Protect York County voice paging sign now

The members of the York County fire, emergency medical services, and rescue communities insist that a "two-tone and voice" paging system be maintained for the purpose of dispatching emergency calls to our departments and services. While it is clear that the recently deployed digital alphanumeric pager system has it's advantages, a two-tone and voice pager system has numerous, obvious advantages over any other type of emergency pager dispatch system.

We, the community, understand that the current "legacy" systems being used by York County for two-tone and voice paging (fire 33.90mhz and MED-10 462.975) have outlived their expected life cycles, are unreliable, use obsolete technology and equipment and that it is no longer practical to maintain these systems.

However, it is not unpractical for the County of York to include a new, modern, robust county-wide simulcast, ultra-high frequency, two-tone and voice pager system in it's current 911 communications upgrade project. Such a system should "mirror" the new digital alphanumeric pager system, and the two systems should supplement each other. This addition to the project would truly bring York County's emergency communications capabilities up to par with the most modern, best-designed systems, and would enable York County's emergency responders to continue to provide timely, quality, and reliable service to the communities we so proudly serve.



BACKGROUND:
The York County, Pennsylvania Department of Emergency Services is in the process of transitioning to new, "state-of-the-art" emergency communications and dispatch system. The project includes a pager alerting system that transmits digital alphanumeric dispatch messages to fire, EMS, and rescue members carrying pager receivers. Once this paging system, along with the new Project 25 digital 500mhz trunked radio networks are fully operational, the "legacy" pager systems, called two-tone and voice pager systems, will be taken offline permanently. There is no plan for York County to provide or maintain two-tone and voice pager systems after that point. This will leave the new digital alphanumeric pager system as the only means for fire, EMS, and rescue responders to be notified of emergency calls.

The two-tone and voice method of paging has long been the primary method for alerting on-call emergency responders across the country, and throughout the developed world. This method of dispatching emergency personnel has numerous, obvious advantages over other methods, and is particularly invaluable in systems where the majority of emergency personnel are volunteer or on-call, and may or may not be at a fire or ambulance station when a call is received. A major advantage is the ability to "locally" activate groups of pagers from base station radios coupled with two-tone paging encoders located in fire or ambulance stations, or municipal emergency operations centers. This feature can be extremely useful in the event of a failure of the 911 center or paging network, and can enable individual stations to notify their members of an emergency situation.

Many York County emergency responders are extremely displeased with the phasing out of this method of dispatching, however, these concerns appear to have fallen of deaf ears of York County's Commissioners and Department of Emergency Services decision makers.

It is obvious to most that the current two-tone and voice paging systems in use in York County have long since reached the end of the usable life cycles. The systems provide poor, unreliable coverage, and are prone to failure and interference by nearby co-channel users. However, there is no reason that a modern, reliable, robust two-tone and voice pager system could not be deployed. Such systems are designed and constructed every day.

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Roberta MccallBy:
Entertainment and MediaIn:
Petition target:
York County Commissioners and York County Department of Emergency Services decision makers

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