36 - 20th Avenue NW- Birmingham, AL 35215 - Phone 205.854.2611 - Toll Free 800.489.2611




Who are we?



What do we do? Who do we do it for? If you would like to know the answers to these questions, read on!

Who are our customers? Mostly fire and rescue agencies. We have been involved with electronics since our founder was chosen by the US Army to serve in the Korean War. They did a good job on him taught him electronics, let him fight the Korean war in Berlin and provided him with skills that were of no apparent value in the civilian world. When he returned to the USA, he did what any other red-blooded public service oriented unemployed young man would do. He became a fireman with the City of Birmingham Fire Department, at Station 1 no less!

While he was employed as a fireman, he also got involved in Broadcasting (known locally as Dr. Bop or Hopalong Harvey depending on the station and audience). He also became a technical writer. He actually wrote the refueling manual for the Redstone rocket (claims he never did understand how it worked). From this odd combination of talents military (actually the US Army Security Agency), communications, media, and writing, came the individual known as our founder, namely Burch Falkner. Just to balance things out, he went to a couple of colleges including the University of Maryland and Samford University (among others), where he almost got a degree in Industrial Management (whatever that is). Now our multi talented founder had managerial skill in addition to his creative side.

Over the years, Burch worked for a lot of people including General Electric, Boeing, Sylvania and others, more or less using his skills in an entrepreneurial manner. Finally, in 1981, he decided to go it on his own. His first company, known as Nu-Way Marketing shifted from an emphasis in working with broadcasters to public safety. The company name was changed to Falcon Direct, one of the first direct sellers of communications in the USA. 

We write a lot, talk a lot, and do a lot. We are a high-energy leading edge organization (the only problem with being on the leading edge is that you sometimes get cut). After all, our founder is a distant relation to William Faulkner (you know, the dirty book writer). He says he is going to keep on communicating and so are we! We have chosen those with whom we wish to work, and guess who we have chosen? You guessed it, YOU!

What we do for Fire and EMS!

What we do for EMS goes back a long, long way! Those who know us, know our fundamental reason for being in business is primarily an objective of serving those who serve others, with a major emphasis on volunteer fire and rescue services.

Back in the 60s our founder, Burch Falkner, while serving with General Electric, was instrumental in working with Pioneer Medial Systems to develop an affordably priced field patient monitoring unit (or the orange box as known by the old timers.)

About that same time, just down the road (actually across the way as they say in Massachusetts), Burch was assigned to work with the Kel Corporation (later acquired by Bell & Howell) to develop a new generation of personal pagers and infrastructure equipment for use with field patient monitoring systems. Some of this equipment later found its way to Alabama and was used as the backbone for what is known today as Emergency Medical Services. You may have heard about the HEAR system, still used by many hospitals to provide direct communications between hospitals and emergency transport vehicles. What you may not know is that a similar system was developed by Burch for the State of Wisconsin Dept. of Social Services. The system was named WISPERN (Wisconsin Primary Emergency Radio Network) by Burch and it is still in use to this day.

In the mid 70s Burch worked with GTE Sylvania who had bid on a federally funded project to develop a low cost 4 channel VHF or UHF modular radio that would sell for less than $600 (Quite a feat at the time).

As it turned out, Sylvania was able to build the product but it cost twice as much to build as it was being sold for! Burch took the product to a relatively small company (now quite large) called IEC Electronics. By 1978, under Burch's direction, the company produced the very first talk-back pager in the USA! Regrettably, the cost of building the product could not be brought down to an acceptable level and the product was discontinued.

By 1980, Burch had returned to Birmingham and began selling three basic products to fire and rescue agencies. The Plectron bedside monitor was the primary product with hundreds of units sold to school systems all over Alabama. Virtually every school in the Birmingham area used these receivers for emergency alerting from the Birmingham/Jefferson County EMA (and many still do..)

Falcon Direct was the first equipment provider in Alabama to introduce the Telemobile field programmable 2-way radio with built-in paging and the Fujitsu field programmable 2-way mobile radio.

In the early 90s, as founder of Falcon Direct,  Burch decided to bring the cost of personal paging down to an affordable level. In the late 80s a monitor type paging receiver could easily cost as much as $500. By working with NEC, Shinwa, and Reach Electronics, Burch began selling pagers nationwide at substantially lower prices than those prevailing through local dealers.

As a result, Falcon Direct was recruited by Motorola to sell the Minitor II product. This worked out to be a win-win situation for Motorola. They got rid of us as a competitor and gained a very effective marketing organization. We remain as the number one provider of voice pagers in the US both for Motorola, and US Alert to this day.

In 1995, Falcon Direct recognized a need for a rapid response affordably priced alphanumeric paging system in and around the Birmingham metro area. The system, known as SpeedPage was built specifically for the needs of fire and EMS users. It is still in operation at this time.

Also in the mid 90s Falcon Direct had developed a relationship with Fujitsu pen based computers and Aironet (now Cisco) to combine the technology of wireless LANs, pen based computers, and specialized software to provide a new concept later known as shot cart radio.

A problem was identified in the handling of prescribed medications in hospitals. By using the shot cart radio concept, all medications were monitored from the time they were written till the time they were administered. Falcon Direct was awarded a sole source contract to provide the shot cart radio system for the Baptist Hospitals of Arkansas.

More recently, the Northeast Georgia Medical center came to us to provide a booster network to amplify signals of Nextel and SouthernLinc units used within the hospital medical complex in Gainesville, Georgia. We have provided numerous other products for other hospitals and we are currently working on other new projects.

We have supported the Alabama Assn. Of Volunteer Rescue squads for the better part of a decade and has long supported, and been supported by the Birmingham Regional Emergency Radio Services System (BREMSS).  Most recently, Falcon Direct concluded an agreement with the Alabama Firefighters Assn. that provides added discounts to members as well as financial contributions to the Association on all purchases made by members.

We have been pioneer participant in the development and distribution of voice and data communications. Now we are ready to take those we serve to the next level of integrated voice and data communications. This will be done through a staged program whereby the dispatch and control functions can be greatly improved by using new software systems that eliminate the high cost of ownership, maintenance, and obsolescence.   The new software systems are available on a fee based costs that varies depending on the number of users.  It is now possible for even the smallest user to enjoy the benefits of the latest software.

We're excited about what we do and we look forward to working with you in providing improved patient care services!

Need to get in touch with us?

Falcon Direct
#36 20th Avenue NW Birmingham, AL 35215
Phone (205) 854-2611 or toll free (800) 489-2611
Fax us at (205) 853-6178

Email sales@falcondirect.com 
We are on the web at www.falcondirect.com


                             36 - 20th Avenue NW- Birmingham, AL 35215 - Phone 205.854.2611 - Toll Free 800.489.2611

Copyright 2005 - Falcon Direct, Inc.
This page was last updated on 01/25/2007