Wednesday, November 30, 2005
COMPUTER BITS, BYTES AND A HERO
Feature Blag-hatorial at the bottom. Be advised, your mouse's back button has been disabled for this Blah-g.
I’m glad to see Staley’s was out at Manor Police yesterday but Staley’s really doesn’t have a grasp on what the problem is.
So as far as this Blah-ger is concerned the trip to Manor was wasted. IMO the Staley Tech's definately need to go to electronics School, I understand ITT, UBS, SOB all have openings. (painted metal donuts for insulating washers, wires cut too short causing fires, battery supply leads run under the battery and around sharp metal... get real guys, no wonder half the mobile radios don't work and fires have been reported to this Blah-ger !)
Bill Fleming and the Motorola Tech were gabbing about that kind of stuff on the all mighty Super Secure Talk Group 1 afterwards …
I am going through a bunch of audio clips and some from May and before are going to have to be erased, I just have too damn many to go through. Is there anyone reading this that might also have an Audio Editing Program ? Want to help out the Blah-ger ?
What I basically do is record everything and then edit, but I’m not 911 and don't have the resources. 911 employees need not apply for this department opening. The position pays twice as much as mine... $ 0.00 x 2 = $ 0.00.
I’m more like 455.5 than 911 ! (or 1,822 – haven’t figured out which yet) Besides I do not have their budget. In fact I don’t have a budget.
By the way, have you figured out by now that I do not have any control over your mouse's back button yet ? I just wanted to show you that just because someone tells you something it may NOT be true.
You have to find out these things for yourself. Shame on you if you didn't even see if I locked it out. ALWAYS question, too much BS flying around... but not from your humble Blah-ger.
Just like the 800 Mhz VS Westmoreland County Terrain problem. Now those two DO NOT WORK… and that is NOT A LIE.
These 800 Mhz signals do not go over hills, pass through trees, get out of buildings or do any of the other things 150 Mhz signals are able to do in most cases. Regardless of what Rich and Mark have told you from WC911, and as I have pointed out numerous times, this 800 Mhz System FAILS each and every day due to DEAD SPOTS, an issue that is so serious I had to stick something in here again about it, just as I do most every Blah-g.
Ok, back to Audio Editing and Recording, sorry.
Then I just let the audio play and Cut out the important parts like “I can’t hear you 911” and “The system isn’t working today, go back to the old frequency so I can hear you”. Then I post them on my website for you to hear too.
Other items I post on my website are Clips of Cops and Firemen Joking around. They DO have a sense of humus you know. The program I purchased is called FilterOut800MhzCrap and it cost $14 Million but another program that is out there is called RipEditBurn and is extremely good.
That also brings out another service that the Blah-ger provides for FREE to Fire, EMS, and Police. Because I record just about everything, if you ever need AUDIO from an incident that you were on CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY after the incident and I’ll save the audio for you. Hey, no cost or charge. You provide the CD for me to burn and I’ll provide the audio.
I have gigabytes of Audio on the California server so more clips will be posted on my website for you to listen to on a semi-regular basis.
I get a lot of nice FEEDBACK from the Police, EMS and Firemen on those Audio Clips but you know I don’t think I’ve ever received a comment from someone who is just a plain CITIZEN of these United Fairgrounds of Orelands (UFO-you - the general public - Westmoreland Co.).
If you are not a cop, medic or fireman PLEASE give me your FEEDBACK on the Audio Clips that I have posted on my Website: Short Cut URL is:
There is all kinds of clips on there. From Firemen unable to hear each other to Police on a Foot Chase and unable to hear each other. Sometimes you will hear Medics that can't hear each other too. A Variety !
Lots of laughs too but that’s not what this is about.
Those AUDIO CLIPS PROVE HOW BAD THIS SYSTEM IS !
They also prove that WE have the GREATEST First Responders Anywhere, to be able to fight fires and catch criminals with the use of this MICKEY MOUSE RADIO SYSTEM.
I had some interesting responses to my last Blah-g about Radio Identification or Radio ID.
When these new radios transmit (or even when you turn them on and off) they send out a DIGITAL SIGNAL that tells 911 and the other users of this system Who you are.
