Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2015 Sneak Peak Product!

Falcon Community Services today announced the introduction of the Companion high speed alarm reporting  accessory for use with virtually all commercial security systems or as an alternative to commercial services with no contract or monthly fees.

The new Companion provides direct reporting to participating public safety agencies, and/or to local user groups in rural areas with notification by VHF or UHF radio and/or through the Internet to send text/email messages to PCs, Smart phones and Tablets. The typical 7 step alarm notification process (Detect-Dial-Alarm Monitor Center-Verify-Dial-Dispatch/911-Radio call to Responder), the Companion completes the notification in one step – Message Transmit to Responder. The result is a reduction in alarm response from an average of 10 minutes or more to less than two minutes.

The Companion will be sold through a nationwide network of local area communications and security dealers. For additional information drop us an email to Companion@FalconCommunityServices.com.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Seminary Police and First Baptist Church Partner for Community Safety

The need for speed.......   

in emergency situations is not just a big city requirement.  Rapid emergency call response is just as important in smaller communities like Seminary, Mississippi which has less than 500 citizens in the middle of the night and up to ten times that many at mid day. Chief Michael Kelly of the Seminary Police Department recognized the need for faster response to protect people, places, and property. The result was what is now known as the SafeCity Program. Chief Kelly has been working closely with Falcon Community Services to develop technology partnerships with local area churches, schools, and merchants to make Seminary, MS one of the safest cities in America to live, work, and play.

The initial emphasis has been focused on school safety, both public and private.  The First Baptist Church saw a need both in their school and for elderly church members who might have an emergency health issue.  A single system, known as the AlarmAlert is capable of performing both functions.  The system can also support fire detection and unauthorized intrusion with reporting both by two-way radio and by text messages to cell phones.  A report by WABM-TV provides additional details (Click here to view video). For more information, contact Falcon Community Services at 205.854.2611..

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

New ActionAlert for schools enhances school safety!

One of the more useful solutions for improving school safety is integrating a low cost wireless call button as a part of a school intercom system. Linear Corporation is a leader in wireless personal protection devices.  These systems are efficient, flexible, and affordable. That is why many schools are interfacing Linear control receivers for access to the classroom PA system.  The principal and front office staff can use a wireless call button, such as the one shown at the right, to alert the entire school at the push of a button. When activated, a distinct tone is sounded in call class rooms to signal the need to go into a lock down condition.

These systems can be easily connected to most school intercom systems at very reasonable cost but they are limited in capability. That's where our new ActionAlert system for schools comes into the picture!  With the same pendant transmitter, a school official can send the lock down code, PLUS sending a voice message to School Resource officers and/or local law enforcement officers PLUS sending a text message to PC's, cell phones, or Tablets at dispatch, adjoining schools, neighboring law enforcement agencies, even members of the local fire department!

You can read more about the new ActionAlert system by clicking here or if you prefer, give us a call at 205.854.2611.  We will be pleased to arrange a demonstration at your convenience.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Message to Fire and EMS AFG 2014 grant applicants. Read this before you file!

To all of those who may think FEMA and the Assistance to Firefighters Grant is one big sugar daddy with lots of money to give away, we have some news for you. Many applicants have completely ignored the standards and guidance pertaining to communications on the assumption that "they" are not going to enforce it, "I know because Billy Bob got away with breaking the rules, so they're not coming after me". Guess again!

The fact is that kindly old Uncle FEMA has a couple of rather significant cousins, notably the Department of Justice (DOJ) who provides oversight of FEMA's activities (and those who receive FEMA funding), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who has responsibility for enforcement and prosecution of violators.  Here's another bit of information.  They have a LONG memory, which can be made even longer through the Subpoena process. And, for what it's worth; charges for fraud, deception, and misappropriation of funds are felonies! This isn't some little civil matter that goes away with the slap of the wrist.  It is the same process that gave Bernie Madoff the opportunity to meet some new kids!  So, what's the point?

The point is simply this - DHS, FEMA, and SAFECOM, along with DOJ, and the FBI agree that rules are rules, and here are the rules, plainly stated in the guidance that every applicant certifies that they have read when making an application for a communications equipment grant involving federal funds. 

(1) All RADIOS will be be capable, when ordered, to operate in the digital mode in accord with current P25 standards, not "compliant", not upgradeable or convertible, or using a similar technical platform such as MotoTRBO, NXDN, Astro 25 or anything else other than P25, PERIOD! Click here for additional information.

(2) All RADIOS must be based on a common interoperable standard that will allow one brand of radio to talk to another brand of radio using a common P25 technical platform, PERIOD!

3) Maintenance of all RADIOS can NOT be used as an evaluation consideration that becomes the basis for selecting a sole source vendor with an exclusive third party service agency, PERIOD!

