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Erie County Fire & EMS

Last updated on 08-05-2013.  Below is information for scanning fire and EMS agencies in Erie county, PA, including Erie City FD, county fire departments, EmergyCare ambulance, and more.  Information includes monitoring information and tips, and a frequency list.

ERIE CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT

Erie City Fire Department operates on four frequencies in the VHF-HIGH band.  They are also dispatched by the County 911 Center.  Erie Fire does not operate repeated.  You will be able to hear clearly whenever the dispatcher talks, but the other side of the conversation is easily lost if you aren’t right in or very near the city or do not have a good antenna.  Channel 1 is where dispatches occur, along with operations for “routine traffic” (minor car accidents, trash fires, illegal burning, and, above all, EMS runs.) Channel 2 is the city’s fireground frequency for large incidents, and the fire chief can active a low-power, on-site repeater, but it doesn’t boost reception much if you’re anywhere outside of the city.  Channel 3 can be linked to the county fire low-band frequencies if Erie fire apparatus need to respond to calls outside the city (rarely used), and it can also be used as a secondary fireground channel.  Channel 4 is a backup frequency that I have never heard in use before, but is available if needed for radio traffic.

Erie City Fire Department Frequencies

Freq (MHZ): channel/usage: repeater/simplex (r equals repeater, s equals simplex)

154.430: Erie Fire tac.  1, dispatch/routine ops: s

154.145: Erie Fire tac.  2, fireground: s (low-power onscene repeater capable)

154.235: Erie Fire tac.  3, link to county fire when needed, 2ndary FG: r (when link active)

154.355: Erie Fire tac.  4, investigation/secondary: s

MILLCREEK TOWNSHIP FIRE AND EMS

Millcreek Fire is a fairly interesting set of frequencies to monitor.  The main dispatch frequency is a nice repeater that covers much of northern Erie County.  The departments that are dispatched on these channels include Bell Valley (Station 36), Kearsarge (station 44); West Ridge (Station 46); West Lake (station 48); Lake Shore (station 50), as well as the always-busy Millcreek Paramedic Service (MPS) EMS units.  These channels are actually often busier than the Erie City fire channels.

Millcreek Twp.  Fire and EMS Frequencies

Freq (MHZ): channel/usage: repeater/simplex (r equals repeater, s equals simplex)

453.500: Millcreek fire/Ems dispatch and routine ops: r

453.375: Millcreek fireground east: r

453.95: Millcreek fireground west: r

453.4125: Millcreek fire ESPER ops: r

453.3375: Millcreek fireground/Presque Isle ops: r

453.65: Millcreek fire admin/chiefs: r

ERIE COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENTS

All areas of the county excluding the City of Erie and Millcreek are covered by volunteer fire departments, and these departments operate on a group of frequencies in the 33 MHZ band.  All volunteer fire departments in the county operate here.  That includes departments from Girard to Perry Hi-Way to Albion to Edinboro to Corry to North East.  There are several centers and transmitters covering the county, so you may only receive departments closest to you, depending on your scanner and your antenna.  Dispatching and routine calls on handled on channel 1, and if a major incident arises, the traffic will be moved to one of the other tactical frequencies.

Erie County Fire Departments Frequencies

Freq (MHZ): channel/usage: repeater/simplex (r equals repeater, s equals simplex)

33.98: Countywide fire/EMS dispatch: s

33.96: Countywide fire ;child.  2 friendgrnd: s

33.88: Countywide file ;child.  3 friendgrnd: s

33.94: Countywide fire ;child.  4 friendgrnd: s

ERIE AIRPORT FIRE STATION

The Erie International Airport operates a radio system for CFRIEND operations in case of a disaster at the airport; this system is also used by airport police operations and maintenance.  The primary communications for the system are now conducted on a P25 digital system that cannot be received by an analog scanner.  You need to have a digital scanner to monitor the bulk of airport operations.  Analog equipment has been maintained for backup use.

