Communications

About

The Franklin County Department of Emergency Services handles all aspects of call receipt and call processing for all fire, emergency medical service (EMS) and law enforcement agencies, with the exception of the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), Chambersburg Barracks.  All municipalities not having their own law enforcement agency are handled by the Pennsylvania State Police.

Franklin County covers an area of 754 square miles and has a population in excess of 150,000 residents.  The 9-1-1 center processed 83,419 police, fire and emergency medical service calls in 2015.  We are staffed 24 hours a day by 1 lead and 5 dispatchers, who dispatch to 15 townships and 7 boroughs.  There are 18 fire departments, 15 EMS departments and 6 full time law enforcement departments.

The 911 center is operated under various state laws and maintains records and training certifications that exceed those requirements.

Click on links for the following

Encrypted Vehicle Radio Security

FCDES New Radio Request Form

Liability Hold Harmless Agreement Purchases and Programming 

Fleet Map Reprogramming Standard Operating Guide 2013

APCO addresses questions about Uconnect

FCC Consumer Guide:  VoIP and 911 Services

Special Events Channel Policy

ICS 202 FCSE Form

Inform IQ

To access Inform IQ please click here.  You will then use the login you received at the training session to access calls from your department to get the times needed for your reports. 

Tear and Go

Tear and Go was recently implemented and several Fire Departments have purchased the hardware needed to utilize this technology.  The participating Departments currently include the Franklin FD (Station 4), South Mountain FD, Waynesboro FD (Potomac St), West End FD, Blue Ridge Summit FD, Chambersburg FD (both stations), Rescue Hose Co, MMP&W FD, St Thomas FD, Mont Alto EMS, Waynesboro FD (Virginia Ave), Fayetteville FD & EMS, Marion FD, Buchanan Valley FD.  For anyone wishing to participate, the current hardware specifications/recommendations can be found here.

Cell Phones and 9-1-1

In most areas of North America, citizens have basic or enhanced 9-1-1 service from their landline, or wireline, phones in their homes or workplaces. Access to 9-1-1 from cell phones is very different from wired phones and also varies greatly around the country.

Basic 9-1-1

Means that when the three-digit number is dialed, the call is delivered across dedicated circuits to a call taker/dispatcher in a local public safety answering point (PSAP), or 9-1-1 center, who answers the call. The emergency and its location are communicated by voice between the caller and the call taker.

Enhanced 9-1-1 or E9-1-1

In areas serviced by E9-1-1 , the call is selectively routed and the local 9-1-1 center has equipment and database information that allow the call taker to see the caller's phone number and address on a display. This lets them quickly dispatch emergency help, even if the caller is unable to communicate where they are or what is the emergency. 

However, when 9-1-1 calls are made from wireless phones, the call may not be routed to the most appropriate  9-1-1 center, and the call taker doesn't receive the callback phone number or the location of the caller. This presents life threatening problems due to lost response time, if callers are unable to speak or don't know where they are, or if they don't know their wireless phone callback number and the call is dropped.

There are 3 stages that are referred to in implementing Wireless 9-1-1.  The most basic of these, sometimes unofficially called Wireless Phase 0, simply means that when you dial 9-1-1 from your cell phone a call taker at a public safety answering point (PSAP) answers.  The call taker may be at a state highway patrol PSAP, at a city or county PSAP many miles away, or at a local PSAP, depending on how the wireless 9-1-1 call is routed.

Wireless E9-1-1 Phase I

is the first step in providing better emergency response service to wireless 9-1-1 callers.  When Phase I has been implemented, a wireless 9-1-1 call will come into the PSAP with the wireless phone call back number.  This is important in the event the cell phone call is dropped, and may even allow PSAP employees to work with the wireless company to identify the wireless subscriber.  However, Phase I still doesn't help call takers locate emergency victims or callers.

Wireless E9-1-1 Phase II

To locate wireless 9-1-1 callers, Phase II must have been implemented in the area by local 9-1-1 systems and wireless carriers.  Phase II allows call takers to receive both the caller's wireless phone number and their estimated location information. 

Franklin County now accepts Text to 9-1-1 for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.  It is highly encouraged to dial 9-1-1 first, and utilize text as a final option.

Decoders and Pagers

All current station decoders that are located at all fire and E.M.S. stations are property of Franklin County.  Presently, Franklin County will be continuing to dispatch on Low Band (46.160 MHz) as well as the Ultra High Frequency system.

Franklin County will continue to dual-dispatch on Ultra High Frequency and Low Band (46.160 MHz) as equipment allows.  Therefore, the purchase or replacement of pagers and choice of frequency resides with the department or owner, but would suggest a UHF pager.