800 MHz Fire Paging Solution

In March 2016, Michigan’s Public Safety Communications System began offering its 800 MHz fire paging solution. The service is catching on, as many local fire departments are finding it to be a cost-effective way to improve operational efficiency.

The need for this standardized system was brought about in part by the Federal Communications Commission’s narrow band mandate that went into effect January 1, 2013. Considerable coverage was lost in the change to analog narrow band, often requiring dispatch centers to invest precious financial resources in standalone, analog simulcast systems to be used for local paging.

Additionally, some areas have used a patchwork of text paging, cell phone notification, conventional paging and phone trees. These multiple processes and backup protocols often result in multiple points of failure.

When local agencies convert from existing analog paging to the MPSCS digital P25 network, they no longer bear the cost and responsibilities of maintaining a separate paging system. There is a one-time, $1,500 set-up fee per page group. The easy-to-use G4 digital pagers offer numerous advantages including:

  • Clearer audio
  • Improved range and reliability
  • Customizable paging groups and monitoring capability for enhanced interoperability
  • Multi-select calls to multiple agencies and stations to simplify dispatcher process
  • Reduced time to send critical messages
  • Compatible with all existing MPSCS BDA installations

At the start of 2020, the number of pagers in use on MPSCS had grown to over 5,100. Some 270 agencies and 460 fire/EMS stations had gone live with the pagers; 161 agencies and 260 fire/EMS stations were pending.

Continued expansion of the Fire Paging solution is an important element of the MPSCS mission of providing public safety agencies of all disciplines a standards-based, statewide communication system focused on enhanced efficiency and reliability.

For more information about MPSCS G4/G5 digital pagers, contact Al Mellon (517) 284-4072 or Jeff Kelley (517) 284-4071 or e-mail MPSCS-RPU@michigan.gov.