1. #1
    Junior Member

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    Jan 2002
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    Broomfield, CO
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    Unhappy Change in dispatch agencies -telephone #'s

    My fire jurisdiction is planning to change its dispatching agency. We currently use a regional county dispatch center; and due to a change in radio systems (UHF to 800-digital), we will be switching to a city police dispatch center.

    The problem:

    Fire alarm monitoring companies have been given a certain telephone number over the years to call in order to reach our dispatch center when they receive signals from automatic fire alarm and fire sprinkler monitoring systems in our jurisdiction.

    All of a sudden that telephone number will not be any good. The monitoring companies will be calling the old dispatch center, and then critical time will be lost transferring the call or the information.

    We need to get the telephone number changed to the correct dispatch center. Since there are any number of monitoring companies out there (and we don't really have a list)... we think this is a BIG problem for us.

    Anyone had to do this before, or know a jurisdiction (police or fire) that has?

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

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    Aug 2001
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    Post

    I've done a change or two before but we've always had our published phone numbers (one 7 digit emergency number and one 7 digit business number) that forwarded to unpublished "Dispatch" numbers (answered “fire dispatch&#8221) . I'm guessing by your message that this is not the case – might be a good time to think about that though.

    Sounds like the best solution is to go psycho with public service announcements, letters to local alarm installation companies (don't worry about the monitoring stations - many are shared anyway) and letters to known alarmed businesses / residences. Overall, there is some obligation for your town/dept to get the message out, but there is still an obligation for the old dispatch center to a) get emergency messages to you (via the new center) and b) let the caller know the new number.

    [ 01-15-2002: Message edited by: jeffmarshall911 ]</p>

  3. #3
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    Jan 1999
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    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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    Exclamation

    How about contacting the phone company and have them set things up to automatically forward the calls from that "old" number to the new number? It can be a seamless process.

    Several years ago, a department nearby was having a new building constructed. During construction, they operated out of a trailer (it was nice though). During that time they had several of their old phone numbers forwarded to their new lines. Seemed to work well.

    Contact your phone company and see what they can do to help.

    Mark Milliron<br />City of Indian Hill

  4. #4
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    The problem can not be solved by forwarding the telephone line to the new dispatch center. If we simply did that, we would be forwarding ALL of the calls that the old regional dispatch center receives (i.e. calls for other fire and police departments, which would then have to be forwarded back by the new dispatch center to the regional dispatch center).

    We cover two "cities" (which are really "towns" where I grew up) and some portions of at least four unincorporated counties. For political reasons, we need to leave the dispatching for a portion of our jurisdiction with the old dispatch center and the remainder of our dispatching will go to the new. So the plan is to have two dispatch centers on one frequency controlling our units. The dispatch centers will have the same computer systems and will be linked together; so that in theory we don't have both dispatchers trying to send the same unit(s) to two different places at the same time.

    We all know it will be a headache, but that is politics for you.

    The Chief and Deputy Chief are handling the setup of how the dispatch centers talk to each other. As far as we have been told, call hand-offs will be via a telephone call between the two dispatching agencies (that don't seem to always work smoothly together).

    In the Fire Prevention Division, we are anticipating... and trying to tackle... the telephone number problem that we will encounter with the fire alarm monitoring companies. A hand-off between dispatchers will take time if handled via telephone. One of the agencies has been known to keep the other on hold for minutes when transferring calls. If 911 screens are exchanged with the touch of a button (as some double-dispatch systems seem to have), then we should have no problem at all; but we are trying to anticipate how to fix the call hand-off problem if it arises.

    I am hoping that someone knows of a way to change the telephone number used by monitoring companies to call us other than a massive letter writing campaign.

  5. #5
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    S.E. Idaho
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    Post

    We switched over to new phone numbers in November. We spread word to local business's and residences that the number was new. We also left a recording on the old number and plan to keep it there for about 6 months. Short of a large letter writing campaign, put ads in the newspapers...
    FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

  6. #6
    Dispatch Dweller
    Jay911's Avatar
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    On the way to the station. Really. It's 12 kilometers away and there's traffic.
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    Prior to joining 9-1-1, our agency was dispatched by an agency that had only a seven-digit number. All of the districts this agency covered, though, do not have 9-1-1 access. So the areas that didn't (and still don't) have 9-1-1 still use the 7-digit number, but that number is forwarded to the unpublished number that goes into 9-1-1. You may want to try forwarding the number in a similar manner..

    Sorry, I didn't see the message that you couldn't forward it. I hope you get a solution worked out.
    Last edited by Jay911; 03-06-2002 at 09:45 PM.
    --jay.

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