St. Cloud’s New Fire Alert System to be Powered by US Digital Designs

St. Cloud firefighters Kyle Gammell, front, and Tony Lorenz look at a test dispatch on a new screen at the fire station. Under the department’s old system, firefighters had to huddle around a radio to hear an alert. (Photo: Sam Louwagie, slouwagie@stcloudtimes.com)

After a few missed calls, St. Cloud’s fire alert system to be fixed with $360,000 [USDD] upgrade

By David Unze

The St. Cloud Fire Department will spend as much as $360,000 this year [with USDD] to upgrade [their outdated fire alert] system that alerts its stations to emergency calls.

The technology for the current system, which was installed more than 25 years ago, is outdated and parts are no longer available, Fire Chief Bill Mund said. The system has failed to the point where some stations aren’t getting notified about calls and, in one case, all of its stations missed getting word about two medical calls.

“Fortunately, the police and Gold Cross ambulance were also dispatched, and we weren’t needed,” Mund said.

The City Council has approved the expenditure, which will come from the Fire Reserve Account. An updated [fire alert] system could be ready for testing by June, Mund said.

And the new system should help get firefighters to those calls faster because the information from a caller will be relayed automatically and sent through fiber optic Internet and UHF radio, Mund said.

“Departments that have gone with this [fire alert] system have seen a reduction in response times,” Mund said.

The new [fire alert] system also can test itself every 30 seconds.

Read more about the fire alert system in the St. Cloud Times

Update: The link above is outdated. Instead, check out this follow-up from 2015: New alert system modernizes fire department responses

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Want to get in touch? Reach out to our media contact Erik Hanson at (602) 687-1739 or ehanson@usdd.com

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