Our volunteer station uses pagers and for the most part they work just fine. I set my to vibrate (no jokes please ;) simply because the beeping is annoying and there are several alerts to choose from --I simply put it to vibrate just out of courtesy in this cell phone ring age..trying to read them going down the road can be a pain and unsafe but only if you are the one driving---if that is the situation I mearely hand mine to my officer if they don't have theirs or got the page. occasionally that can be problematic sometimes people for some unkknown reason even if they are staning right next to you don't get it or it is delayed,but Iwould say 95% of the time works without problems. Occasionally I dont get a page or it is all garbled depending on where I am at the time. At work (i work in an emergency department) there is so much interferance from the building and electronic equipment htat pages are garbled if I get them at all sometimes not. But I like them. I even use mine as my alarm clock at the firehouse simply because I am the type that unless it is a klaxton going off not much wakes me and i have to set several alarms at home--and my pager is loud enough to wake me.
In the fire depart. that i serve in we use alphanumeric pagers to get messages out to others on the department We do not use them for fire/ems calls. We use repeaters. No the beeps are not loud enough to wake you from a sound sleep. the good thing about the pagers it lets everyone know what is needed at the firehouse, special details, someone needs an answer to a question, etc. I like the pager system.
Yes. I should confess that at home I also have one phone, one alpha pager and one Minitor 5. I wear five devices on my belt at work (office job not fire related). Two cell phones, three pagers. I should add another for balance but my pants would fall down for sure.