If the radios you intend to purchase, or HAVE purchased, or the system on which you intend to operate your radios violates one or more of the three considerations above, you could find yourself in a whole lot of trouble!  Could we be wrong in our understanding of the aforementioned standards?  Maybe, maybe not, but we can tell you this.  The Wall Street Journal recently disclosed that the Department of Justice is cracking down on potential abusers of federal grant funded projects such as the Assistance to Firefighters program.  We know of several agencies that are now being audited on applications going back to 2010, and at least one that has been handed over for a federal grand jury investigation.

If you are planning to file for AFG funding for communications equipment, we urge you to make sure that you address and resolve the three major issues above before submitting your application (Due on or before 5:00 PM EST,December 5, 2014. In the meantime, your may want to download and read DOJ Grant Oversight by clicking here.  We think you'll find it interesting.

BTW, if you would like some good suggestions on what DOES meet the guidelines, click here.  Good luck with your application!  Let us know if we can be of assistance in any way.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Which Wireless Headset System Is Best For YOU?

Wireless headsets are increasing in popularity by a variety of users.  Traditionally, fire departments have been the major users of protective headsets, but needs are changing. Many need the ability to connect to 2-way radios.  Other simply want intercom capability and still others require hands free communications capability. After all the smoke (pun intended) has cleared, it appears that the two major contenders for providing wireless hands free headsets are FireCom (Sonetics) and Multi-Voice Radio (MVR).

Some users, such as Industrial Plants, Crane & Heavy Equipment Operators, Football Coaches, and large Wrecker operators have different needs than EMS, Fire and Law Enforcement SWAT team users. Each user group will have special requirements.  The trick is to pick the headset that is right for YOU!

To help you make the right choice, please visit falcondirect.com/MVR for an introduction to the only long range digital system that doesn't require a base station or WiFi connection.  The MVR system can be used as a stand alone wireless intercom and/or as a long range extension for 2-way radios. After reviewing the MVR capabilities, you can learn more about FireCom wireless headsets, and how they compare to MVR by clicking here.

Which wireless headset system is best for you?  That decision is up to you.  Our job is to give you the information required to make the RIGHT decision.  For additional information or a demonstration, just give us a call at 205.854.2611, or drop us an email to ServingU@falcondirect.com.


Monday, November 24, 2014



If you are tired of getting the best price, but not the best value; it's time to switch to the Phoenix speaker-microphone, an American made product tested to perform a minimum of 1,000,000 PTT activations, IP68 waterproof, and MIL-SPEC 810G military specification standards. The price is competitive and it's manufactured in the United States of America! 

Bedford County, Virginia is revamping their present LMR radio system with additional towers, new Harris XG-75 radios and Stone Mountain Phoenix speaker-microphones with the new patent pending CallCheck message store, record, playback and re-transmit feature. Two hundred speaker mic's have been ordered to date, with more orders coming in as outlying districts and departments are exposed to the Phoenix's audio performance, quality, features and rugged design. Click here for a video from Channel 13, WSET-TV in Roanoke, VA announcing the P25 upgrade with Phoenix speaker-microphones!  If you are involved with fire department communications, and planning to apply for 2014 AFG funding, you want to include the Phoenix speaker-microphone with the incredible new CallCheck capability!  Call us at 205.854.2611 for pricing, additional information, or a demonstration. You'll quickly see why others are switching from ordinary speaker-microphones to the Phoenix from Falcon Wireless! (Note: CallCheck feature is available for use with BK, Harris, and Tait P25 radios. Motorola to be available shortly). 

Don't forget, the 2014 AFG funding submission period ends on December 5th, 2014!  If you haven't yet filed an application, there is still time.  For some good ideas, click here

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Good news for perplexed school principals.......

Sometimes, things just don't work as they should!  A good case in point is communicating with school bus drivers from the school office.  Many school systems have 2-way radios installed in their buses as well as radios in the schools.  That's good!  What's not so good is that the only radio in the school that can talk to buses on the road is the office radio. The portables generally won't talk out from inside the building!

The school office radio is generally connected to an outside antenna. This allows the office staff to talk to buses while transporting students to and from their homes.  The problem is that many situations require involvement by the principal or other administrative staff.  In such times, they have to come to the front office to talk to the bus driver. We are frequently asked "why can't I talk from my walkie talkie?" The answer is you need the power of a desktop radio and an outside antenna.  Walkie talkies are great for communicating inside the building or for bus loading, even on trips; but not for talking from inside the building to buses.

