UK Fire Fighter's Alerter County Codes

When the fire brigade analogue alerters were replaced in the nineteen eighties with digital devices, the Home Office Department of Telecommunications, who provided emergency services with their radio equipment, decided to adopt the POCSAG digital paging standard operating on a frequency of 147.800 MHz according to specification MG4.

Paragraph 11.4 of Fire Service Manual - Volume 1

MG4 calls for the use of alerters working to the POCSAG format which are produced by virtually all manufacturers, and uses a 7 digit numeric address or RIC (Receiver Identity code).
The Home Office instituted a numbering scheme whereby the last three digits are fixed for each Brigade. The POCSAG code allows the first four digits to range from 0000 to 1999, a total of 2000 codes per Brigade.
Datanet Fire Alerter


Each Brigade can decide how to deploy the 2,000 codes, by observation it generally appears the first two digits 'TT' define the team and type of callout and the next two digits 'SS' for the station number followed by the county code 'CCC'. creating the seven digit format TTSSCCC. Example: 0113225 = Team B at Station 13 (Rothwell) Northamptonshire. All team members have similar pagers that respond to the same RIC. Originally the alerters were tone only, generating one tone for call-out and a second tone for routine testing of the callout communications systems. Some Brigades have introduced text pagers and others have more complex arrangements in place.


The allocation of the last three digits of the RIC have been discovered by observation. The sequence is based on county names in alphabetical order, with each county being separated by eight. Those counties that have not been observed are a prediction based on the county sequence. The list is sufficiently well developed to believe it is fully accurate in England, Wales and NI.

Since the introduction of digital alerters many Brigades have combined and may use just one or both the codes. The presence of a confirmed code only indicates the code has been observed in the past. It is not an indication that POCSAG alerters are currently in use today.

The County Codes

Avon 009
Berkshire 025
Buckinghamshire 033
Cleveland 057
Durham 105
East Sussex113113
Hereford and Worcester145145
Surrey 289
West Sussex305305
Greater Manchester321321
North Yorks(Note B)329
South Yorkshire337337
Tyne & Wear(Note B)345
West Mids [reserved](Note B)353
West Yorkshire361361
London N & S369369
Clwyd (Note A)377377
Dyfed (Note A)385385
Gwent (Note A)393393
Gwynedd (Note A)401401
Mid-Glamorgan (Note A) 409
Powys (Note A) 417
South Glamorgan (Note A) 425
West Glamorgan (Note A) 433
Northern Ireland441441
Strathclyde(Note C)449
Highland n Island(Note C)457
Grampian(Note C)465
Tayside(Note C)473
Lothian Borders481481
Central(Note C)497
Dumfries n Galloway505505
Argyll & Bute(Note C)513
E & W Dumbartonshire(Note C)521
N Lanarkshire(Note C)529
S Lanarkshire(Note C)537
E Ayrshire & E Renfrewshire(Note C)545
N & S Ayrshire(Note C)553
Renfrewshire & Invercylde(Note C)561
N W Glasgow(Note C)569
N E Glasgow(Note C)577
S Glasgow(Note C)585
 (Note D)593
 (Note D)601
 (Note D)609
County / CountryReceivedDate
Unknown (Note E)66510-OCT-2023
0725665 05:30:21 10-10-23 POCSAG-3 ALPHA 512 Fire A
1893665 19:02:05 03-10-23 POCSAG-3 ALPHA 512 Test
List Updated 10-OCT-2023
Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire have a combined control, I have been notified (June 2022) that some Derbyshire stations have been coded with the Nottinghamshire suffix 241 instead of 081 for Derbyshire. Likewise for Dorset and Wiltshire. In June 2023 some Wiltshire pagers have the Dorset suffix.

Its suggested that North Yorks may be using PageOne pagers and not Alerters on the common 147.8 MHz frequency.


Little is known about the allocation of RIC codes within Scotland. The section was based on a single observation on 147.8 MHz in February 2022 made during Roy's visit to Stranraer. Marc has kindly confirmed the codes for Fife and Lothian & Borders. L&B has a different RIC format SSSACCC where SSS is the zero padded station number and A the appliance. For example 0371481 is station number 37 (Penicuik), appliance number 1 in area 481.


I am most grateful to alan4694 and wrr6 who have contributed the majority of the codes listed. Dan kindly supplied the historic West Sussex code and added the 306 code was used for their pager scheme operating on the same frequency. Roy has confirmed D&G, Isle of Man and Northern Ireland. Marc added two more Scottish areas. If you have discovered any of the missing "Actual" county codes, even if they were used historically, please get in touch with me, so the list can be updated for everyone's benefit.
Please note: I do not keep a list of individual station codes as that is beyond my remit to reverse engineer the nineteen eighties list of county codes.