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

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!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Baptist Hospitals link multiple facilities for efficiency and savings!

Multiple hospital ownership in regional geographic areas is a common and growing trend.  The benefits are obvious - More efficiency in times of need and cost savings by reducing redundant services.  In Montgomery, AL, Security Director Suzie McMahon, recognized the need to be in constant contact with officers traveling between hospitals and centralized dispatching.

The three Baptist hospitals in the Montgomery area - East, North, and South were already connected with a broadband network and Hytera digital radios were being used in all three locations.  As it turned out, the Hytera repeaters and portable radios were already capable of a feature called Site Roaming.

In essence, activation of this feature allows all radios on the system to be part of a common dispatch system while simultaneously providing travel between all three hospitals. Contact is retained at all times with the home hospital, enroute between hospitals and while at another facility.

Both the radio system and the broadband network remained operational during the single day required to make the necessary programming changes.  Better yet the total cost was about the same as a single portable radio.  If you would like to know more about Hytera radios and the can do capabilities of a supplier who knows the needs of hospital communications, call Phil Rich or Burch Falkner at 205.854.2611.  In the meantime, if you would like to know more about Hytera affordable digital communications, check out You'll be glad you did!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Big Hospital + small radios = More efficiency, safety, and savings!

Hospitals have very special communications needs.  Personal 2-way radios are used by administrators, clinical technicians, housekeeping, maintenance personnel, nurses, security, patient transport, emergency room and operating room personnel, along with Code Blue teams, anesthesiologists, lab technicians, even doctors (along with some others that we may have overlooked).

Unfortunately, HIPAA requirements, multi-shift operations, battery life, purchase and operating cost, coverage in large multiple buildings, and user reluctance to wearing bulky radios that stab the wearer in ribs, all contribute to the problems facing hospital administrators today. You may find it hard to believe, but a three hundred dollar radios addresses and deals with ALL these issues! It's called the PD362 by Hytera Communications.

Lets, review the problems and solutions solved with the PD362.  Let's start with battery life. There are no batteries that can operate 24/7.  Batteries have to be charged.  Some can be charged in one to three hours.  Others take longer.  Traditionally, batteries are changed at the end of shifts.  This causes a lot of mechanical wear and broken battery retainers.  The better solution is to use different radios for each shift.  That isn't practical for radios costing, six hundred dollars or more.  It makes perfect sense for a three hundred dollar radio which can serve three shifts with just two radios required for 24/7 operation.  Just change radios every 12 hours and you are never out of service with no battery changing!

Older analog radios wouldn't cover the St. Vincent's campus even with repeaters.  With the PD362, there are no dead areas and all communications are encrypted in digital format for HIPAA compliance.  Routine messages can be handled in a text format in complete privacy and the PD362 is SMALLER and LIGHTER than a voice message pager!  Better yet, there is no stick in the ribs antenna - not 7 inches, not 3.5 inches, but just 1.5 inches, and formed to fit the contours of your body! Oh, by the way, did we mention that the PD362 can operate on both digital AND analog frequencies anywhere in the UHF 430-470 MHz band?  It can! Click here for full specifications!

Here's another plus!  Users can be segmented into separate work groups even though they are on the same frequency and two groups can be communicating at the same time on the same channel!  And maintenance cost?  Not a problem!  The PD362 is covered by a three year factory warranty, and we can handle repairs  with next day exchange with our exclusive TimeShare program!  Want to know more?  Give us a call at 800.489.2611 or drop us an email to You're gonna love the PD362!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New NeighborNet System helps make communities safer!

You are looking at the Heart of

It's called a Hornet! The Hornet can call for help, receive calls for help, and manage calls for help.  It is part of an incredible new system called NeighborNet.  The Hornet is for protecting and aiding people.  A companion product called the Harkener is for protecting places and property.  Together, they work within a network system known as the Hive.