The solution is a plug in device which we call the BlueBox SX (Click here for more information).  You just plug it in to the accessory connector of your existing office radio.  We have models available for most popular brands of radios including Motorola, Kenwood, Icom, etc.  The price is just $695 plus the cost of reprogramming administrative radios with a control channel to access the BlueBox ($38 for the first walkie talkie and $8 for each additional radio). With this inexpensive change, any administrative radio can monitor bus communications from anywhere in the school and talk to bus drivers directly from their office!

Speaking of walkie talkies, we've got a new little walkie talkie built especially for school administrators. This isn't a radio built for construction workers, firemen, or road crews.  This radio is built for school administrators!  We are currently offering a fantastic trade in program for your old radio (Click here for details).  As for the BlueBox, we will be delighted to arrange a demonstration. Just give us a call at 205.854.2611 or drop us an email to ServingU@falcondirect.com

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Digital Response Paging, the ultimate public safety dispatch system qualifies for AFG funding!!

In a recent blog posting, we commented on a proposal to use private digital paging as an alternative to the use of analog pagers such as Minitor VI.  Many public safety dispatch systems suffered from degraded coverage as a result of narrow banding. The are three possible solutions - Cellular phones using text messaging (which doesn't meet NFPA 1221 requirements), one-way private paging and the newest technology, known as Response Paging.

Response Paging has a number of benefits for public safety users.  Monroe County, NY (Rochester) was an early adopter of Response Paging (Click here for additional information). Not only does Response Paging resolve coverage issues, it also improves interoperability and incident command while simultaneously reducing the size, weight, and cost of first responder alerting devices. Response Pagers can also provide message retention/recall, private messaging, and greater user convenience.

The infrastructure and user devices qualify for funding under the 2014 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (which closes on December 5, 2014).  Additional benefits of Response Paging include the use of these devices configured for use as emergency call buttons by disabled, elderly, and home alone citizens for Direct Alert notification to EMS responders within 5 seconds or less! These devices can be used in schools, hospitals, municipal and county offices. A similar device can be connected to smoke detectors and other sensors to automatically report fires, unauthorized entry or vandalism as well as in hospitals for patient alarm and Code Blue reporting.  An example of how this all comes together is available by clicking here.

Law enforcement can use the system to provide direct alarm notification from merchant premises to report burglary and holdup.The merchant pays only for the devices.  There are no monthly fees or any telephone (cellular or wired) required). It's still not to late to get an application submitted for funding!  For additional information, please give us a call at 205.854.2611 or drop us an email to ServingU@falcondirect.com.  

Friday, November 14, 2014

Have you seen our new school teacher radio?

Get our new teacher radio for just a little more than the cost of a battery!

And, NO BELT IS REQUIRED! That's because it comes with a free neck strap and it's about half the weight and size of the radios you are probably now using! (Click on picture for better product view).

For a limited time only, we will take your old radio in trade and give your a brand new Teacher Radio for just $89 net exchange! That's only about $20 more than your would normally pay for a factory original replacement battery! All we ask is that your trade-in radio be UHF, in working condition, with all accessories included (i.e. antenna, battery, charger, and clip).

This means your that your new lightweight (4.8 ounce) compact (3.94 x 1.89 x 1.06") radio can easily worn around your neck as shown above.  It's small enough to fit into a shirt pocket or clipped to your lapel.  It's always right where you need it, and you'll never drop it or knock it off your belt.

If you don't have anything to trade, pay just $149, still an OUTSTANDING value. Our teacher radio will last all day (up to nine work hours) before charging is required and a handy desktop charger is included! Complete specifications are available at info4u.us/TC-320.pdf. When you are ready to order, just give us a call at 205.854.2611 or drop us an email to ServingU@falcondirect.com.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Why buy a new battery when you can have a new radio for about the same cost?

CP Battery or CS Radio?

The Motorola CP200 has been one of the best selling radios in the USA for a long, long time!  So long, in fact that it is being discontinued.  Now you are faced with the decision to replace batteries and maintain what you have, or look at something new. We would like to offer a suggestion.......

A factory original replacement battery for the CP200 lists for $79. You can buy cheaper batteries, but you never know that you are getting original Motorola quality and performance. With that thought in mind, consider this.  For a limited time*, you can trade in any working CP200 radio for our new CS Series radio for a net cost difference of just $89 plus shipping.

The CS Radio is smaller and lighter than the CP200, yet it meets the same performance standards (5 watts VHF or 4 watts UHF with 16 channels and scan).  Both radios meet MIL-SPEC 810F but the CP200 is only IP54 rated.  The CS Series has the higher IP65 rating for maximum protection from dust and moisture. The CS Series has built in MDC1200 and 2-tone paging PLUS audible channel announce and TWICE the audio output power of the CP200!  Got some audio accessories like speaker-mics or headsets?  Here's some good news - Your CP200 audio accessories will work with the CS Series radios!