So if you are, for example Ligonier Twp. Police Car 4-75… your Radio ID would be 21818. When 911 sees 21818 it knows that Ligonier Twp. PD Car 4-75 has made a transmission or turned on or off their radio. That is one of the nice features of this system WHEN and IF it works. 911 can tell which radios are on and off... isn't that a mutated version of Big Brother ?
The 21818 is translated into TEXT so it is easy for those that have this feature to know who is talking.
I stated that 911 has trouble telling who is transmitting, even with this ID system turned on. That also goes for users of the system that have the more expensive radios with the digital readout displays. What did 14 Million Dollars BUY US ?
Oh, I keep forgetting that all the 911 managers are driving NEW TRUCKS !!!
I'll bet Tina didn't have the County buy her a car ! She has the nice red one featured on the last Blah-g !
Is there a lesson here for Rich, Mark and Dan ?
Hmmm, My VOTE goes to Tina for 911 Director ! If not director then SHE can have Bob's job, Dan already has a title !
Continuing... in the old days if someone wanted to “bug” or annoy 911 they could push and hold down their transmit button. That would cause interference on a certain frequency and “bug” 911 and the other users of the system.
HOWEVER with this system they CAN NOT do that. At least for long ! When they press their button 911 knows immediately who it is, even if they don’t say anything and even if it's just for a milli-second ! WoW, huh ?
Another nice feature WHEN and IF it works.
So interference of that nature does NOT exist anymore which is great for the first responders. Plus 911 can also SHUT DOWN any radio that is being abused. Remember this system is “COMPUTER CONTROLLED” or should I say operator controlled because someone has to tell the software what to do, then it is computer controlled.
Speaking of SOFTWARE and HARDWARE…
Software can act very strange at times. When it comes to being used with PUBLIC SERVICE EMERGENCY RADIO SYSTEMS IT CAN BE A KILLER !
Just about every aspect of this system can be controlled by the software. For example with your home computer, the F1 key will almost always get you HELP for whatever program you are using. But if something happens while you are using the computer program the F1 key can become corrupt and not function at all. Just because of a lightning storm or power surge… the program will start to act differently.
The program that 911 is using is not all that different and is not fail safe. Each computer is on a backup system and surges are not suppose to happen, but anything electronic is prone to failure. Just ask a true electronics engineer or a six year old with a new V-Tech Speak and Spell remote computer radio programing kit...
If just one BIT or BYTE of the computer program is changed while it’s running ALL the radios could be disabled, or a tower site could shut down… the entire console could “lock up”, making it impossible for the dispatcher to talk or tone out a fire station (this has happened several times).
It can be corrected with a system reboot, just like your computer at home but that takes time.
Another scary thought is that a computer program itself does nothing without the computer ! So LISTEN UP, the computer consists of transistors, diodes, integrated circuits or IC’s, capacitors, resistors, connectors, fans, wired and wireless ports, wire traces on the mother board, and other miniature electronic components plus the monitors and keyboards, radio interface boards and controllers, mice... so what's the chances of a lightning strike at 911 again... YOU ROLL THE DICE !
You have NO IDEA what I’ve seen in my 35 years of Radio Maintenance !
I have even seen Pepsi that had dripped inside a radio, just a drop now that happened to land in-between two electronic components. That was just enough to cause a problem, like not keying up the radios or causing the display to go dead.
IF ONE .39 cent diode burns up, the whole system could go down. Nice, huh... computer aided dispatch with NO computer, like a car without a engine !
Everyone knows in a Radio Taste Test that Radios prefer COKE 10 to 1 over Pepsi !
OK – This is a SPECIAL Blah-geratorial. Something that I have been putting off since October 15 of this year.
I’m not good at righting articles as my devoted readers will attest. I can only throw the facts out to you, try to make some damn common sense of it, and put it in a way that you can understand.
I’m sure there is a better way to say what I just wrote, but not a journalist I NOT AM.
In the BULLETIN WEEKEND, commonly referred to as the Latrobe Bulletin News Paper the Headlines on October 15-16, 2005 read “Chestnut Ridge fireman honored for daring rescue”. Yes, one of our own made the local FRONT PAGES and I believe a space is worthy of repeating that article here.
