TechTips

Understanding the 800 MHz Radio Changes (October 2022)

There are two main changes to the 800 MHz radio system for October 2022:

  • Fleetmap change regarding PG County zone
  • FDTA change regarding tone and EB

Fleetmap Change

PG County has realigned zone 8 to match MCFRS when it comes to Ops and Dispatch.

  • 8A1 is now Ops
  • 8A2 is now Disp

FDTA Tone Gone

Effective with the upgrade to your radio, you will no longer hear a tone when you press your PTT on FDTA. This may take some time for people to get used to, but it was necessary with the other change (EB, below).

FDTA EB Available (but Limited)

The EB is now functional on FDTA, but not exactly likely it is on talkgroups that go through the trunked system. (Remember, FDTA is still a simplex channel, unheard by ECC.) Here are the basics:

  • What happens when I am on FDTA and activate my EB?
    • You effectively launch an EB activation.
    • You will hear a tone every 10 seconds.
    • ECC will not know that you have launched an EB and it is up to your incident commander to include ECC.
  • Will people who are scanning FDTA know that I have launched an EB?
    • Their radios will flash EA received (with your apparatus name and position, as shown in the example below), but it will only flash for them. It will then jump back to their TG(s).
    • They will not hear an extended tone.
    • The orange banner will rotate briefly between your apparatus name with riding position and your known location (if accessible, unlike the image below).
      EB on FDTA
  • What is the range on who will know I have pressed my EB?
    • This is no different than the normal range for FDTA. Line of sight is about a mile, but buildings and various building materials shorten that.
  • What if I press the EB accidentally? Is clearing the EB on FDTA the same as on any other talkgroup?
    • Yes, simply press and hold a few seconds until it clears.
    • There is no need to tell ECC, though.

 

Fixing the September 2022 Java Error

With the Java update of version 1.8.0_341, an error may arise. Here is the way to fix that error:

  • Note the security warning pop-up.
    Java Error Message
  • Check the box at the lower left corner, to indicate you accept the risk associated and click the Run button.
  • Wait for the next pop-up warning screen, as shown below:
  • Click the Run with the latest version button.
  • Wait for the last screen to appear, as shown below:
  • Check box box (labeled Do not show this again) and click the Allow button.
  • Run MCtime, Oracle or whatever other app you had intended when you were originally prompted with this error.

As with anything else tech-related, please do not hesitate to submit a TSR if you still have trouble.

 

Requesting to Record a Video Meeting

In an email to Montgomery County department heads dated April 1, 2022, the Chief Administrative Officer provided direction that we must limit use of the recording features in our online meeting systems (Teams, Google, Zoom) to only those selected personnel who need to record:

  • Formal trainings intended for large audiences
  • Public meetings, where there is no expectation/obligation of privacy and meeting is open to public

As such the MCFRS will use the following process for obtaining authorization for recording meetings for a specific window of time.

Form Submitter’s Role:

  • Submit a Tech Service Request (TSR) and choose Meeting Video Recording Request for the category. In the auto-generated e-mail reply, you will see a link for the Meeting Video Recording Request Form. Click that link.
  • Fill in the form. Some notes on the form:
    • Choose Other as your rank if your rank is below battalion chief (career), if you are not an LFRD chief (volunteer) or if you are not an M3 (civilian)
    • Ensure that you have no typos when you input your supervisor’s e-mail address. That individual will receive e-mail that requests for chain-of-command information.
    • Note that, for the purposes of this form, the chain of command among the LFRD will be from the person submitting the form, to the LFRD chief and then to Division Chief Mike Kelley.
    • Select the appropriate video technology you plan to use (Google Meet, Teams or Zoom).
    • Identify the start and stop dates for recording capability.
    • Read the paragraphs of fine print very closely, as they are important. By submitting the form, you agree to them.
    • Supply the specific reason you are recording the event in the text box provided.

Supervisor’s Role:

Preface: If you are an AC, DC or LFRD Chief, please skip to the Approver’s Role section below.

  • Receive the e-mail and click the link to fill in chain of command, if applicable.
    CofC Link in E-Mail Message
  • Fill in the necessary information.
    CoC Fields
  • Click the Submit button.
  • Receive the e-mail message and approve/deny as needed. Approval will move the request up the chain of command.