So the bottom line is that you can have a brand new radio with factory warranty for about $20 more than the cost of a replacement battery!  If you have anything to trade, you can purchase the CS Series radio (your choice of VHF or UHF with free programming) for just $149 plus shipping.  Want more information?  Want to try one?  Want references?  Just give us a call at 800.489.2611.  Don't miss out.  Call us today!

* Offer subject to cancellation without notice.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Ever been stuck on an elevator? This message may be just for you!

What's missing here?

Ever been stuck on an elevator?  NOT a good experience! Some elevators have emergency call buttons.  Some don't. Even the ones that have call buttons may have a problem if there is a power failure.  Even if the power is still on, how do your know where the call goes or if anyone is there to answer?

The fact is that in the event of an elevator stoppage, you want help, and you want it in a hurry, regardless of whether the power is on or off, regardless of whether or not your cell phone works or doesn't.  

How do you get the help in a hurry? The answer is an OuterCom wireless radio call box that connects directly to security and/or maintenance personnel on the premises equipped with VHF or UHF 2-way radios. That's a picture of a wireless call box on the right.  

They don't cost much - less than $500, and the installation requires no wiring.  It takes just a few minutes to become fully operational with no AC power required! The OuterCom emergency call box operates for up to one year from just six "D" cell batteries.  It even tells you when it's time to change batteries.OuterCom works with most analog conventional or trunked VHF or UHF radios.  

If you don't have 2-way radios, we can provide low cost portable radios that require no FCC license or we can set them up for use on existing 2-way radio systems.  Is the peace of mind of knowing that you can get help in a hurry and talk to those coming to your aid worth $500?  You'll have to answer that for yourself.  As for most of us, it could be a life saver - well worth the small cost. Additional information and/or a demonstration available on request.  Just give us a call at 800.489.2611 or email mailto:ServingU@falcondirect.com.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Digital pagers a solution to analog pager loss or range caused by narrow banding?

We noted with interest a recent article suggesting the use of digital pagers to provide reliable notification to volunteer firefighters that were have coverage issues with narrow band analog pagers. While we agree that a privately owned digital paging network can meet both operational and compliance (ISO) issues, it is not necessarily the best economic choice.  Alphanumeric paging is a a quarter century old technology and extremely limited in operational capability. Or, saying it another way, it is less than half a solution.  Fortunately, there is a similar solution based on advanced digital paging technology that has 2-way capability along with the ability to monitor and report assault, burglary, fire, robbery, and emergency medical assistance.

The system infrastructure is no more expensive than the examples in the article published by Radio Resource magazine.  The difference is that 2-way digital paging system can actually provide a payback by using a combination of technology and community planning.  For example, digital paging addresses only the ability to notify personnel in times of need.  2-way digital paging allows a person with medical needs, or a person being robbed or assaulted, to use the same device to summon help.  Calls from the 2-way pager can be sent to others with 2-way pagers or cellphones in the immediate area (business, governmental, institutional, or residential) for instant response.  The primary responders can directly summon EMS, Fire, or Law Enforcement at the touch of a button. The use of 2-way digital technology can actually REDUCE the number of emergency medical calls and false alarms by partnering with members of the community; a win-win proposition for all concerned!

A variation of the 2-way digital pager is available for premise monitoring and notification.   These devices can be directly connected to commercial alarm systems to provide direct notification to first responders.  Case in point - rural churches are frequent targets of arsonists, thieves, and vandals; along with fires caused by lightning, electrical malfunctions etc.  Both the personal and the fixed version of the 2-way digital pager can send text messages directly to PCs, cell phones, or other digital 2-way devices.  In a rural area, it is not uncommon to experience delays of up to a half hour when using a commercial alarm service, 911, and available first responders.  With 2-way digital technology, church officials, the local volunteer fire department, merchants, and even neighbors can be alerted within 10 seconds or less!

Better yet, this technology may be eligible for FEMA grant funding under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program which is currently open for submission of applications.  The closing date for submission of grant applications ends on December 5th, 2014. A free Planner is available by clicking here.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A message to Mayors, Fire and Police Chiefs - We can make your city a better place to live, work, and play!

We've got a system.  It's called SparkGap.  It consists of Hives, Hornets, and Harkeners. Together, they work to make your city a better place to live, work, and play.  A few of the benefits are shown above.  There are more! You can learn more about them by clicking here.

We can do some incredible things, like reducing response time from minutes (sometimes hours) to SECONDS!  We can help save lives and property while reducing the cost of providing EMS, Fire, and Police protection. We can free up your public safety personnel to deal with high level priorities while merchant and residential participants partner with you to help improve safety, reduce the cost of government services and insurance costs.  

