The world of cool, sleek gadgets has expanded to all walks of life, and emergency workers who depend on voice pagers aren't left out.
Since the '70s, volunteer firefighters and EMTs have been wearing radio pagers that alert them to calls, generally with a series of tones followed by a dispatcher's announcement.
If you live in the suburbs where volunteer fire departments are active, you've probably heard fire pagers squawking in public, sometimes followed by their owners running for the door to help someone in need.
For the most part, Motorola has dominated the voice pager market with its Minitor radios, beginning in the mid 1970s and progressing to the current model, the Minitor V, which has been around since 2005.
Information on the Minitor V can be found at this Motorola Solutions link.
Now a company called Unication has added some pizazz to the pager market with the introduction of the G1, a 64-channel receiver that can receive text and voice, regroup channels remotely, and with the right software, send the user's exact location back to dispatchers.
"The G1 can receive voice messages from not only a dispatch center but also from a two way radio at the scene. This capability allows firefighters who are inside the fire ground to capture the further instructions from a scene commander," according to G1 marketing literature.
"With the new updates, the firefighters will be able to make the critical moves when the fire is out of control," it says.
Kirk Alland, Unication general manager, tells Examiner.com the G1 was released only after extensive field testing and a study of what firefighters need most from their pagers.
Those needs included pagers that can withstand being soaked or submerged, the availability of more than two radio channels at a time, and extended message storage.
The Unication G1 is also well suited for those who work in multiple districts and want to monitor lots of radio channels on different bands with just one pager, he said.
Alland says fire chiefs also appreciate the voice memo feature, allowing them to dictate scene information for later reference, when a pen and paper aren't handy.
Unication plans to release the G3, its P25 digital and trunked version of the G1, by the end of the year.