Approver’s Role:

  • Receive the e-mail and review the request details.
  • Click the Approve or Deny button and wait for the form to load in your web browser.
    Video Approve or Deny Buttons
  • Change your response, if needed, and then (for approve or deny) provide the reason why you are approving or denying the request.Video Record Denied
  • Click the Complete button.Note: The form will then trigger e-mail to the next level in the chain of command. This process will continue through the division chief’s approval or denial of the recording request. The MCFRS IT Web Coordinator will then activate the recording capability (Google Meet and Teams) or request TEBS to activate the capability (Teams) and follow up with the requestor.

Approving Working Out of Class (WOC) Hours as a Battalion Chief

Scenario: You are a battalion chief and you have received e-mail, requesting approval of Working Out of Class (WOC) hours.

  • Pull up the Crystal Report to compare the hours listed in your e-mail message to what appeared in TeleStaff, ensuring that the requested hours WOC are legitimate.
    • Go to Quicklinks | Crystal Reports | WOC Audit | Activity Audit Report.
    • Input the proper date range.
    • Note the following sample report:
      Working out of Class - CR Report
  • Log into FireApp and click the WOC button, found toward the bottom of the left-hand navigation.
  • Click the Battalion Chief Approvals button.
    Working out of Class - Role Buttons
  • Review the report details.
  • Click the Approve or Deny button and then click the Email Report button.

    Note: If you choose Approve, the report will send automatically to the employee as well as FRS HR. If you choose Deny, e-mail will go to the employee who submitted the hours to note that the hours have been denied. Further, please input a reason in the Supervisor Notes box if you deny hours, in order to explain why you are denying the hours.

    WOC E-Mail Button on Approval

  • Click any other FireApp menu item (including Log Off) in order to leave the screen.

Creating a Working Out of Class Report to Submit for Approval (MFF or LT)

Scenario: You are MFF or LT who has been working out of class (for at least 280 hours in the last six months) and would like to submit a report for approval.

  • Log into FireApp and click the WOC button, located near the bottom of the left-side navigation.
  • Click the Create Report button after you have created your WOC entries. (If you have not yet logged those entries, please click here for directions.)
    Working out of Class - Create Report Button
  • Check the boxes of the items you wish to include in your submission for approval.
    Notes:

    • Anything grayed out has already been submitted. If an item was denied in error, you will need to resubmit that entry.
    • All selectable items (i.e., non-gray) will appear at the top of the list.
  • Select the appropriate battalion chief from the drop-down list and click the Send to BC button.
    Note: You will not be able to send the report until you select a BC. When the items you have selected turn gray, you will know that the report has been sent. From there, you will also get an e-mail confirmation message.
  • Log off of FireApp when you are finished.

Creating a Working Out of Class Report to Submit for Approval (FF3)

Scenario: You are a FF3 who has been working out of class and would like to submit a report for approval at the end of the pay period. (Note: To cut down on the possibility for error, it is preferable for you to submit one report per pay period.)

  • Log into FireApp and click the WOC button, located near the bottom of the left-side navigation.
  • Click the Create Report button after you have created your WOC entries. (If you have not yet logged those entries, please click here for directions.)
    Working out of Class - Create Report Button
  • Check the boxes of the items you wish to include in your submission for approval.
    Notes:

    • Anything grayed out has already been submitted. If an item was denied in error, you will need to resubmit that entry.
    • All selectable items (i.e., non-gray) will appear at the top of the list.
  • Select the appropriate battalion chief from the drop-down list and click the Send to BC button.
    Note: You will not be able to send the report until you select a BC. When the items you have selected turn gray, you will know that the report has been sent. From there, you will also get an e-mail confirmation message.
  • Log off of FireApp when you are finished.

Viewing SeamlessDocs Submission Attachments

Did you receive a SeamlessDocs message, indicating you need to approve a form which may have some attachments? Would you like to view those attachments to determine if you should sign?

  • Receive the e-mail, requesting your signature and click the Sign Document link or button, as directed in the message.
  • Wait for the browser to load your form.
  • Click the paper clip (attachments) icon.
    Paper Clip icon for Attachments
  • Note that the Upload Attachments window appears. It is nearly identical for someone who needs to attach a file as it is for someone who needs to review a file.
    SeamlessDocs Upload Attachment Dialog Box
  • Click the link labeled Click Here to View (as opposed to Click Here to Upload). The file will either open in a new tab or download to your default download folder (typically the Downloads folder).

