The MACH Alert Fire Station and Alerting and Automation (FSAA) system is a distributed system that consists of integrated dispatch hardware, Station Controllers, and the MACH Alert software suite. MACH Alert puts dispatchers in complete control of the alerting process. Dispatchers may monitor the system from the MACH Alert graphical user interface, update system settings, and issue alerts to first responders—manually via the alerting interface or automatically through optional integration with their computer aided dispatch (CAD) system. MACH Alert is designed in compliance with the NFPA 1221 and 1710 standards for fire station alerting systems.
MACH Alert is designed to operate over two data communications paths for superior reliability. Dual links ensure that alerts reach their destination as quickly as possible, even if one link is completely offline. MACH Alert supports most analog data radio networks, digital Project 25 radio networks, wired or wireless internet protocol (IP) networks, and virtual private networks (VPN). MACH Alert is also designed to comply with the Information Assurance (IA) policies of multiple federal agencies.
The MACH Alert server is a dedicated enterprise-grade computer typically installed at the dispatch center along with its supporting hardware. MACH Alert servers are available in tower or rack-mount form factors. The MACH Alert software resides primarily on the server, and consequently the server can serve as both a manual alerting and system health monitoring platform. System logs and reports can be stored on the server for later review.
Dispatchers access the MACH Alert software via a full-featured web client that is easy to install and requires no dedicated hardware at the dispatcher's station. MACH Alert clients can cohabitate on many common models of dispatch consoles, including the MCC7500 and Gold Elite. Dispatchers and first responders may access MACH Alert clients in the field from mobile command stations via a secure remote connection to the dispatch center.
The Station Controller is an all-in-one unit located in each fire station included in the MACH Alert system. Based around an industrial-grade Remote Terminal Unit (RTU), the Station Controller hardware is mounted inside a locked NEMA-rated wall-mount enclosure. When dispatchers issue an alert to a fire station, the Station Controller goes into action, controlling the station’s public address system and other hardware. Each Station Controller has an expandable set of custom input and output points that can be configured to interface with key hardware such as gas cutoff valves, lighting contactors, traffic light controllers and day/night switches.
MACH Alert is capable of interfacing with virtually any vomputer aided dispatch (CAD) software that supports the Motorola Fire Dispatch Protocol (MFDP). When fully integrated, CAD automatically issues alerts via the MACH Alert software. Dispatchers no longer need to manually issue alerts via the MACH Alert interface, shaving key seconds off of dispatch times.
MACH Alert incorporates a cutting-edge voice synthesizer package capable of generating a life-like Human voice to read instructions from either the CAD system or manual information typed by a dispatch operator. These clear and consistent announcements automatically follow the conclusion of alert tones during a dispatch. The configurable lexicon accommodates custom pronunciations for hard-to-pronounce or non-English words.
MACH Alert supports text-to-speech options for in-station and over-the-air messages.
MACH Alert can transform monitors within a station into informational Incident Display Boards. During an alert, the Incident Display Board displays urgent incident information sourced from CAD or entered manually by the dispatcher as well as mapping information.
MACH Alert Station Controllers interface with custom LED lighting hardware suitable for installation in the bunk rooms and common areas of a fire station. Illuminating upon alert, these lights may be configured to display specific colors based on the type of incident—red for fire and blue for medical, for example. Configurable switches installed in up to eight bunkrooms allow occupants to have alerts filtered based on their individual duties (fire, rescue, ladder truck, etc.) while resting, ensuring they are only woken up when needed.
The Last Man Out button is a large mushroom pushbutton mounted in or near the apparatus bay. Before departing to an incident, first responders press the button to notify dispatchers of their imminent departure from the station with a visual flag on the MACH Alert interface.
An LED turnout timer is available to mount in the fire station. When an alert is issued by the MACH Alert system, this timer will begin a countdown—letting first responders know how long they have to gear up and get out of the station.