Metter – A few weeks ago, I came across something interesting while looking through the FCC database: 700 MHz trunking frequencies licensed to Candler County: 769.10625, 769.80625, 770.60625, and 771.33125 under license WRBT983. Shortly thereafter, I began hearing some Candler County related activity on the SEGARRN system that is used by Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, and Liberty counties (and also has a site in Bulloch County). Yesterday I had the opportunity to take a ride up to Metter and check things out. I found that the frequencies licensed under WRBT983 are definitely a SEGARRN site; 771.33125 is the control channel and the site ID is 02C5-0108. Both in the Savannah area and while I was in Metter, I only heard law enforcement related traffic – no fire or EMS related traffic. For that reason, I’m sorry – but I can’t post any talkgroups I heard (for those not familiar, I don’t post law enforcement related information due to the nature of my employment). Should I start hearing some fire/EMS related traffic I’ll definitely pass it on. If you’re in the Savannah, Pembroke, Statesboro, or Metter areas, put your trunk tracking scanner in search mode and I’m sure you’ll come about them quickly enough.
I wonder if this means we’ll see Bulloch County make another try to transition from their old SmartZone system to the SEGARRN at some point in the future? Surely Motorola isn’t going to support the older equipment forever and with most of the surrounding agencies on the SEGARRN, it could force their hand.
The view from Bevrick’s Char House Grille in Metter, GA
I found a nice shady spot under a lakeside pear tree in Metter by Bevrick’s Char House Grille to monitor the new Candler County SEGARRN site
Food always goes good with radio and I had a great meal at Bevrick’s Char House Grille in Metter near where I found a nice shady spot under a lakeside pear tree to monitor the new Candler County SEGARRN site. Bevrick’s is a steakhouse type restaurant alongside a lake just off of I-16 Exit 104 in Metter. The prices are pretty good, the view of the lake is good, and the food I had was excellent. I tried the “Junkyard Chicken,” which is a grilled chicken breast smothered with cheese, bacon, grilled onions and peppers, jalapenos, and diced tomatoes. There are a number of good restaurants in Metter just off of I-16 including Jomax BBQ and Papa Buck’s BBQ and I’d definitely add Bevrick’s to that list. Any of the three are good places to stop if you find yourself around Metter and meal time.
Savannah – In answer to a lot of questions I’ve been getting lately, the Savannah Chatham Municipal PD (SCMPD) has gone encrypted with their communications on the SEGARRN system. Based on recent monitoring, their Primary Dispatch, Car-to-Car, Records, and Tac channels are all encrypted. It sounds like any interoperability channels are still unencrypted. Fire and EMS channels for Savannah, other municipalities, and Southside are still unencrypted.
SCMPD joins Brunswick PD, Glynn County PD (partially encrypted), and what I believe to be the Savannah Chatham County Public Schools school buses as encrypted users of the SEGARRN system. The various Fire Departments and EMS services remain unencrypted with the exception of some of the EMS to Hospital talkgroups, so there is still activity to listen to.
Those listening to public safety communications on the SEGARRN system in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty County may have recently begun hearing the Glynn County Fire Department on the system due to Glynn County’s recent move of their public safety communications from the Glynn County TRS to the SEGARRN system. For those not familiar with Glynn County or the Glynn County FD, here is an overview of their talkgroups and department.
Glynn County FD is dispatched by Glynn County 911 but decisions on responding units are sometimes changed or supplemented by Fire Control out of Station 1. When monitoring Glynn County FD, it’s important to remember that they use “Squad” for an ambulance – so their Squads are EMS units. Since the change, I’ve been using a combination of ID Tracker III and Unitrunker to try to find out what talkgroups the Glynn County FD and Brunswick FD are using.
So far, two SEGARRN talkgroups have been discovered for the Glynn County Fire Department:
13320 – Glynn County FD 1
13324 – Glynn County FD 2
It’s quite possible that there are more talkgroups for the Department but so far these are the only ones that have been discovered. Keep a watch on this blog and the RadioReference website for updates.
Glynn County Fire Department Station Locations/Apparatus
Station 1 – Station 1 is located at 4310 Community Road, covers the central part of Glynn County, and also serves as the Glynn County FD’s headquarters. Engine 1, Squad 1, Rescue 1, Ladder-Tower 1, Tanker 1, Engine 11, and the Deputy Chiefs (51, 52, and 53) ride out of Station 1
Station 2 – Station 2 is located at 1929 Demere Rd on St. Simons Island and covers the south part of St. Simons Island and Malcolm McKinnon Airport. Engine 2, Squad 2, and Rescue 2 ride out of Station 2.
Station 3 – Station 3 is located at 127 Grants Ferry Rd and covers the northwest part of Glynn County. Engine 3 and Squad 3 ride out of Station 3.
Station 4 – Station 4 is located at 3581 Frederica Rd and covers the central part of St. Simons Island. Engine 4, Squad 4, and Ladder 4 ride out of Station 4.
