Radio Alerts Sycamore Volunteers
Latest to install a modern system of alerting volunteer members of the fire department is Sycamore, Illinois.
Fire Chief James roster, of the Sycamore Fire Department, sends the details of the recently installed radio alarm system, which was purchased with two per cent insurance money and the sponsoring of ball games, carnivals, etc.
The radio alarm system covers the 21 men on the department and was put into service February 15 of this year. It alerts the men in their homes and, according to Chief Foster, has eliminated the sounding of the department’s large siren. This, in turn, has aided materially in solving the problem of fire truck followers who formerly took off to satisfy their insatiable curiosity when the public signal sounded for a fire or other emergency.
A base station is located at the fire house, with transmitter, etc., operating on 33.86 MC, an exclusive fire department frequency. The department receives 90 per cent of all alarms by telephone. The officer taking the call writes the location of the fire on a blackboard. Then he sounds a warning buzzer in the microphone, after which he announces the location over the alerting radio system.
The alarm goes into all 21 homes of members at the same time. The men at the fire; station then proceed direct to the location of the emergency. En route, they repeat the address over the apparatus radio and this in turn goes into the homes of the firemen.
The chief’s car is also equipped with two-way radio but it is on the sheriff’s frequency.
The total cost of the complete installation was about $3,500. This includes the base station, with 70-foot tower antenna and necessary wiring, the 21 receivers for firemen’s homes, etc.
According to Chief Foster, the system has worked out very satisfactorily. He says it is not unusual to have volunteers at the fire when the apparatus arrives.