Saturday, February 20, 2021

Is it time for Radio to give up codes?

To date myself, I remember a time when 9-1-1 was NOT universal and payphones could be found every couple of blocks. In fact, one could receive calls at a pay phone! Every agency I have worked for, except ONE, was using paper logs and converted to a computerized dispatch system (four agency conversations). 

All law enforcement departments use codes of some sort. It may be for patrol duties, warrants, or special circumstances but there are some. Others may have codes for unique situations. EMS and fire went to plain talk long ago. They discovered codes can be mistaken. There are no issues with the spoken words (well, not as many).

Belonging to an online Dispatcher group,  one person asked about one particular code:10-7. This has a dual meaning for the agency in question. Out of service OR dead body. Hold the phone! If it's used, which one? That is confusing and hence the problem with dual meanings. Pick one and make a code for the other. This is also an excellent argument for plain talk and cell phones (call in the dead body) and say busy or not available over the radio.

Let's be real: codes were developed for two reasons in the 1920's. The first was to reduce precious time on the new resource. The second was to confuse anyone listening in, especially once the public found a way to listen in. The second reason became useless once Radio Shack started publishing their radio frequency guide with various codes listed. The internet made it stupid with lists of local codes.

Give up the codes!

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Shopping local verses chain stores this season - why?

 

Small businesses are dying. If we don’t help out this Christmas season, only “big-box” stores and internet giants will be left. I don’t know about most folks, but I like shopping at independent stores. I like the “mom & pop” stores. It is fun to see things I can’t find in chain stores.

If we do not act, we will be left with Wal-Mart, Home Dept, Lowes, and other corporate chains, along with Amazon as our only choices. The options have already diminished. Mid-Town, downtown, and other “Main-Street” USA areas will become ghost towns of empty buildings and vacant strip malls.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Shop local and keep small businesses afloat

We are looking at the death of the "Mom & Pop" business if folks do not purchase from the small merchants this season. Let's face it folks, Big box stores and internet sellers started the downfall of specialty and local stores, and COvid-19 hasn't help. 

In our case, we were doing okay at the beginning of the year. Sales started improving to the point we expanded and were hopeful at an even bigger expansion by the end of the year. Then the crud showed up and BAM! Shut-down for two months. Limited opening and a slow start now. Folks have been terrified by the media. Don't go out - you might die from Covid! Stores continue to get threatened by the government if folks don't follow "the rules". Forget that there aren't any actual LAWS in place. Sadly, every week there seems to be another building with a "Gone out of business" sign on the window.

If local shops are to survive, and you want a choice other than Wal-Mart or Amazon, please make some of your purchases at your local stores this holiday season. You will help the economy, keep the sales taxes in your city, and prevent a small business owner from closing their doors - and laying off employees.

We all win. Thank you.

Merry Christmas!


Friday, November 27, 2020

Old-Timers, Dispatchers, and Death after Retirement

 

Remember the first day in the Communications Center as a probationary Dispatcher? There may have been (depending on the staffing levels) a mix of ages but guaranteed, there was at least one or two “old salts” on the staffing list. Perhaps he/she was friendly but most likely the veteran Dispatcher(s) were aloof.

Why, you probably asked yourself, is that person so gruff or mean? Why can’t he/she have more patience? Why does he/she seem so critical or the new rookies? I bet you even promised yourself you would never get like that.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Halloween and Ghostbusters fiasco

 We love Halloween. This week the costume and gadget supply stores opened up. For legal reason, I won't give the name, but it has a HUGE orange banner. We have been to both of them in town already.