The Zionsville Fire Department (ZFD) has a new automated fire station alerting system that is designed to send critical information quicker and more efficiently. The technology will assist dispatch services by using voice alerting transmitted through radio and the internet to reach out to firefighters automatically, speeding up the incident notification process.
The new automated system is from Colorado-based Locution Systems, which developed a database that contains all of the words needed to voice any dispatch, including roads and business names throughout Boone County and surrounding areas. After the words are chosen and placed in the correct order, fire and EMS units are dispatched by the automated program. By sending signals over radio and to stations via an enhanced IP solution, a dispatcher can focus on the telephone and the reporting party with fewer radio and dispatching interruptions.
In 2019, three Boone County departments – the Boone County Fire Chiefs Association, Witham Boone County EMS and the Boone County Sheriff’s Office – came together to fund the initial purchase of the radio-based component of the Locution program for all of Boone County’s Fire and EMS agencies.
Zionsville Fire Department is the first department in Boone County to use the IP-based solution in the fire stations.
“Going to IP-based allows the department to add ramped up tones that start quieter and gradually get louder,” said Fire Chief James VanGorder. “This assists in the firefighter’s health and safety and provides a redundant backup for the fire station alerting system. Utilizing radio and IP and can lead to quicker response times because all of the stations are notified simultaneously instead of through tones.”