Dispatching question--How do you do it?
I recently got elected to our county's 911 board, so I'm now in a position to better resolve issues our county fire departments are having with our 911/dispatching system.
As a little bit of background, we're a rural county that has 14 FD's and 3 EMS agencies, along with about 8 or so LE agencies, besides the county sheriff's department. 911 just got voted in a couple of years ago, and the dispatch center finally opened right at a year ago. So, while 911 isn't new to me, it's new to our county and many of our emergency responders.
When the 911 was first in the works, the fire chiefs ignored the recommendations of the 911 Director and opted that dispatching and communications for each department be done on their own frequency. We have since found out this isn't working. Most departments in the county don't have a repeater, so the lone tower for 911 isn't enough to cover the entire county.
Instead of buying each department a repeater just to communicate with them, 911 recently decided to go to a system where dispatch/comms is handled off of two repeaters that will divide the county in half. Each FD will be assigned to one of the two, and their pagers will have seperate tones for each department.
This is a system similar to what is used where I work as a career firefighter and some other counties in our area. I'm curious how many of you use a system like this, or even one where comms are on the individual frequencies, and what kind of issues you have or how well it works.
While the change has my full support, I thought it might help to have some better understanding from those who already do it, as well as the ability to tell the chiefs that this is something that's used all over with success.