Motorola… Really more of a brand name than a piece of tool or equipment. In much the same way as Kleenex has come to indicate a piece of tissue paper used to blow or wipe ones nose, or the way a coke or cola can mean any dark colored soda, Motorola has become synonymous with the radios and mobile communications devices used within the fire-service.
The very first “Miniter Pager” was developed and released by Motorola in the 1970’s to answer the need for a more efficient way to alert members of a volunteer fire department.
In the days before electricity members were alerted through the ringing of a bell housed either at the fire station or local church. As electricity became available whistles or fire sirens were installed. Another way of “alerting” members of a volunteer fire department was through the use of specialized phones, base radios, and scanners.
The pager has allowed for more freedom of movement for members of volunteer fire departments, allowing them to go about their daily lives and yet still be reachable in case of an emergency.
Motorola is also a big provider of the 2-way radios used within the fire service allowing for quick and easy communications members of a fire crew. Can you imagine the days before 2-way radios? How far communication could reach was limited by how far a person’s voice would carry. To go further, whatever was being communicated would have to be relayed. Remember playing that game of telephone where one person starts a message and the next person repeats it and so on – a lot ended up being lost in the translation by the time it got back to the original person (not an optimum situation when performing a rescue or fighting fires. 2 way radio allowed for a more direct form of communication, decreasing the need for relaying of information (though it does still become necessary, which gets into the need for clear concise communication – that I won’t get into here).
Join me on an A to Z Journey of firefighting tools throughout the month of April. I appreciate feedback. Please keep in mind that I am not (nor do I pretend to be) a firefighter or a member, either volunteer or paid, of the fire service. My purpose here is to pass on knowledge that I find in hopes to both bring awareness to the fire-service and to help those in the profession do their job safer and better.