Erie Tl.  Airport CFRIEND Frequencies

Freq (MHZ): channel/usage: repeater/simplex (r equals repeater, s equals simplex)

154.98: KERI CFRIEND, police, and maint.  ops: r (P25 digital)

ERIE COUNTY EMS OPERATIONS (ambulance-to-hospital, EmergyCare, etc)

One of the busiest EMS agencies in the county is EmergyCare, a paid, paramedic EMS service that is always staffed.  They provide ambulances and EMS ALS/BLS support to the City of Erie and areas to the east (North East and Harbor Creek.) The main operating channel for EmergyCare is the Med.  10 frequency, which operates repeated.  The frequency comes in good across much of the area, however you will start to have interference with Chautauqua County’s EMS dispatch as you head to the east unless you set a PL tone.  The frequency is never quiet for more than a few minutes.  EmergyCare also has a “Tac.  2″ on VHF, which is not repeated and is used for more informal traffic.  This frequency is also the main frequency for the area’s EMS helicopters, known as LifeStar.

You will also hear EMS calls on various other frequencies already discussed.  Erie fire units often respond to EMS calls as “first responders,” so many EMS calls can be heard on their dispatch channel.  Millcreek Twp.  has their own ALS paramedic service known as the Millcreek Paramedic Service (MPS), and transmissions by those units can be heard on the Millcreek Twp.  fire frequencies.  In the more rural areas of the county, the individual fire departments have ambulances that respond to EMS calls in their areas of responsibility.  You can hear those transmissions and dispatches on the low-band Erie County fire channels.

Another good source of EMS traffic in the county  are the other Med.  channels (1 through 9).  When an ambulance from any of the above agencies is en route with a patient to one of the hospitals in the county, they will often radio the patient’s medical information into the hospital several minutes before they arrive, so the hospital is ready for the patient when the ambulance arrives.  A typical transmission includes the age and gender of the patient; what their medical complaint is (why they are going to the hospital); what the paramedics have done for treatment so far; and the vitals and status of the patient.

When an EMS unit in the county wants to speak to a hospital, he will contact Erie County Med.  Com.  on Med.  9 via repeater.  A typical transmission here would be as follows:

“Med.  Com, EmergyCare XXX needs a BLS patch to Hamot Hospital.”

The dispatcher would then respond, “Use Med.  X for your patch.”

The dispatcher can assign a “patch” between a hospital and an incoming unit on any of the other 8 med.  repeated channels (1 through 8).  Once you hear what channel the patch will be on via Med.  9, you then must tune to the appropriate channel (1 through 8) to hear the ambulance-to-hospital traffic.  Any of the 8 channels can be used, but 3, 5 and 8 are the most common.  On a bank scanner, or a scanner with direct channel access via number tagging, I recommend giving the 8 med.  channels easy to remember tags so you can find the right one quickly.  In my radio, Med.  1 is channel 151, and Med.  8 is 158.

After the ambulance is through on his patch, he will then advise the dispatcher on Med.  9 when they are done on their channel.

Another duty of the Med.  9 dispatcher is to put out tones and dispatches for EMS calls.  EmergyCare, who handles most of the ambulance calls in the city of Erie and in surrounding areas, will then take the call and rebroadcast it via their own dispatcher on their channel.

Erie County EMS Frequencies

Freq (mhz): channel/usage: repeater/simplex (r equals repeater, s equals simplex)

463.000: Med.  1 amb to hosp: r

463.025: Med.  2 amb to hosp: r

463.05: Med.  3 amb to hosp: r

463.075: Med.  4 amb to hosp: r

463.100: Med.  5 amb to hosp: r

463.125: Med.  6 amb to hosp: r

463.15: Med.  7 amb to hosp: r

463.175: Med.  8 amb to hosp: r

462.95: Med.  9 County Med.  Com/patch assignments: r

462.975: Med.  10, EmergyCare dispatch and ops: r

155.22: EmergyCare tac.  2, LifeStar helos: s



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