i'm trying to find out how other depts. feel about their members carring pagers or portable radios. our dept. gives us pagers to carry for our tones to come through on and we have problems with calls not coming through all the time. if we had portables this may not happen. whats your opinion

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Our department tries to issue pagers to explorers & probies. Biggest issue is availability of pagers as most have been replaced by handheld radios due to cost ($300+ for pagers vs $250 for 16 channel radio that you can reply on). You may want to have your department possibly check into a repeater to put in the area you have the most problems at.
In my home county where I work Parttime/Vol. They got a grant for the co. to get Motorola CP 200's. They are pretty useless in a fire setting, may work good in a factory, but not on fire ground. They were cheaper than a pager. Now my concern is every Tom, Dick, and Harry have one. When a fire is dispatched there are 15 est. FF's marking enroute at different times. Then when your on scene they have to talk to each other too much. If there is a mayday I want to hear it and not get walked on by Tom telling Dick he is walking right behind him. Yes this is a little over embelished but you get my point. There is a need for radio disicpline.
IMO I would rather carry a pager instead of the big radio around. I am not a fan of a brick hanging on my pants and feeling my pants be hanging a cell phone/Radio/ and a alpha numeric pager for my EMS job. I am a firefighter not a carpenter belt.lol. My problem was fixed when I had 911 send all Fire and EMS pages thru my alpha numeric pager. Now my walkie stays in my vehicle or home if I forget it there are several extra one With a full charge at the station.
My other thought on it lets say you are gone all day and as you get home (which has happened) and you get toned out on a working fire. once on scene you making attack and you are hearing beep beep. radio going dead. you are marking progress and it's dead. Well thank you back-up man for your radio 'cause if we were seperated well u know which creek and no paddle i would be using. Again it is my perspective. I do not want to offend any on this issue but it something to think about.
Every member in my department has a pager. Moto 2 to 5. After so long and with some trainin the dept will give a moto radio, or you can buy your own. I have a vertex, and a Moto GM300
Our pagers are great. We have minitar iii. Officers carry portables or anyone who can afford their own.

If you are having problems with pagers, you will likely have problems with portables as well. What kind of pagers are you using & how are they alerted? It could be the output instead of your pagers.
We had issues with that some years ago when we were dispatched from a call center about 40 miles away. We have a county fire fighters association & everyone is dispatched through the same call center and have been for years. We found out that putting "repeaters" on towers helps the radio signals period.
Our dept. issues both pagers and radios. We recieve the calls and respond with the radios. The only thing is that when are radio system is down for what ever reason no body has the old radios to respond on therefore you have no idea whos coming. I wish we could go back to just carrying the radios cause we never had a problem with it at all.
One dept. we use alpha pagers. They work better than they use to. The problem is we only get where the call is and what it is. Not if there are other departments responding or other updates. The other dept, we use minitor 5 pagers and kenwood radios. Pagers work great. You can't rely on a radio to be your primary pager. Unless you have a dedicated channel thats not scanning or you listen to your dispatch channel 24/7. The radio won't catch the whole 1st tone being sent out to alert the radio. You may miss the call if it's on scan. Maybe someday we can have a radio, voice pager, and alpha pager all in one.
All members of my department are issued pagers and the officers all have protable radios that they are issued. We are talking about getting rid of the pagers and going to a protable that works like a pager also.
We're in the same process Mike or maybe the pagers that display your calls.
Our dept has both kenwood and realm handheld radio's. The probationary and cadet's, get old radios that we no longer can program to reply on but receive fine. We have 5 repeaters in the county one for each dept. We only have major problems during fowl weather and of course we get quite a few call's during these time's. Murphy's law ya know.
In my Dept. we use both alpha pagers and Motorola minitors. They work just fine, but of course we are not rural where coverage might be a problem. My concern with radios (and I know this would be true in my Dept.) is that too many people want to be heard on the radio. We have a big dept. so you could have way too many people on the radios and then trucks would not be able to get orders. I think dispatch should be on pagers and leave the radios on the truck for the scene!
We have had the same problem with pagers. Our dispatch has now established a system by which all distpatchs to our station are also sent as Text Messages to our cell phones and it is working very well. An additional benefit is that we now have the type of call and address on our cell phones for reference as some time it is difficult to hear the pager and if heard, remember the numbers.
on my department once you have passed your recruiter class and all your tests to get on the department you are given a radio. We dont have problems with everyone using the radio to announce that they are enroute because only the officer who is in command or on standbay for that time goes over the radio.The rest of us receive the tones and respond to the station. We then have our own channel for the department for us to use to communicate with each other if need be on the fire ground> this assures that we dont have the problem of too many people responding on the radioi carry a motorola ht750 with 16 channels i think that some call it a 200 but im not sure we also have another style that i believe is called a 100 but again not really sure on that one since i have the other,Butthis system works well for us and gives us the chance to listen on the scanner portion as well if we cant go on the call .

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