Omnilert Blog

Fire departments ditch pagers for Omnilert cell phone alerts

Omnilert By Omnilert


Many fire departments and rescue squads have recently dropped their pager contracts and switched to Omnilert for emergency dispatches and routine communication.


Some of the first responders to take advantage of Omnilert include the Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad, Cedar Park Fire Dept., City of Brandon Fire Dept., Countryside Fire Protection District, Fairfield Fire Local 1186, Jollyville Fire Dept., Madison MS Fire Dept., McLane/Black Lake Fire Dept., and Virginia Beach Rescue Squad.


Countryside Fire Protection District
Jim Dinsch is the Information Systems Coordinator at Countryside Fire Protection District in Vernon Hills, Ill. with a squad of 85 personnel. Mr. Dinsch said, “Our people were asking for the ability to get messages to their cell phones instead of having to carry another separate device.”


Mr. Dinsch continued, “Our previous in-house system was very limited to which pagers and cell phone carriers it could reach, and how they could be reached. The previous system also crashed three times in the last year and was very labor intensive. By contrast, the Omnilert solution is cheaper, more reliable, more accessible, easier to use, and maintenance free.


“Besides the cost savings, the two biggest factors are its 100% reliability and web-based ‘anywhere access.’ When we need extra personnel to come in for a fire, that’s a critical message for us, and we have not had any failures since switching to Omnilert.


“We use it on a daily basis for emergency alerts and routine messaging. We alert people if a vehicle is out of service for maintenance, if shift coverage is needed, about overtime opportunities, and a lot of different things.

“Because Omnilert is web based, we no longer need to be on an in-house network computer to send alerts, so it’s accessible from anywhere to anyone. Our command officer can get a message out from the field with his BlackBerry, and he can rest assured the message is going to get through. The Omnilert mobile interface is amazing.


“Omnilert is a very maintenance-free system. Once you set it up, there is really nothing that needs to be maintained on a daily basis. At the end of the day, the ability to provide messaging to your personnel on a means they want it on is a huge value.”


McLane/Black Lake Fire Department
Steve North is the Fire Chief at McLane/Black Lake Fire Department in Olympia, Wash. Chief North said, “Omnilert is an efficient, cost-effective method to provide notifications and alerts to our membership.


“With over 100 members in our department, trying to manage all the different electronic devices carried by our membership was becoming very problematic. We needed a method to provide notification through cell phones and pagers and Omnilert provided a mechanism to do that in a much more efficient manner.


“The Omnilert system is very cost effective as compared to similar type services. And, we had no problems getting it up and running in a short period of time. The user interface is very simple and straight forward.


“We use Omnilert multiple times a day. We have multiple groups set up – everything from our volunteer personnel to notification for state fire mobilization in the summertime.


“It’s very convenient to allow the membership to go in and change their own contact information and to provide a method for them to receive those alerts on multiple devices. All of that puts it back onto the membership and that method is far more efficient to provide those alerts.


“All in all, our membership has really enjoyed Omnilert. The member’s user interface is very user friendly, very intuitive, and it doesn’t take any training to get it up and running.”


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