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Butte County Calfire and County Fire are dispatched by Calfire Emergency Communications Center in Oroville. All fire equipment other than Chico and Paradise City are dispatched on Calfire Local Net. Oroville and Gridley recently moved to Local Net, leaving their old dispatch freqs to become "city fire nets" for tactical purposes. This allows much faster and more efficient dispatching.
It takes only four frequencies to monitor every fire dispatch from within the county. Calfire Local Net will cover all but Plumas USFS, Paradise and Chico FD's. Those other three have their own dispatch system. All four agencies have excellent mutual aid programs and without hesitation will assist each other in any type of call.
Butte Support Net is a county-wide repeater system that allows for additional command and logistics traffic on a large incident. This is a must-have for fire season monitoring. This relieves Calfire Command Nets to be utilized elsewhere. Also, OES Fire 2 has been utilized for command in south county, as well as fire incident-base operations.
County fire stations are numbered and the engines and equipment in the stations are numbered accordingly to the station. The primary engine for Station 41 would be "Engine 41". The secondary engine is "Engine 241" or Engine "941" and the squad would be "Squad 41". There may be a "Rescue 41" and "Watertender 41". This makes it VERY easy to tell what stations have responded to a fire. If you happen upon an incident and don't know where it is - hearing the general engine numbers can give you an area where the incident it occuring.
Plumas NF covers the majority of southeastern Butte County. With fire dispatch in Mohawk, and quite the terrain throughout the forest, there is an extensive microwave network to link the transmitters on the Butte side of the Plumas with those on the east side near Quincy/Portola.
Lassen NF extends into the northern portion of Butte County, with plenty of action out of Butte Meadows
CHP Chico dispatches for Oroville, Chico, Willows and Williams CHP offices in the Butte, Glenn and Colusa counties. It covers the Hwy 99, 70, 20 and I5 in those counties. Mobiles transmitting on 42.400 are rebroadcasted over 44.700. This makes scanning CHP easy in this area, only needing to monitor one frequency and hearing distant mobiles.
As of 12/15/09 CHP Chico will be on this new frequency plan, part of CHP's Enhanced Radio System upgrade. 42.400/44.700 is Brown 2 and 42.360/44.840 is Blue 2
Oroville units - 35, Chico units - 105, Willows units - 93, Williams units - 39
Fish and Game monitored by Northern Dispatch out of Sacramento.
State Parks covers Lake Oroville State Recreation Area Rangers
Dispatched out of Oroville - sub station in Chico. Repeater 2 has been used as a secondary repeater to Channel 1. I've heard it referenced over the air as "R2", and "SO Platte/Sunset/Bloomer" (for the particular repeater site). Extenders help the units when they are in the larger buildings such as the casinos.Unit numbering is simple, like many other norcal Sheriff depts. Deputies are 2 digit numbers 10-99. S (sam) units are Seargents, L (lincoln) units are Lieutenants, etc. Reserve units are 100's. Office employees are 200's, SAR is 300 and 500 units, Posse are 400 units, STARS are 600 and 900 units.
Local Govt (LG) is used as Search and Rescue's dispatch net. During the day, Animal Control, Building Inspectors and STARS will also utilize this channel. SO Dispatch will tone out SAR volunteers over LG just like fire, dispatching an all-call for any rescues. You will hear "S & R Control" take over SAR communications at that point.Butte Sheriff, with help from CAMP (federal Campaign Against Marijuana Program) funding, utilizes two helicopters on a daily basis. H1 is an OH-58 and is often used on technical rescues and aerial law enforcement, as well as north-state marijuana eradication. H2 is an MD-500.
Chico Fire has 6 stations. One of the only fire departments in over 200 square miles that operates in the UHF band, all personnel carry two radios on them to maintain interoperabiltiy with the County Fire and Calfire. County Station 45 is located within the city limits near the fairgrounds, and will often respond mutual aid to city calls for medicals and fires. They will simply come up on Calfire local net and state they are committed to the city.
Chico Police Dept is a pretty busy department. Having a State University known for their partying doesn't help in keeping the city calm on a Friday night. Holloween and St Patricks Day are the two nightmares of Chico's party scene. All day street parties (and all night) provide non-stop radio traffic as Chico PD, and the additional officers from nearby communities help patrol the streets. Monitor mutual aid freqs at all times during these incidents. They share a channel with Public Works for tactical purposes, and are licensed for a third tactical frequency. When officers refer to "the top" they will be on NALEMARS.
Gridley PD serves the quaint little town of Gridley, as well as its neighbor Biggs. They receive approx 13,000 calls for service annually.
Oroville is the county seat of Butte County. There are two Indian gaming casinos here as well as the gateway to the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area, which is served by State Rangers on 857.9375.
Born and raised in Paradise, this quaint town has grown in many ways - yet still has plenty of small town charm to it. PD traffic can be quiet for hours on end, so no, your scanner is not broken.
Station 1 - Birch St. at Almond - downtown
Station 2 - South Libby at Pearson - southeast
Station 3 - condemned, equipment moved to ButteCo St35 on upper Clark
First Resonders, a private company like AMR, provides ambulance service for much of Butte County. Enloe Hospital in Chico provides additional Butte ambulance coverage (as well as Glenn and Colusa counties), and Flight Care air ambulance.