A conflict is brewing between the Oneida County Department of Emergency Services and a handful of local fire chiefs who do not want to give up their 3-digit identification numbers.
The county 9-1-1 Center is planning to switch from number identifications to plain language in order to better serve an impending upgrade to a digital radio system. But the local chiefs say they do not want to give up their 3-digits because of tradition and other technical concerns.
“There’s a lot of history that goes with the identification,” said Western Fire Chief Michael Anania, who has been ‘650’ for more than 20 years. Anania said he has no plans to change that identification, and he is also worried about what will happen if every chief in the county suddenly becomes “car one.”
“If you go to a fire scene, when somebody talks on the radio, the majority of the time the first part of the transmission gets cut off. So if we have six ‘car ones’ there, they’re all the same identify. But if you have six different chief numbers there, they’re individuals. It’s less confusing at a fire scene.”