As the word gets around, your community will become a go to destination for new business and homeowners. That means more revenues and happy voters.  Here's some more good news!  The cost of system can potentially be underwritten by federal funding, private endowments and user cost sharing.  One of the funding sources available is the Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) program.  The application period for 2014 opened on November 3rd and closes on December 5th.  Additional information on this program is available by clicking here or just by calling us at 205.854.2611. Better yet, schedule a meeting with us for our Community Planning Presentation.  Your choice of meeting place - Birmingham, AL or Norcross, GA, and day (including Saturday) between now and the end of November. Your time will be well spent!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

At Last - A security system that gets help in a hurry with no monthly fees or contract!

Our new SiteSentry is designed especially for users in rural areas where response time is slow, by groups of people working together (business, residential, church and volunteer fire departments), by those wanting the fastest possible response time, and those who don't want a continuing monthly charge.

The typical home, church, or business security system requires a phone line (or cell phone service), a long term contract, and a monthly alarm monitoring fee.  Calls must be routed through a commercial alarm monitoring center, then to 911, and finally to law enforcement or fire and rescue as applicable.

The typical response time is ten minutes or more in urban areas.  In rural areas the response time can easily be 45 minutes or more.  Compare that to the typical response time using our new SiteSentry  system which averages two minutes or less! SiteSentry can be in touch with first responders while a conventional security system is still dialing the call to the alarm monitoring center! And, there are no long term contracts, monthly fees, or complicated installation procedures requiring the services of specialized installers. With SiteSentry, you can do everything yourself in just a few minutes. SiteSentry can protect people, property, and places! Want to know more? Click here!

Our November 2014 eNewsletter is now on line with lots of good information for our Business, Church, Fire Department, Industrial, and School readers.  Click here to view!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

2014 Assistance to Firefighters Grant program application period opens on Monday, November 3rd and closes on Friday, December 5th, 2014.

Want some great ideas on using Fire Grant funding to do some great things for your community?

Instead of focusing on equipment, how about considering PROJECTS to really serve your community while addressing some of your really key needs?  For instance, we can help you:

1) Establish interoperability with ANY radio system, 
    and in particular, meeting State Guidelines.

2) Provide a cure for problems caused by narrow banding

3) Provide improved safety for firefighters and citizens

4) Get you in compliance with ISO, NFPA, and OSHA

5) Help you provide faster response times

6) Reduce property loss

7) Provide better incident command capabilities

8) Develop community partnerships for greater efficiency

9) Introduce you to more cost efficient technology

10) Share residual benefits to serve other community needs

To help you with developing your grant application, we have prepared a free AFG Planning Guide.  For your copy, just click
 here! If you have any questions, or if you need assistance just give us a call at 205.854.2611 or drop us an email to ServingU@falcondirect.com

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Looking for a solution to loss of range caused by narrow banding?

A special message for Fire Departments!

Everyone knows there is always more than one way to solve a problem. We also know that the first solution is not always the right solution. That's why we went to some of our customers and asked the question - What is the major negative impact of narrow banding on your radio system?

The two biggest problems reported were (1) loss of portable talk-back range in remote areas, and (2) Missing calls from dispatch on pagers/radios in remote areas.   

We then reviewed some of the available options to solve the problem.  The cost estimates, depending on the proposed solution offered by local area radio dealers and manufacturers, ranged from a high of $69,000 to a low of $22,500 for a department operating four mobile radios and a mix of twenty five pagers and radios.  We came up with a better way, and it qualifies for AFG funding in the 2014 grant application period expected to open within a few weeks.

Our solution for this same application can provide better coverage to an from dispatch plus the ability to push dispatch paging calls to cell phones as an email or text message.  In other words, we have ADDED redundancy to make sure that everyone gets the call, every time! Better yet, there are NO monthly charges.  You pay no more than $6,699 one time to take care of BOTH major narrow band issues (assuming a department with four mobiles and twenty five pager/radios - slightly more for larger departments) PLUS adding a free secondary dispatch message delivery system!

In addition, we have prepared a free AFG grant application planner with some great ideas on improving your communications while simultaneously better serving your community, getting a better ISO rating and improving firefighter safety. A copy is available by written request to ServingU@falcondirect.com.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

School Safety Begins At The Door, But.......

Keeping schools safe begins at the door. No disagreement on that. However, locking the door and providing no access to the public can cause as many problems as it solves. Ideally, access should be provided for staff through the use of a keypad. Timers can be used to automatically open doors during class changes for schools with multiple buildings.  Cameras are very useful for identifying visitors, but there is still the problem of how to deal with unexpected visitors. or even those with appointments.