Photo by the Blah-ger - Paper by the Latrobe Bulletin
Since I type fast it is easier for me to type this than scan it but CREDIT goes to JORDAN FREI, the Bulletin Staff Writer who wrote the story.
Please forgive me for any mistaks as I have been known to type faster than my brain will proof read, even with on screen spelling check her…
Plus I’ve been up for 51 hours now so anything is possible.
* * *
by JORDAN FREI
Bulletin Staff Writer
As a child, DON PRINKEY was about 4 years old when his grandmother pulled him out of a house fire in Jones Mills. Though nearly 30 percent of his body was burned, Prinkey knew from that night that he was destined to be a fireman.
But he may have never know that some day, as a fireman, he would be able to repay the favor.
Prinkey, now 33 years old and a member of the Chestnut Ridge Community Volunteer Fire Company (Station 110) was honored at the departments 45th annual banquet last week for his actions in the early morning hours of April 27 when he entered a burning home and rescued a Cook Township woman.
Prinkey sat quietly while Chestnut Ridge Chief Ed Chearney read from a plaque that was later handed over with a firm hand shake.
“I’ve never had to enter a burning building, not under those conditions,” Prinkey offered. “We’ve trained for it, but that’s it.”
Westmoreland 911 fielded the call at about 3:45 a.m. A woman, Darcy Dressel, at 1690 Route 381 was trapped on the second floor while smoke filled the first floor. His house about two miles away, Prinkey as assistant chief, reported directly to the scene.
Recalling not being able to see any flames, only smoke, Prinkey said that he didn’t think that it was a serious fire.
“She was yelling from an upstairs window. She said going down the stairs was too dangerous.” Prinkey recalled.
From there, Prinkey said his instincts took over and he acted out of adrenaline. With no other fireman on scene and armed with little more than his handheld two-way radio, Prinkey entered the house through a kitchen door, went through a smoke filled living room and walked upstairs.
Prinkey said he guided Dressel downstairs and outside. Seconds later, Prinkey recalled turning around to find the home engulfed in flames.
When asked for details, Prinkey said that most of the night went so fast, he can’t recall any specifics. For example, Prinkey recalled a family dog following him and Dressel from the home, yet couldn’t remember breed or color, only that the dog was “medium size.”
"It wasn’t until the next day that what happened actually hit me,” Prinkey said. “I could have gotten trapped in that house.”
Chearney, who was out of town when the fire occurred, said he called Prinkey the next day.
“We’re all trained to do it, but there is going to be hesitation too,” Chearney said. “You don’t really know how you’re going to react until you’re faced with making that one decision – should you risk losing two.”
Chearney, who has led the company since 1990, said he didn’t realize who Prinkey was when the young man was sworn in to the department 14 years ago. But as they talked, Chearney quickly remembered.
“I was the driver of the first truck at the fire where Don was hurt as a kid,” Chearney said. “I remember pulling up at the house, seeing it fully engulfed and being glad that the kid made it out alive.”
Two days after the rescue, a state police fire marshall determined that the fire that gutted Dressel’s home was accidental. Prinkey said that both Dressel and her husband Darren, who was at work the night of the fire, have expressed gratitude.
“She thanked me at the scene and she has also sent me a card,” he said. “I stopped by not too long ago to check in with them, "they are living in a camper right now, but they are rebuilding on that same site.”
Photo by Jordan Frei
* * *
After that article, this Blah-ger will end by throwing in his THANKS to Don for his SERVICE to his local community and for SAVING A LIFE.
Not too many people can say that they saved a life, Don !
GOD will BLESS you throughout the rest of your life for such an unselfish deed.
I would also like to thank Trudy, Don’s wife for being a FIREMAN’S WIFE and putting up with all those meetings, drills and countless hours of training that Don (and all the firemen everywhere) has to be at to learn these SKILLS needed when he was saving Darcy Dressel’s life.
Thanks also goes to Chief Ed Chearney for running a great Fire Department and keeping his firemen up to date with all the current training skills !
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