The NeighborNet system was developed in cooperation with municipal agencies wishing to make their communities better and safer places to live, work, and play.  Those agencies who choose to work with us are then able to develop working relationships with the educational, governmental, institutional, merchant and neighborhood participants. The objective is to provide better protection for people, places, and property while simultaneously planning for mass emergencies.

The cost for infrastructure averages around eleven dollars per citizen. An example is the Woodlawn community within the City of Birmingham, Alabama with a population of a little more than 11,000 residents residing in an area encompassing over 4,800 square miles.

Once the infrastructure is in place, a variety of services can be offered. For example a personal wireless call button system is available that can cut response time in emergency situations from an average of around 10 minutes with a commercial alarm system to an average of 4 minutes or less with no commercial alarm system required. The cost of the call button is only $300 and there are no monthly fees.

If you are involved in municipal government, we urge you to consider establishing a NeighborNet network in your community. The benefits far outweigh the one time initial cost, and there may be federal grant money available with up to 75% of the cost eligible for funding. Additional information is available at

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

DeArmanville Elementary School now one of the safest in the nation!

The DeArmanville Elementary School is a part of the Oxford, Alabama school system. It is remote, isolated, and covers a multi-building sprawling campus. Police Chief Bill Partridge and Roy Bennett of the Oxford City School System recognized the need for improved school security.

Falcon Community Services was called in to review the situation and propose a simple, effective and affordable means of enhancing safety for staff and students anywhere on the school premises.  Phil Rich, Chief Technical Officer at Falcon Wireless had been working on a new system, not yet named, which has now become known as AlarmAlert.  The purpose of AlarmAlert was, and is, to offer personal wireless calling devices in all activity areas (gym, labs, lunchroom, etc), administrative offices, and classrooms.

The target pricing for AlarmAlert was $3,000 to $4,000 for infrastructure and no more than $100 per classroom for personal emergency call buttons.  Technically, the system had to be capable of directly notifying key personnel on the school campus by 2-way radio as well as outside administrative and law enforcement personnel by sending a text message or email to cell phones and/or PC's. The system goal was to detect an alarm message, identify the user location, and send the message, both by radio and to cell phones and PC's in 10 seconds or less from any one of up to 50 locations.

The final design was completed and staged in Birmingham before delivery to the user. This was done in less than 30 days. Delivery was made on September 15th, with the equipment installed, and user training conducted within a single day. A test button was provided to allow monthly system testing and thirty (30) existing UHF 2-way radios were programmed for compatibility with the system.  Phil was back in the office and ready for his next impossible assignment by mid afternoon.  

Click here for what the local news reports on this new system. If you would like to know more about AlarmAlert, just give us a call at 205.854.2611 or drop us an email to If you prefer, you can visit our web site at

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wrecker Service uses Hands Free Radios to Coordinate Operations

Many of us think of a wrecker service being a guy with a tow truck to rescue stranded drivers and a little night time activity in recovering vehicles for creditors. There is another kind of wrecker service - the ones that handle the big jobs like wrecked eighteen wheeler's, and even an occasional helicopter!

Conway Wrecker Service of Evergreen, AL is one of those that can take care of the big jobs - not just a guy in a tow truck, but two or three people working together as a coordinated team to move heavy equipment safely.  That's where we come into the picture. Terry Conway needed a way to talk to his on scene crews, reliably, securely, in all kinds of weather, and just to add the frosting on the cake - HANDS FREE!

The solution proved to be the MVR radio (Click here for more product information). Originally, these incredible wireless headsets were designed and marketed to the US Military with a secondary emphasis on swat teams and firefighters.  As it turned out, there were other users with even greater needs like football coaches, and most recently - a wedding photographer!  Then along comes Terry who has taught us something about heavy wreckers (Click here for a couple in interesting videos).

As it turns out, the MVR radio is perfect for heavy wrecker operators. The system offers crystal clear, interference free communications anytime, anywhere.  If you have a need for hands free communications that works when needed, give us a call at 800.489.2611.  We'll set up a demonstration and show you what we can do.  You've never seen anything like it!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Want to know more about the SafeCity Program?

