Erie Fire Communications was established November 4th, 1925 at 1115 Parade Street and known as the SIGNAL STATION. The ‘state of the art’ system was a GAMEWELL fire alarm system which utilized telegraph lines from pull boxes throughout the City of Erie. The alarms would be read and units dispatched over the same telegraph system with readers in each Fire Station. Units from the scene would communicate with the Signal Station using pre-determined codes via the telegraph keys located inside each alarm box. Alarm operators would then dispatch additional fire units if needed.
With the advent of radios, Fire units were dispatched over the air. The name of Signal Station was changed over time to FIRE CONTROL and then eventually Fire Communications in the early 1990’s. Over the years Erie Fire Communications adapted to the changing times using newer technologies to provide services to the citizens of Erie. In 2006 Fire Communications was relocated to a joint Communications Center with Erie Police dispatch at Erie City Hall . In February of 2009 the County of Erie assumed dispatch operations for City of Erie Public Safety Services( Fire and Police) at their newly constructed 911 Center in Summit Township. The 911 Center processed over 6300 Erie Fire calls during 2009. The Communications Coordinator serves as a liaison between the City of Erie and the Erie County Department of Public Safety. Duties at the 911 Center include assisting in training, quality assurance, resolution of dispatch issues, and dispatch procedure standardization. Duties at Erie Fire include NFIRS quality assurance, communication coordination and maintaining the EFD dispatch redundancy system.
The Erie Fire Department operates on 4 high band VHF frequencies. Communications dispatches 6 Engine Companies, 2 Ladder/Tower Companies, and a Water Rescue Unit. 911 Telecommunicators are tasked with the dispatch of Erie Fire Units.