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    Default Updating Radio Procedure

    Whenever you respond with a truck, do you just say Engine so and so responding, or what do you say?
    I want my dept. to start saying stuff like, Ladder One responding with a crew of _____. Would this just cause a clutter of traffic or benefit the dept?
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    Work, we simply mark enroute.

    VFD - mark enroute with our staffing. "Engine 2 enroute with 3"
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    WHY???


    We don't say a word.


    We have Mobile Data Computers, and touch the key (on screen function) for "Enroute". On Scene, In Service, In Quarters, etc.


    Most communications is cut in hlaf. We do talk on a fire ground tac but very little regular traffic to the communications operator.

    We try to use the MDC's as much as possible, cutting out unnecessary live talk.

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    I would say whatever my SOGs and or chief wants you to say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnee View Post
    WHY???


    We don't say a word.


    We have Mobile Data Computers, and touch the key (on screen function) for "Enroute". On Scene, In Service, In Quarters, etc.


    Most communications is cut in hlaf. We do talk on a fire ground tac but very little regular traffic to the communications operator.

    We try to use the MDC's as much as possible, cutting out unnecessary live talk.
    If only all vol. depts. had such things. Bet'cha don't have ww2 vets as your dispatcher like LaFire's dept.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREguy2011 View Post
    If only all vol. depts. had such things. Bet'cha don't have ww2 vets as your dispatcher like LaFire's dept.
    You should not use anything LaFire says as an accurate portrayal of anything anywhere in the fire service.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREguy2011 View Post
    If only all vol. depts. had such things. Bet'cha don't have ww2 vets as your dispatcher like LaFire's dept.


    We do have Volunteer Departments within our structure.

    No we don't have World War 2 Veterans in comminications or are there any still on the job. All have retired.

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    We don't mark with number of personnel when the truck signs on the air.

    I wish we did, especially the trucks from Central as staffing can be 1 to 5 as daytime there are 4 paid staff plus vollie rideouts and evening there is only 1 paid member plus ride-outs.

    The trucks from the volunteer stations are almost always driver-only as we are a POV response to the scene based fire department.

    My previous VFD did.

    Firefighters would be counted seperate from juniors and exterior personnel so everyone had an idea of number of interior members.

    "Engine 1 responding 3 plus 1". The junior or exterior members would be the "plus".

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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREguy2011 View Post
    Whenever you respond with a truck, do you just say Engine so and so responding, or what do you say?
    I want my dept. to start saying stuff like, Ladder One responding with a crew of _____. Would this just cause a clutter of traffic or benefit the dept?
    As far as i know, it really shouldn matter to dispatchers how many people are responding, if you need more manpower, call for mutual aid. Many in our dept say they are en route to the hall just to let dispatchers know that tones were acknowledged and firefighters are en route. When we get to the trucks, we just say Whitwell Engine 50/51 is 10-8 (En Route)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashburn_2011 View Post
    As far as i know, it really shouldn matter to dispatchers how many people are responding, if you need more manpower, call for mutual aid. Many in our dept say they are en route to the hall just to let dispatchers know that tones were acknowledged and firefighters are en route. When we get to the trucks, we just say Whitwell Engine 50/51 is 10-8 (En Route)
    It's not for the dispatchers per se, its for the field personnel to know how many personnel are enroute on each vehicle. There are a lot of departments that don't issue every member a radio, so it's much more beneficial to mark enroute with your staffing.
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    We use live talk. _____ Dispatch- Engine 3 is in route with 4 firefighters. Ambulance 1 is in route with 3 EMTs, etc.... It lets our mutual aid companies know our staffing levels for that call while they are responding. It also lets our members still responding know if they need to grab another unit or if they are going to respond POV to scene to fill out staffing on the unit that is alrady in route.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREguy2011 View Post
    Whenever you respond with a truck, do you just say Engine so and so responding, or what do you say?
    I want my dept. to start saying stuff like, Ladder One responding with a crew of _____. Would this just cause a clutter of traffic or benefit the dept?
    We say, "Engine 59 responding". We don't call dispatch first, we don't mention the crew size (unless its understaffed) and we don't repeat if not acknowledged (we don't expect dispatch to answer).