How would you like to make your city a better place to live, work, and play?  For additional information, just click on the logo above for a brief one minute video and the opportunity to schedule a meeting to learn more at your convenience.  Give us a click - You'll be glad you did!  Or, if you would like additional information before scheduling a meeting, visit our web site at

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

An Alert and Involved Citizenry - The Key to Crime Control

Regular readers of this Blog may recall our August Attaboy Award to Milwaukee, WI Sheriff David A. Clarke, a promoter of a closer relationship between an armed community and law enforcement. One of the problems pointed out by Sheriff Clarke were the delays associated with alarm reporting and 911 call processing.  Over the Labor Day weekend, I experienced a good example.

Our office has a back parking lot accessible only by a single car width drive between the building and a fence on the neighboring property.  The general public would be mostly unaware that there is a back parking area.  In the past, local teenagers discovered it was a great place to learn to know each other a little better. I put an end to that my making surprise visits, blocked the driveway, draped a 12 gauge pump over my arm and suggested they would do well to find an alternate meeting place.  Since I am getting older, I might confuse them with being a threat to my well being, in such an event, I could be a threat to their well being.  We haven't had any problems for a long time.

We still have an occasional visitor looking for things outside they might steal and would be burglars will sometimes send a scout to determine accessibility.  Generally, these scouts are young females.  This was the case on Monday afternoon. When I saw a car in the back, I blocked the driveway and walked to the front of the building to call 911 since I was not armed at the time. What followed was absolutely unbelievable!

When the 911 operator answered, I told her the reason for my call was to report a possible robbery in process.  For the better part of five minutes, I was subjected to a series of questions (mostly for purposes of administrative protocol and litigation avoidance).  In the meantime, the "visitor" walked out and asked me if was my car that was blocking her in (I was still on the line with the 911 operator while this was going on). The 911 operator hung up - no call back, no officer dispatched - NOTHING!

My visitor was a young black female dressed in medical scrubs.  She told me that she was late for work and needed a place to quickly change clothes. You would believe that wouldn't you? Under the circumstances, I had two choices (a) check out the car for an accomplice (not a real good idea) or (b) let her go.  I chose (b) for reasons of personal safety and the hope that the event would discourage return.  As for 911, they have their place, but NOT in real emergencies involving criminal activity.  That is why we have developed the SafeCity program.  If you would like to know how this program can benefit your community, give us a call at 800.489.2611. Better yet, click here for a short video and instant appointment scheduler.

Monday, September 1, 2014

New Vehicle Range Extender restores coverage lost to narrow banding!

Note the thing on the top of the mobile radio. It's called a BlueBox!  It doesn't have to be on top of the radio.  It can be on the bottom or within several feet as desired. We put it on top to make a couple of points.  Point One is it shows up better in the picture. Point Two is to challenge a long held theory that VHF-To-VHF vehicle repeaters don't work as a result of a technical issue known as Desense.

The BlueBox DOES work as a VHF-To-VHF vehicle repeater, so well in fact that one of our customers reports that a regular VHF portable can talk and receive with the full performance of the associated mobile at distances of up to two miles away through a BlueBox!  In plain language, this means that one BlueBox, mounted in one fire truck, allows users with portable radios to talk to dispatch just as if they were talking on the mobile!  More importantly, they are not limited to a range of a few hundred feet and they can use their existing portable or a brand new one for less than $200!

So, what we are talking about is a single device priced at less than half the cost of the most commonly used vehicle repeater. The BlueBox requires nothing more than adding (or using an existing) channel for control of the associated mobile.  And, we can use this same BlueBox along with a $200 portable to give law enforcement officers the ability to talk through an associated digital trunked radio system such as MotoTRBO or MSWIN!  Want to know more? Check out our fire department web site at  While you're there, check out some of our other great products for public safety.  And, speaking of good news, you may want to check out our current eNewsletter, fresh on the web today. Click here for some some great products and ideas with a focus this month on our fire department users.  If you have a question, just give us a call at 800.489.2611 or email