Fire Department Deploys New Fire Station Alerting System
Source: Santa Barbara City Fire Department
The Santa Barbara City Fire Department is pleased to announce that they have deployed a new automated fire station alerting system. This system replaces a decades-old radio-based toned alerting system. The purchase of this equipment promises to speed up the dispatch incident processing and alerting of firefighters. This is the first automated fire station alerting system in the County and will likely pave the way for fire dispatch efficiency in the future.
Funded by Measure C infrastructure tax, this is one of the first projects approved by the City’s steering committee. The project has been in the planning stages for over two years and was purchased for approximately $481,000.
Additional upgrades to station communications rooms and station infrastructure was also completed at the same time.
Locution Systems was chosen by the City’s firefighters with City Staff and was approved by City Council. This company was specifically chosen as the automated voice is an actual human voice (“CHV”- Complete Human Voice Technology). The company’s voice talent recorded all needed words used in a verbal dispatch including street names and common places. The main audio database contains all needed words to voice any dispatch and words chosen are “stitched” together for a seamless message. Over 2000 streets and several hundred common places are in the database.
The primary method of fire station alerting is now through the internet with the radio broadcast following the initial fire station alert. Alerting the stations via internet allows multiple units along with separate calls to be alerted simultaneously.
In addition to the automated dispatch, several alerting tools were placed into each station to more quickly notify firefighters of calls for service. This added equipment includes: additional speakers, LED reader boards, LED lights and a cell phone App. Firefighters will now simultaneously hear the automated dispatch, the incident information will scroll on an LED board and their personal phones will display the particulars of the incident.
The biggest benefit may be in the dispatch center. Dispatchers will now be able to receive the 911 call, enter the call information into the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and with one touch, all fire stations are simultaneously alerted in less than ½ second with the automated broadcast. This will allow dispatchers to focus on the callers and allow more concentrated emergency medical dispatch instructions to be given.