For example, I recently arrived at a school located about an hour away from Birmingham where I had an appointment.  After walking a quarter mile from the nearest parking place, and up two flights of stairs to the front door, I was greeted by a locked door and a keypad. To be admitted, I had to return to my car, use my cellphone to call the office, and make the trek back to the office - Not very parent, vendor, or visitor friendly!

Low cost wireless call box technology could have eliminated all this without degrading school security.  Click here for a short video on how radio call boxes can provide an efficient and affordable way to communicate with visitors at the door.  As you will note, no wiring or electrical connection is required and calls can be answered from radios you may already be using (If you are not using radios in your school, we need to talk!). Click here to download an interesting article on how a California school system is benefiting from the use of wireless call box technology. If you would like more information, or a demonstration, just give us a call at 800.489.2611 or drop us an email to ServingU@falcondirect.com. On a closing note, Wireless Door Intercoms are also especially well suited for any "locked door" area, including church offices, fire stations, industrial plants, loading docks, truck scales, and water treatment plants, to name just a few!.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Everything you ever thought was right about Firefighter communications is probably WRONG!

There are four essential functions related to firefighter communications.  They are as follows:

1) Getting personnel to the scene - Sometimes known as the dispatching process which involves alerting available personnel and monitoring acknowledgement and updates.

2) Mobile communications between fire apparatus and dispatch,  Noise protective headsets for hearing protection and NFPA/OSHA compliance and litigation avoidance are generally recommended.

3) Incident command communications involving communications between fire officers and firefighters on the scene.

4) Confined space and/or aerial ladder communications generally requiring hands free communications capability.

For years, fire departments have been encouraged to purchase ever increasingly more expensive radios and systems to supposedly serve all, or as many functions as possible, with a single device. In twelve step addiction treatment programs, this is known as stinking thinking.  In more polite circles, it is known as tradition, or following the crowd.  Whatever you want to call it, this combined utility concept is WRONG!  Here's why!

1) Volunteer firefighters don't need, or want, to lug around a one pound, two thousand dollar radio.  What THEY want is something light, with message retention, that doesn't cost too much if they lose or damage it.  What dispatch and incident commanders want is immediate reporting that the call has been received and some idea as to how many people will be making the run.  That little blue thing in the upper left hand corner (it's called a Hornet) can do this at a cost of under $400 each AND it's ISO approved!.

2) Firefighters enroute to the scene in vehicles using sirens need hearing protection.  Most assume that expensive headset intercom systems (either wired or wireless) are required. This is not true.  Hearing protection with intercom and radio integration does NOT have to be expensive. The mobile radio used in vehicles needs to be compatible with other systems used in the area, including P25 for SAFECOM approved interoperability. Better yet, we have a simple and affordable device that gives on-scene incident commanders the full power of a mobile from their portable for about half the cost of a vehicular repeater AND, we can operate in band (VHF-VHF) or cross band (VHF-800 MHz) We call it a BlueBox.  You'll call it incredible!

3) All firefighters who are members of a fire department do NOT need permanently assigned radios for on-scene use.  What they DO need is the ability to pick up a fully charged operational radio at the station (or assigned on scene) for those who make the run.  We have some of the most rugged and affordable portable radios available anywhere for less than $400 each with your choice of analog, digital, or both!

4) All kinds of "fixes" are offered for confined space and aerial ladder communications. None of them meet the exacting requirements for fire and rescue activities.  We've got one that DOES with full duplex, hands free operation, long range, and digital audio quality in a wide choice of headsets for a variety of applications for less than the cost of traditional solutions! It's called a Multi-Voice-Radio. There's nothing else quite like it!

The 2014 AFG grant application period should be opening within the next 30 days.  We would welcome the opportunity to work with you in defining a system that works for you. Demonstration system will be available in Birmingham, Alabama, Jackson, MS, and Norcross, Georgia. There is no charge for attending an orientation session at either location. Just let us know the date and time you would like to visit.  We'll have the coffee on!  We are also available for either day or evening meetings attended by multiple departments.  Just let us know where and when you would like to get together.  We'll be there! You can call us at 800.489.2611 or by email to ServingU@falcondirect.com

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Siemens Energy chooses Falcon Wireless for improved plant safety

Siemens Energy is all about employee safety. That's why Todd Irgens, Employee Health and Safety Manager teamed up with Daryl Montgomery, Facilities Manger of the Richland, Mississippi plant to come up with a simple, efficient, and affordable way to allow production workers to quickly get assistance when needed.