    The exception would be if you are the first unit to sign on. Then you are expected to hail dispatch and then give your message and get acknowledged.

    "Engine 59 to dispatch....." reply "Engine 59 responding". acknowledged.
    Last edited by ChiefKN; 12-09-2010 at 10:26 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    we don't repeat if not acknowledged (we don't expect dispatch to answer).
    Um, you don't want the dispatcher to acknowledge that they know you're enroute??
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Um, you don't want the dispatcher to acknowledge that they know you're enroute??
    I just updated my post. Only if you are first on the air.

    We discovered that our police dispatchers didn't care and were too busy to answer every apparatus, ambulance, chief, etc signing on.

    Sad but true.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    We discovered that our police dispatchers didn't care and were too busy to answer every apparatus, ambulance, chief, etc signing on.
    Wow, that's a shame, I hope it doesn't one day lead to problems for accountability on the part of the PSAP.
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    Our first couple out the door usually just use their callsigns (3331, etc.) and enroute. Trucks that leave station later on will usually say how many on board, helps the IC know what he has coming to help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Wow, that's a shame, I hope it doesn't one day lead to problems for accountability on the part of the PSAP.
    To be honest.. I don't see how it would.

    It also makes the dispatchers more inclined to perk up and listen if they are actually called directly.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    I just updated my post. Only if you are first on the air.

    We discovered that our police dispatchers didn't care and were too busy to answer every apparatus, ambulance, chief, etc signing on.

    Sad but true.
    some departments have a 911 initial dispatch, then an inhouse dispatch who records all the times, etc.
    Example:
    "911 to B3nt0n Fire, standby for a page,
    *tones*
    911 to said dept. _____ fire, or NOI for EMS, address, etc."
    then we say, 911 we copy.

    Then we bring up, 911 to Headquarters (dispatchers for some), you can show callsign responding. The only thing we don't say is the unit response (such as unit 10,11, etc) only if you're in a truck or an officer you get on the horn and respond. This is where the manpower problems come in:
    we don't know how many units are responding, we 3 full timers example: you grab E-1 and L-1, your already two people down. So, say we get a MVC, ladder truck goes with E-1, then we get a brush fire, since all ful time ppl are already responding with those 2 trucks, E-1 will be diverted to the fire, L-1 will continue to MVC with Ambulance. With that being said, the IC will know how many units are en route and how many we need to begin responding.

    IC has two apparatus' responding with at least 3 units responding:
    E=2
    L=1
    He plans for this manpower, and automatically calls for mutual aid.

    Now if E1 and L1 got up with, E-1 responding w/ 5 units, and L1 responding with 5 units, he knows what he can do and what hell need.
    I hope you see some logic in my southern twang.
    Last edited by FIREguy2011; 12-09-2010 at 11:14 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    To be honest.. I don't see how it would.
    My ex-wife was working fire dispatch one night, and 4 engines, 1 truck, 1 rescue, and 1 BC are dispatched for an interior residential gas leak. Units are responding, and three of the engines have arrived, along with the BC. The call-taker side of the room (they have four people dedicated to answering the 1200 phone calls they get per shift) starts getting a number of 911's indicating that a fire engine has been involved in a wreck on a particular street. My ex recognizes the street is only 2 blocks from where the gas leak is, so she immediately does a roll-call of the engine, rescue, and truck that hadn't arrived, and when the rescue didn't answer, was able to immediately ascertain that it was in fact the rescue that had overturned, leading to the first LODD for this large combination department.

    Add to that the fact that I was a law enforcement dispatcher that covered 22 counties and 4 cities, plus all of the cellular 911's for those localities in a communications center that only had THREE people on duty for all of that, I have a hard time hearing, "we're too busy for that."

