Pa. firefighters get 'responder reply system'

By Carole Deck
The Intelligencer Journal

TERRE HILL, Pa. — Terre Hill Borough Council gave a thumbs-up on Jan. 12 to a new Emergency Responder Reply System for Terre Hill Fire Company.

Fire Chief Troy Weaver used his laptop computer to demonstrate how the Web-based software application works.

He explained that firefighters available to respond to a fire call can contact him by pressing one button on their cell phone. The information is displayed instantly in real time on Weaver's laptop and can be viewed at any mobile command location.

"It's especially helpful for daytime fire calls and whether we need to request additional help," Weaver said.

Needing to press only one button on a cell phone, he said, means that no one is on the phone while driving.

Weaver said other features, such as instant mass-messaging and scheduling, also will be helpful — not only for fire calls, but also for training and help with fundraising events.

The fully automated Web-based system requires no software or unique hardware. The cost for a one-year subscription is $300 for departments who respond to 100 or fewer incidents, such as Terre Hill, plus 2.8 cents per call and a one-time set up fee of $50.

Jeff Cassel, council president, recommended the service and council agreed to pay for the first-year subscription.

Weaver also gave his fire report for December, saying that 34 firefighters and 12 fire police responded to six calls: one in Terre Hill, four in East Earl Township and one in Earl Township.

Copyright 2010 Lancaster Newspapers, Inc.

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