After reviewing the requirements of OSHAS 18001 (Click here for more information), it was determined that electronic wireless call boxes could be located through the plant production area to allow employees to summon assistance at the press of a button.  Falcon  Wireless offered such a product, but Siemens wanted special features that were not available in the standard production models.  So, we custom built it!  It's called an Emergency Alert Station (EAS).   

We produced a prototype in 30 days and shipped the first twenty units within 30 more days. We only had one glitch. The units were personally delivered in lightly packed boxes.  Two layers of units were placed in two large boxes.  It never crossed our mind that the call buttons might be accidentally depressed by the weight and motion of the top units.  Suffice it to say that accidental activation was more than a possibility.  There was also some concern as to whether the EAS units would cover the entire plant. This proved not to be a valid issue.

As I approached the plant, over ten miles away, calls started coming through on the plant 2-way radios  - Assistance needed in reception area.  This calls continued until I pulled up in the parking lot.  Todd and Daryl were waiting for me.  They even unloaded the units (I guess to keep me from compounding the error).  All ended well.  The EAS units were capable of covering the entire plant area and a WHOLE lot more!.  

BTW, we can help with other issues that may be important to you, such as proper FCC licensing for 2-way radios, OSHA requirements for mass notification, hearing protection, and much, much more.  We also have some useful tips on how to select the best 2-way radios with the lowest total cost and the least downtime.  Additional information is available at iinfo4u.us/Plant-Safety-Products.pdf

If you are involved in manufacturing activities, subject to the requirements of OSHAS 18001, you might want to take a look our Emergency Alert Stations for your plant.  We'll be glad to provide additional information and a demonstration.  Just give us a call at 800.489.2611

Sunday, October 12, 2014

In The News - Making Schools Safer!

The word is getting around!  Falcon Community Services is leading the way in making schools safer all over Alabama!  Not only schools, courthouses, and business, but neighborhoods as well.  Most recently, the Oxford, Alabama school system made the news with our ActionAlert technology!

If you would like to know what the buzz is all about, click here for a copy of a video story by ABC 33/40 on the system we designed for the DeArmanville Elementary School. And that's just part of the story! Wait till you see some of the other new products and services we are offering to make our educational institutions the safest in the world!  More information is available at Info4u.us/scprogram or by just giving us a call at 800.489.2611.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Little Radio That Could.......

Remember the children's book, The Little Engine That Could? It was one of those stories of overcoming apparently impossible obstacles and winning against all odds. Now we have The Little Radio That Could.  It's called the PD362!

We got a call from a school principal the other day. His school  uses radios for bus loading, general administration, security, housekeeping, and maintenance. They had several problems. The current radios had dead spots (multi-building campus), the ladies (and the men too although they would not admit it) hated the current radios.  They were bulky with antennas designed to stick the user in the ribs. The batteries required frequent replacement, and the range had never been the same since narrow banding. But the BIGGEST problem was too much talking on a single channel!

Then we told them about the Little Radio That Could, the PD362, that could talk to the buses in the analog mode and PRIVATELY in the digital mode.  Not only could user groups talk privately, but all together when needed.  The lost range was recovered, the dead spots went away, the battery life was extended, and they had both voice and silent short text messaging capability.  Short text messaging gave administration personnel the ability to be notified and respond while in meetings.  And, the little radio really IS little, weighing in at less than six ounces with no stick in the ribs antenna! The Little Radio really COULD solve all their problems and it costs no more than their old analog radios.  Want to know more? Drop us an email to ServingU@falcondirect.com or give us a call at 800.489.2611. You'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Gadsden Alabama - Home of High Tech, Low Cost Court Administration!

You may have to squint a bit to see it, but in the upper left hand corner, there is a PA speaker.  It is mounted just below the roof line of Gadsden Alabama Municipal Court building.  What makes this of interest is there may be  others with similar needs.

Gadsden had a problem.  On Court days, the number of persons awaiting trial was greater than the space available in the waiting area.  Falcon Wireless proposed a solution - the LoudMouth wireless public address system, radio controlled by court security personnel with one speaker set at reduced volume for use inside the court waiting area and another set for volume sufficient to be heard outside.

A single speaker, mounted just outside the door provides sufficient volume to allow defendants to sit in the comfort of their vehicles anywhere in the parking lot. Now, THAT is consideration for the public - cost effective and convenient too! The whole system including the wireless PA amplifier with internal radio receiver and a license free portable radio was purchased for less than a thousand dollars.  Do YOU have a similar need?  If so, just give us a call at 800.489.2611.  In the meantime, additional information is available by clicking here!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Falcon Wireless Announces AlarmPlus!

Most banks, credit unions, convenience stores, pharmacies, and other locations at high risk of robbery and burglary are "protected" by a commercial alarm service.  The fact is that they are NOT adequately protected. The reason being that the average armed robbery is completed in a little under three minutes.  Burglary takes a little longer, typically around four minutes,  The problem is that the average response time for city crime is ten minutes and MUCH longer in rural areas!

