The Call For Help (Alerting Personnel)


When the fire department was initially established it consisted of all volunteer personnel. Which means no one resided at the fire station. So a way had to be developed to alert the personnel to a fire.

Initially, the phone company had operators on duty 24 hours a day, the operator would be contacted regarding a fire. They would push a button that would set off a siren, then they would call each firefighter to alert them to a fire.

Around 1950 or 1955, the department hired it’s first dispatcher. The fire calls would go to this individuals house, and he and his wife would alert all the fire personnel. They initially were alerted a device called a Plectron, which is similar to a pager but not very portable. What the individuals had at their homes was receiver the size of a shoe box. It was portable but not very convenient.

In the early 1980's , the Plectron’s were removed from service and everyone received pagers. We still employed our own dispatchers. They worked out of their homes. They received the emergency calls via phone, then would alert the personnel via the paging system.

 Then in 2002 we eliminated our dispatchers and now use the 911 center in Lansing for all of our dispatching.