City Commission OKs alerting system contract for fire department

Vicky O. Misa | | (405) 214-3962 | Twitter: @Vicky_NewsStar

This week, Shawnee Fire Chief Dru Tischer made a request to City Commissioners for permission to enter into a contract with U.S. Digital Designs for installation of a needed Fire Station Alerting System (FSAS) at Fire Station No. 2 (as part of the current renovation project) and in the City of Shawnee Dispatch Center.

The cost of the contract would be $87,922.39 — $44,382.05 for Station No. 2 and $43,540.34 for the COS Dispatch Center.

“This pricing has been secured through our membership in the Fire Rescue GPO cooperative purchasing program,” Tischer said.

The $44,382.05 for Station No. 2 is budgeted for in the overall renovation project and the $43,540.34 will be taken from 911 fees.

In addition to providing for the emergency radio speakers and amplifier for Station No. 2, he said this system will provide a commercial station alerting system that will allow Station No. 2 to receive redundant emergency traffic from COS Dispatch over both 800 MHz emergency radio system and IP infrastructure providing redundancy in the event that one of these systems fail.

“This system will, for the first time, allow or dispatchers to tone-out an individual station to emergency incidents, when appropriate,” he said. “The FSAS will provide the capability for Station No. 2 to be dispatched individually to emergency incidents.” Currently, he said all firefighters on-duty at all three of the stations are alerted for every call — whether they are required to respond or not.

“This (ability to tone out) is especially important at night when our firefighters are resting between calls for service,” he said. “Sleep deprivation can be a real problem for firefighters.”

In addition, he said this system will take some stress of the dispatchers and decrease the call-processing time by providing a text-to-speech notification capability.

“Once the dispatcher starts entering information into the Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, the FSAS will begin notification of the emergency incident to our firefighters,” he said. “Currently, our dispatchers must enter the information in the CAD system and make all verbal notifications over the emergency radio system.”

It will also enhance the department's ability to comply with the dispatch provisions of NFPA 1710 Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments by expediting emergency call processing, he said.

As well as these enhancements, the FSAS package provides the required emergency radio system speaker, amplifier and visual notification capabilities for the station, he said.

“We will budget for installation of similar systems in Station No. 1 and Station No. 3 in the near future to allow this capability at all SFD stations; no additional equipment or installation will be required in the Dispatch Center to allow the addition of Station No. 1 and Station No. 3 to the FSAS,” Tischer said.

The board approved his request.

“I really appreciate the City Commission’s support of this system and the entire Station No. 2 renovation project,” he said.

Tischer said he is very excited about the capabilities of the new FSAS for his department.