Adding an AlarmPlus can often reduce response times to two minutes or less for a one time cost of as little as $445. That's typically less than the deductible for the average commercial insurance policy. You still get to keep your commercial alarm service for your security blanket. All the features still work the same way. All the sensors and personal call buttons work as they always did. Your calls will still be dialed into an alarm center that will answer, verify, and notify 911 who will then dispatch the call to you local law enforcement agency. The difference is that your participating law enforcement agency can be notified in less than 10 seconds by AlarmPlus!

Your alarm service contractor can connect AlarmPlus in just a few minutes and you will be in business.  There are no monthly fees and no contracts.  All that is required is an agreement with your local law enforcement agency and/or other members of your business community.  Don't worry about the details - We take care of everything!  Want to know more?  Click here for a short video that provides an overview of our services along with an appointment scheduler for a demonstration and additional information.  If you prefer, just give us a call at 800.489.2611.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Is Motorola Ineligible to sell products on GSA or paid for with Federal funding?

It appears that Motorola may be ineligible to sell many of their products, including the popular Minitor VI pager, through GSA, or to users making payment with federal funds.  A request for clarification is currently pending at the department level (both GSA and FEMA). It is my understanding that this issue may require involvement by the U.S Attorney General.  How did all this happen?

Without getting too complicated, it is necessary only to understand that GSA Schedule Contracts are subject to the Trade Agreements Act (TAA), meaning all products listed on the GSA Schedule Contract must be manufactured or "substantially transformed” in a "designated country”  In other words those countries that are not participants in the TAA agreement (Click here for a current list as of July 2014) are excluded as GSA suppliers. Notably, this includes China, India and Malaysia.

Now things get a little complicated. The majority of Motorola products, as best we can determine, are manufactured in (you guessed it), China and Malaysia. So this would indicate that these products can not be sold or purchased on GSA contract, but wait - there's more!

If the Federal Government can not purchase products that are not TAA compliant on GSA, it follows that Federal Grant money must follow the same requirements as GSA. What a revoltin' development this is! (Some of you will recall where that statement came from).

So, if Federal Government agencies are prohibited from purchasing non TAA compliant products, then it would appear the grant funds from DHS and agencies within DHS (such as FEMA) cannot allow spending of Federal grant money to purchase non TAA compliant products!  There is no final decision on what action will be taken at this time, but for now, wouldn't it be a good idea to consider products that are TAA Compliant - like Relm Wireless for P25 radios and US Alert for monitor pagers?  We've got them, and at great prices too! For more information, just give us a call at 800.489.2611.

Monday, September 22, 2014

NeighborNet introduced to serve City of Birmingham, Alabama

The City of Birmingham, like cities all over the USA, is in transition. Mayor William Bell, community leaders, concerned citizens, and the corporate community have decided the transition could be a continued deterioration of neighborhoods, or the opportunity to take back and revitalize communities, one at a time; to make Birmingham a better place to live, work and play. 

The first phase of the initiative began in the Woodlawn community with the establishment of the Community Policing and Revitalization (C.P.R.) Initiative over five years ago. Much progress has been made, but there is still much work to be done.  After initial discussions with Mayor Bell and C.P.R. Executive Director, Renita Higgins, it was concluded that a new program, called NeighborNet, could be of significant benefit in meeting a common goal of putting the Magic back in Birmingham. 

At Falcon Community Services, we have been simultaneously in the process of developing wireless technology for improved community safety and disaster response over the past five years.  Today, we offer three different systems beginning with HelpAlert which is ideally suited for small communities like Piedmont and Weaver, Alabama. ActionAlert was developed to address the need for improved classroom safety beginning with a pilot project at the DeArmanville School in Oxford, Alabama and the Lamar County Courthouse in Vernon, Alabama. More information is available at FalconCommunityServices.com

NeighborNet represents the combined experience of dealing with large municipal and county emergency communications in the City of Rochester and Monroe County NY as well the the specialized needs of hospital communications for Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, MD. The technology used to address these unique requirements is now configured into a system capable of providing a variety of functions including help for home alone people, merchants at risk of armed robbery and burglary,  reduction of vandalism and fires of unattended premises, classroom safety and much, much more.

We welcome the opportunity of working together with the citizens of Woodlawn, the corporate community, the administrators of the C.P.R. Initiative, and all those involved in making the City of Birmingham one of the best places in the USA to live, work, and play.

Burch Falkner, CEO Falcon Community Services
Suzanne Falkner, CFO A2Z Communications, Inc.
Working together to serve those who serve others!