    The dispatchers have a responsibility to the field units, and they need to remember that. I can't wait to go back to dispatching one day after my old bones can't climb in the cab every night anymore...
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    My ex-wife was working fire dispatch one night, and 4 engines, 1 truck, 1 rescue, and 1 BC are dispatched for an interior residential gas leak. Units are responding, and three of the engines have arrived, along with the BC. The call-taker side of the room (they have four people dedicated to answering the 1200 phone calls they get per shift) starts getting a number of 911's indicating that a fire engine has been involved in a wreck on a particular street. My ex recognizes the street is only 2 blocks from where the gas leak is, so she immediately does a roll-call of the engine, rescue, and truck that hadn't arrived, and when the rescue didn't answer, was able to immediately ascertain that it was in fact the rescue that had overturned, leading to the first LODD for this large combination department.

    Add to that the fact that I was a law enforcement dispatcher that covered 22 counties and 4 cities, plus all of the cellular 911's for those localities in a communications center that only had THREE people on duty for all of that, I have a hard time hearing, "we're too busy for that."

    The dispatchers have a responsibility to the field units, and they need to remember that. I can't wait to go back to dispatching one day after my old bones can't climb in the cab every night anymore...
    We only have 3 engines, ladder and some support units. We would be able to do a roll call and figure it out as well.

    I hear what you are saying, but we have little to no control over dispatch. Its been 25 years and I've personally seen very little improvement in the service to us.
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    We are dispatched by 911 on a frequency separate from the frequency that most of the parish fire districts, and the parish EMS service, utilizes. One other fire district also operates on their own frequency.

    Once 911 dispatches us, our own dispatchers monitors our frequency and the only times we will contact them is for additional information or to page out mutual aid, generally on the parish 911 frequency.

    It is our own dispatchers that are acknowledging apparatus on the air and documenting times on our frequency, not 911.

    We have found this works much better than expecting 911 to track our apparatus, as they only staff a maximum of 3 dispatchers per shift for 7 fire agencies, and the EMS service, plus receiving calls, and then re-routing them for the city fire department and the Sheriff's Department.

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    Cool Radio Comms

    When I worked Paid-Call we would go responding and once in the area of the Incident notify Dispatch that we were "in the area, switching to the Tac." Once we went "staged", "on scene" or "in the area" we would notify the I.C. and let them know our status and Crew number.

    Example: "Comm Center, E-........ in the area switching to Tac." "I.C. E-...... is a minute-out, with (3) do you have an assignment?"
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    In the case of the overturned apparatus i can see how roll-call/staffing would help greatly, but around here, you cant really tell who is going to respond due to work/school/etc. and then, depending on circumstances, the firefighter(s) may not be on the same truck as the last call. .
    Last edited by Ashburn_2011; 12-10-2010 at 12:52 PM.

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    1 dispatcher to handle Fire, EMS, and Police. Add into that, at times, public works, bldg inspectors, and water department. Oh yeah, they are also the point of contact for anyone calling PD for any reason and anyone walking in the door of the PD. They don't have time to acknowledge every transmission. It's all recorded should there ever be a need to verify that someone called in.

    Trucks sign on as responding, if they have less than a full crew they give the number of FF's. The dispatchers don't care about numbers responding...but the trucks/engines/chiefs that are responding use that information.
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    Post Wow.............

    I've read a book with fewer Horror Stories that this Thread. In the State of Maryland, each County has a Fire Dispatch Center that serves every Fire/Rescue/EMS organization that operates in that County. We Require the use of 9-1-1 for all Emergency Calls Statewide. Every Call goes to the PSAP for the County that the call originates from. At this time, almost all Dispatch Centers are set up for a FIre Dispatcher to handle Fire/Rescue/EMS, and Police Dispatchers handle all Law Enforcement Calls. One or Two of the most Rural Counties may still mix Fire and Law Dispatch, but that will end eventually. Our rules for Dispatch Procedures are made by Fire People, for Fire people, and the crazy stories you hear from some places just don't happen here. For instance On an Auto Accident call, with injuries, Fire handles the Call, then passes it on to the Police. We feel that getting a Fire/EMS/Rescue (as needed) Response is more important than getting someone there to write a Ticket. Dispatch Protocols require Police response on certain incident types, and we get it. On the other hand, it's rare that a PD car will show up on a call that they weren't invited to. Part of the Money for these Dispatch Centers comes from the County Government of each County, and part comes from a State Tax on Phones. Every Telephone in Maryland pays 10 cents, per month, into the 911 Center Fund.....
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