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The online Spokane EMS scanner feed now broken into three separate channels

We didn't produce a local business story Thursday. But Tom Sowa wrote an A-1 tech story about Mike Russell, the Hillyard geek who plays a pivotal part in making available the Spokane County emergency scanner channel to web users and smartphones. It was used heavily during Tuesday's wild and harrowing hunt for Charles Wallace, who wounded two Spokane sheriff's deputies.

That scanner story was one of those “huh, that's how that works” explainers.

We tracked down Russell after looking at the iPhone app Radio 5-0, which hooks into Radio Reference, a system that offers free scanner feeds from thousands of North American locations.

Russell sent a message today indicating that he's truncated the EMS feed now into three separate channels, to help people hear and read the scanner traffic. (The text summaries of emergency calls that show up on RadioReference.com  come from a different service: Incident Page Network.)

The three feeds from Russell are for fire, one just for police, and a third channel for all county EMS traffic.

We also noticed, along the way, that there are a few different apps for smartphones. The ones we highlighted were just the two best known ones. Search the Android and iOS iTunes markeplaces to see if any other scanner app suits you.