you get multiple groups talking on the same channel.

I personally dont think its a good idea to have dispatch centers closed down. I know from listening to the RCMP being dispatched from Reddeer the directions and town names get mixed up all the time. When listening to the local dispatchers they seem to know the area better, and know the names of the citys and roads.

I will keep you posted on what i figure out down here. I dont have any other scanner nuts that I know here in Med Hat to share my info or ask questions so thanks for replying to my post.
 

Jay911

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I doubt the new radio system will be unmonitorable, at least for Fire/EMS. I have heard varying reports that the RCMP want encryption on some or all channels. It's impossible to tell at this point. But any scanner that does 700MHz and P25 digital should work, if the system stays true to the specs advertised.

I also don't think that there will be lots of comms on a single channel. Look at Manitoba's province-wide system; they've got dozens and dozens of talkgroups.

And regarding the RCMP... the story I've heard (though I've never seen their dispatch center) is that they don't use maps in their dispatch center. At all. That would make it very difficult to get things right, as you might guess. I don't deny that dispatchers who are local to the area will know the area better, but given the right resources, I know a regionally-located dispatcher can do the job. My employer (PSC) does from Exshaw/Bighorn all the way almost to Strathmore, and from Crossfield to the south limits of Calgary. That's a huge area, and we have computer and printed maps, important landmarks, and lots of other information to support us. :)
 

avgas

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Jay

Its good to hear you have the resources you need to do your job well. I hate to see jobs cut and peoples safety put at risk. Being a dispatcher must be an exciting job. I can imagine it gets kinda hairy at times. Hats off to you for the job you do. It seems so far that the EMS are on the new freq doing all operations and the same pager tones are coming over the air. I will post some tones when there is a chance for me to grab it. The air is kinda slow for a Friday nite. I am running a Pro-96 so sounds like I will be good to go for the provincial system, The only problem is the digital stuff is totally new to me as I have only had the scanner a few months.

Kel
 

Jay911

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I am running a Pro-96 so sounds like I will be good to go for the provincial system, The only problem is the digital stuff is totally new to me as I have only had the scanner a few months.
Do you know if the 96 does NAC codes? Maybe one of the guys like CalgaryToad knows better - I'm all Uniden. If you do have the ability, you should see NACs on the Medicine Hat 800MHz channels. NACs are like CTCSS/DCS codes - they essentially differentiate between "channels" or talkgroups, on one radio frequency.

So you would be able to tell what talkgroups Fire uses and what Police uses, etc. And post to the database. :)
 

avgas

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I dont see anything on the screen when it stops on there freq. Fire uses one freq and the city police use 3 freq. They are all digital.
 

Jay911

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Excellent work, dude. That actually covers a large area if you believe the TAFL - Bassano in Newell County, Oyen in Special Area 3, Empress in Special Area 2, and Medicine Hat/Cypress County - and presumably all the areas in between.
 

avgas

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Well I have heard them on both freq today but not alot on the prov freq. I will let you know if anything changes. I would think that they would keep the prov freq in use for the ems units that come to the hospital here in the Hat. We have Maple Creek and Leader Sask ems units here often so I will be checking out what freq they are using and let ya know.
 

avgas

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Well it seems that the Palliser Health channel has got some problems so they are back to the old Prov channel untill they get the bugs worked out.
 
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