Erie County Emergency Services
First Responder Alerting Network
Homeland Security Initiative
Erie County Alerting Network
The Erie County Alerting Network is proud to announce the release of cellular and mobile email paging for first responders in Erie County. Since 2007, the Erie County Alerting Network has been in operation serving over 10,000 subscribers from the Fire, Police and EMS agencies. Over 1 million alerts per year are sent to alphanumeric pagers throughout the county. Several enhancements have brought mobile device alerting to reality as urged by the requests from first responders.
How do we subscribe?
Emergency Services Staff will be soliciting each department with the current data on file in the Erie County Alerting Database. Once the information is verified, the agency will be asked to submit an revised roster with added cell phone fields and carrier information. Please be patient as will begin PSAP by PSAP, knowing that there are 10,000 pagers in the field.
Alpha pagers should still be carried?
Although the convenience of receiving alerts to one device worldwide can offer many benefits, there is a communications risk. Relying on private cellular carriers for email and text messages is not the most dependable solution. As we are all aware the first thing to fail in actual disasters are the cell phone towers. The Alerting System was designed to be a Public Safety Grade Emergency Alerting Network and it has proven to be just that! The paging towers, transmitters and network infrastructure are robust and meet or exceed public safety standards. The system also has a completely redundant off site main frame to insure paging continues under the most extreme conditions.
Another important point to be aware of is the fact that there is an inherent delay from the time the emergency message leaves the Erie County Alerting Network and works its way through your cell phone carrier's system and arrives to your phone as a text message or email. The Alerting System routinely takes about 8 seconds to process a message and send it to your pager. However you will note that it could take several additional minutes before the message appears on your cellular phone. This inherent delay is beyond the control of Erie County and lies solely upon the robustness of your carrier's system.
A Google search will provide you with plenty of benefits on why alpha numeric paging is a reliable technology. Katrina and 9-11 are two at the top of the list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pager
Therefore Erie County Emergency Services recommends that responders continue to insure that their alpha pagers are working and in service and are carried as their primary alerting device.
The Alphanumeric pagers take priority over cell phones, text messaging or emails. Please note your voice pager still takes priority above all other devices as per whatever policy is in effect for your PSAP.
**Standard text messaging rates do apply therefore we recommend that you have an unlimited texting plan prior to taking part in the program. Erie County Emergency Services is not responsible for text related fees or other incidental costs**
For more information, please contact our Alerting helpdesk on the web at www.erie.gov/alert.
The Alerting Help Desk is established to assist the First Responder's of Erie County with any questions or problems they may have with their Alerting Equipment. By calling 716-961-7893 you will reach a qualified staff member to address your specific issue. When possible we ask that individual members please contact their Agency Administrator for assistance prior to contacting the help desk so that they too are aware of any issues within their department. You may also submit your requests electronically be completing an Alerting Equipment Service Request by clicking here.