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Areas/Agencies I Monitor

I live near the Pennsylvania and New York state line, near the boundary between Chautauqua and Erie counties.  From this location, and with my setup of scanners and antennas, I can monitor a fairly wide geographic area.

Here is a generalized look at what areas I monitor.  These are the areas for which I have detailed frequency and agency information.  These will also be the areas for which you will receive incident alerts via the Posts section.  Depending on atmospheric conditions and what I am monitoring at the time, I may have information and/or alerts for other areas farther away from my location.

I monitor all public safety frequencies in Erie county, PA.  My scanners and antenna are not particularly good for low band, so I occasionally have trouble with listening to the county fire channels.  I will frequently hear calls for departments dispatched by East County (in the northeast part of the county), as well as occasionally other departments depending on conditions.  I rarely can hear Millcreek fire from my house but listen to it when traveling in that area.  I always monitor Erie city police and fire, which I have good reception on all the time.  I also listen to all municipal police departments in the county, however several (mainly Union City, Edinboro and West county) do not come in here very well.  East County, Millcreek, North East and Corry generally have reliable reception and are always monitored.  All EMS channels in the county are available but not always open.  All DCNR and state park channels are monitored.  Please note that I do not monitor the PA State Police primary communications, as they operate on a trunked system that cannot be monitored by any scanner.  I do keep their VHF channels in the radio just in case, and occasional traffic is monitored on them.

I also listen to the main ham radio frequencies in the county.  I may listen to some utilities or public works channels, such as streets departments, waste management agencies, etc., but I often leave out these channels to keep my main focus on public safety.  All Erie Intl.  Airport channels are scanned but often do not come in from my location and are also often not open.

I also monitor all public safety frequencies in Chautauqua County, NY, the other closest county to me.  These channels include reception that is almost always reliable on the county sheriff/police channel and the two operating channels for county fire dispatch and operations.  All EMS channels are available but often not monitored.  I monitor Dunkirk police reliably.  Jamestown police and fire and Dunkirk fire are also scanned but often do not come in very well.  NY State Police units in the county are also monitored reliably.  Forest frequencies are scanned, as are channels for the Chautauqua County airport, but the air freqs are often not open.  Ham radio for the county is scanned, as are the thruway operations in the county.

While these two counties are mainly all I monitor, I have some other fringe areas programmed, mainly to the east.  Cattaraugus County fire is usually scanned and will come in quite often, but municipal freqs and police freqs are not monitored.

In Erie County, NY, many of the most active frequencies are received and available for scanning, but not open.  That includes the three main Buffalo Police channels, which often come in particularly at night; the Erie County Sheriff, on which reception varies; and some other suburban police departments, such as Cheektowaga, Amherst, East Aurora, West Seneca, etc., but these often do not come in.  Many of the most active fire controls are scanned, including Buffalo, Cheektowaga, East Aurora, Amherst, Orchard Park, Hamburg, Angola, Tonawanda, and West Seneca; reception varies here but often is limited to nighttime.

In Niagara County, I have the sheriff frequency and several of the countywide fire frequencies available but often not open.  Reception varies but is often limited.

Many of the fringe areas to the east (Cattaraugus, Erie NY, and Niagara counties) are not monitored at many times because they tie up my radios with staticky transmissions.  My focus is on Chautauqua and Erie counties.  Do not expect incident alerts or frequency/agency pages to be complete for the aforementioned fringe areas.  There are lots of sites on the web that will provide you with accurate information for these more urban areas.

I also monitor several frequencies that are areawide.  I listen to Cleveland ARTCC civilian air traffic for much of the area reliably when things get quiet on the public safety bands.  I am also working to improve my knowledge of military air communications but so far have limited frequency information and monitoring knowledge on the subject.  I also monitor the entire marine spectrum for Lake Erie at all times, with both US and Canadian Coast Guard traffic frequently received reliably.  That includes Station Erie, Sector Buffalo, and sometimes Sector Detroit, and Sarnia and Prescott Coast Guard stations in Canada.  Channels 1 through 28 and 63 through 88 are always scanned.

All these frequencies are spread out between my two Uniden scanners, which I listen to simultaneously at most times.  Both scanners are usually not scanning the same things; I typically have one on fire, EMS, aircraft and marine in one scanner, because these transmissions are usually brief and easy to miss; the other scanner monitors police traffic for the area.  A ham radio or two is often thrown in the mix, and I will occasionally run live scanner feeds online if a certain area of interest is not being received well over-the-air.  Using my great auditory abilities, I can pick through all the sounds coming from my radios and figure out what is important and what is not.  It’s an acquired skill; the more you listen to the more radios you have, the better you’ll become!

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