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Burnsville Fire's 25-Year-Old Alerting System Get an Upgrade  
Burnsville has a full-time fire department, which means firefighters are on shift for 24 hours at a time. Each firefighter has sleeping quarters and is expected to get sufficient rest to respond to each call.

However, Assistant Fire Chief Terry Ritchie explains the challenge of their existing station alerting system as, “…waking up to bright fluorescent lights and loud alert tones. It is brutal and is very startling. Your heart rate goes up and it takes a little bit to gather your thoughts.”

A New System
Burnsville’s old station alerting system was more than 25 years old, and in need of replacement. In 2014, Ritchie led the charge to research new technology to provide a better system to get firefighters and paramedics awake and to an emergency scene in the least amount of time possible. With the help of a $100,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) and $20,000 from the Burnsville Lions Club, a new system was attainable.

Burnsville chose the Phoenix G2 Fire Station Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) Alerting System, made by US Digital Design. The system consists of a speaker with red LED lights that come on gradually with ramped-up tones that increase in volume as the alert
continues.

“It creates a quick, but more gradual waking process. It’s easier on the eyes and on your mental state,” explains Ritchie. “It allows you to move more quickly and function better because you don’t have to go through the calming-down process after being awoken abruptly.”

Thanks to the grant funding and donations, the Burnsville Fire Department was able to install one alert zone in each station’s sleeping quarters, as well as in other locations throughout both Stations No. 1 and No. 2.

Burnsville’s new system was installed in 2016; around the same time that the Dakota County Communications Center completed an update of their alerting system. The two new systems provide additional features such as LED screens that show the address and type of call accompanied by a computer-generated voice. Stations receive information in less than a minute after it is entered by a dispatcher.

We Are the Burnsville Fire Department
The Burnsville Fire Department, which also serves as the City's ambulance and emergency medical services provider, protects a community of just over 60,000 residents.

"Everything we are, everything we do, we do for you. Our family protecting yours." 


Take Action in Your Community

You never know when an emergency will arise. Your actions could save a life! Although the Burnsville Fire Department is just a phone call away, it's always a good idea to be prepared and know what to do in an emergency. Take a CPR class, learn first aid, enroll in a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course, join the Mobile Volunteer Network and find additional ways to take action in your community. Whose life could you save?


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BJ Jungmann
BJ Jungmann,
Fire Chief

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