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Thursday October 18, 8:43 am ET
CUMBERLAND, Maine, Oct. 18 2007 -- Finding enough manpower during the day is getting more difficult each year for thousands of fire departments across the country. As communities change, call-responders working further away are less able to drop everything and come to the aid of their community. "What once were working towns are becoming bedroom communities. The brave men and women who volunteer just don't work as near by any more," says Andrew Pollack, founder of Second Signal. Pollack, a Lieutenant in his town of Cumberland, Maine, developed the technology to help bring some of those more distant firefighters back when they're really needed.
"The solution is getting more information to people so they can make that decision to leave work knowing they're not wasting their time," Pollack explains. "When you work 20 miles away you can't just leave work for every false alarm or burnt pot roast. When you call in and hear the first guys on scene saying they've got a working structure fire, you know they need you -- even if you're not the first on scene."
Second Signal automatically notifies members that something is up by sending a text message to their cell phones or pagers. When a member sees that message, they just call a local telephone number and can hear all of the radio traffic from when the call was dispatched, right up to the current moment. The recording skips over the time when the radio is quiet, so a member quickly catches up when they call in.
The system has been in use in Cumberland, Maine for over two years now, and has recently begun expanding to other departments across the country. "I wouldn't dare not have this available to the crews now...," said Cumberland's Chief Daniel Small in a recent interview.
More than 90 percent of U.S. fire departments rely on call-responders for some or all of their firefighters and nearly all are struggling with this manpower problem. Second Signal was designed to be practical and affordable for these departments.
Second Signal is now available with local telephone access throughout most of the United States. For more information, visit their web site at http://www.SecondSignal.com.
President, Second Signal
3 Candlewick Lane
Cumberland, Maine 04021
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