Running the ePCR/Elite Cache Clear

EMIHS has made a change to speed up the load time for eMEDS/Elite. (It will also clear out the dashboard. The down-side to that is that, when it runs at 0300 hours each day, it will also clear out the unit and crew. If you run any calls between 0300 and shift change, please re-input your information as needed.)

If your system seems to be running slowly throughout the day and you would like to run this process on your own:

  • Log out of Elite.
  • Find and double-click the BrowserClear shortcut on the Windows desktop.
    ePCR Browser Clear Desktop Shortcut
  • Note the window that appears and click the Clear Cache button.
    ePCR Browser Clear Warning
  • Click the Yes button if you would like to proceed. (If not, click the No button and close the Clear Cache box you saw before.) You will know the process is complete when the window disappears.

Getting Rid of the News and Entertainment Posts in a New Edge Tab

Are you using Edge and finding that, when you start a new tab, you see all kinds of news and entertainment posts? Do you just want a basic search page, instead?

  • Open Edge.
  • Click the three dot button at the far right and choose Settings.
  • Click Start, Home and New Tabs on the left side of the screen.
  • Find the New Tab section at the bottom of the page.
  • Find the first item in that section, Customize your new tab page layout and content, and click the corresponding Customize button.
  • Note that your tab loads with all of the news and such.
  • Find and click the gear icon at the top-right corner of the page.
  • Click Focused.

Choosing the Right TSR Category

Trying to determine which TSR category fits your help request? Here is a handy guide to get you started. This post will be updated over time. As a reminder, TEBS has recently reorganized a number of key teams and as a result you are reminded that all IT requests should be routed through TSR and the MCFRS Technology Section.

CategoryWhat is Covers
Apparatus HeadsetApparatus Headset
Applications/Software - InstalledSoftware not working correctly, request for new software or license, etc.
Applications/Software - SW Purchase RequestRequest to buy new software or update an existing license
Applications/Software - Web-BasedBatt Lineup, DOC Log, MCtime, PCAP, PIMS, WPM, etc.
Arbitrator CamerasArbitrator Cameras
Cable TV ServiceCable TV Service
CAD System & Hardware (Including CAD Mapping and ECC Phones)CAD (ECC and Field), CAD Mapping, ECC Phones, etc.
Data Systems & RequestsData Warehouse, data reports, data mining, response data requests, etc.
Detectors/MetersDetectors/Gas Meters
Email ServicesOutlook accounts (existing and new requests), distribution lists, groups, etc.
ePCR System & HardwareePCR/Elite system, software and hardware, etc.
Fire Station AlertingFire Station Alerting
Fire Station AudioFire Station Audio
FireApp (or other RMS Issues)FireApp server, software and hardware
FirstNet Subscriber PayFirstNet Subscriber Pay
GPS SystemsGPS Systems
Meeting Video Recording RequestRequest to record a Teams, Google or Zoom meeting
Messaging (Active911, MCEN, CMsg)Messaging (Active911, MCEN, CMsg)
Mobile Data (MDC)MDC software and hardware
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)MFA conection problems, requests for key fobs (activate and deactivate)
Network Systems (Including network drives & VPN access)Network drives, connectivity problems, VPN (access issues and new account requests)
Phone Number UpdatesUpdate your desk or cell phone number in the centralized list
Radio Consoles (ECC)Radio Consoles (ECC)
Radio System InfrastructureRadio System Infrastructure
Radios and EquipmentPortable and mobile radios, speaker mics, DVRS issues, etc.
Technology HardwareDesktop computer issues, peripherals (monitor, printer, webcam, etc.)
Technology Training Site & Tracking SubsitesSystem access, transcript problems, training data tracking, etc.
Telecomm Services & HardwareDesk phones, cell phones, SONIM phones, etc.
TeleStaff System & HardwareTeleStaff System & Hardware
Tone Alert PagersTone Alert Pagers
Web-Based FormsChanges to existing web forms (Jotform, SeamlessDocs, etc.), new form requests, access to forms
Website Changes & IssuesWebsite edit requests
WindowsWindows