Station 5 – Station 5 is located at the Brunswick Golden Isles Airport and covers the northeastern part of Glynn County. Engine 5 rides out of Station 5 as do CFR (Crash-Fire-Rescue) 5 and 11 to provide crash/fire coverage for the airport.
Station 6 – Station 6 is located at 3320 Highway 17 South and covers the southern part of Glynn County. Engine 6 and Squad 6 ride out of Station 6.
Station 7 – Station 7 is located at 2911 Lawrence Road on St. Simons Island and covers the northern part of St. Simons Island. Engine 7 and Tanker 7 ride out of Station 7.
Station 8 – Station 8 is located at 141 Public Safety Blvd and covers the northern part of Glynn County. Engine 8 and Squad 8 ride out of Station 8.
In addition to the stations above, Squad 11 rides out of Brunswick FD Station at 1201 Gloucester St to provide EMS coverage to the city of Brunswick.
The Brunswick Fire Department is also dispatched by Glynn County 911, but they have their talkgroups on which they’re dispatched and operate. Their Stations are located on 1201 Gloucester St. on the south side of the city and 3129 4th St. on the north side of the city. The talkgroups found so far for the Brunswick FD are:
Savannah – When I arrived back in Savannah this morning and checked ID Tracker III, I found some new talkgroups for both Chatham and Effingham counties. I leave ID Tracker III running at home in Savannah while I’m in Brunswick for just that reason. The first two new talkgroups are new fireground talkgroups for Savannah Fire and Emergency Services. I’ve been expecting to hear more fireground talkgroups since Savannah Fire began riding first responder on crashes with injuries in Savannah. They now have at least seven fireground channels, up from their previous five. The third new talkgroup is from Effingham county, they have a talkgroup set aside for aviation activity on which ID Tracker III caught communications between LifeStar and Effingham Fire/Rescue units during a scene flight.
TG 2363 – Savannah Fire and Emergency Services Fireground 6
TG 2365 – Savannah Fire and Emergency Services Fireground 7
TG 1123 – Effingham County “51 Aviation”
What an interesting week it’s been with new talkgroups found in Chatham, Effingham, and Glynn counties!
Brunswick – As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Glynn County has switched from their analog trunked system to the SEGARRN regional trunked system. Other counties using this system are Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty. Glynn County’s portion of the system consists of four simulcast sites utilizing 700 MHz and 800 MHz frequencies from two licenses. The 700 MHz frequencies are from WQQI739 and the 800 MHz frequencies are from WQXA315 (frequencies are listed below). The four sites cover different portions of the county with one in Brunswick, one on St. Simon’s Island, one off of US 341 in the northern portion of the county, and one off of US 82 in the western portion of the county.
So far, I’ve been able to identify eight talkgroups. For some time, Glynn County Public Works has been on the SEGARRN system with four talkgroups. I’m not sure of the actual talkgroup names, so I’ve listed them below as 1 through 4. Glynn County FD has been using two talkgroups on SEGARRN that correspond to their old F1 and F2 talkgroups on the Glynn County TRS. Brunswick FD has been heard on one talkgroup that corresponds with their old F1 talkgroup on the Glynn County TRS. I heard all three talkgroups being used before the switch for testing, but I wasn’t able to put firm ID’s on them until they put them in regular use. Glynn County Animal Control has also been heard on the system. Thus far, all local and county law enforcement seem to be on encrypted talkgroups. Identified talkgroups are listed below (so far, all of Glynn County’s talkgroups have been in the 13### range).
13312 – Glynn County Public Works 1
13313 – Glynn County Public Works 2
13314 – Glynn County Public Works 3
13315 – Glynn County Public Works 4
13320 – Glynn County FD 1
13324 – Glynn County FD 2
13334 – Brunswick FD 1
13383 – Glynn County Animal Control
Naturally, the law enforcement agencies going encrypted is going to upset some radio hobbyists, but it is what it is. You can look for more agencies, particularly law enforcement agencies, to go encrypted in the future. I’m not going to debate the pros and cons of encryption (and I won’t be entertaining one in the comments section either). Losing the ability to hear the police isn’t the end of the hobby… There’s plenty left not encrypted and there to be listened to. If you’re interested in what’s not encrypted in Glynn County and the surrounding area, you’ll now need a digital scanner. Most of these run in the high $400 to low $500 range new. For the novice or casual listener, I’d suggest the Uniden Home Patrol. For those wanting to get a bit deeper into the hobby, the Uniden BCD436HP handheld and BCD536HP base/mobile would be a good choice. Whistler is now selling some GRE-based digital scanners which would also be excellent choices.
In a few weeks, I’ll bring the BCD396XT and a computer with ID Tracker III on it down to do some computer searching. That should hopefully ID some more talkgroups and put a start on IDing some Glynn County UIDs.