To all the Dispatchers out there....<br /> I am teaching Fire Department Comunications at this year's Fire School. In addition to class lecture and some exercises, I am including a tour of our dispatch center. If there was one thing you would want these future firefighters to know, what would it be?
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Thread: Fire School Students
01-16-2002, 02:35 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jan 2002
- Interlochen, Michigan
Fire School Students
01-16-2002, 05:45 PM #2
- Join Date
- Nov 1999
- Marion Township Fire Department
I think the one thing you should try to instill in them is that there may be times you are busy and might not answer right away especially if its not an emergency. but let them know you will answer them. let them know you are on their side.<br />and will take care of themmtfd38
01-17-2002, 05:20 AM #3
I think the biggest thing they need to know is that they need to listen to the radio. Listen before they key up and after they finish transmitting. It's hard to do our job when the companies are walking on each others traffic and repeating things(i.e. the engine puts themselves and trk enroute and then the trk puts the engine enroute.)We also need stress that we may be busy and can't answer right away as MTFD38 said.
01-17-2002, 08:29 AM #4
- Join Date
- Feb 2001
- Washington, DC USA
Stress to them that they can learn far more about the fire service and their job by listening to the fire radio instead of watching MTV. In my 30+ years of fire service, the most knowledgeable young firefighters have invariably been the ones with their ears glued to the radio.
Try and schedule your tour of the dispatch center at the busiest possible time. Let the new folks see (and hear) from the perspective of the dispatcher(s). That usually fosters a better relationship between field operations and dispatch.
It is also important to have dispatchers spend some time with field units. The ones without any fire service background will be better able to understand what is happening on an emergency scene if they can experience it firsthand.
[ 01-17-2002: Message edited by: oldE6man ]</p>
01-17-2002, 07:27 PM #5
- Join Date
- May 2000
Be patient. Here in Delaware we are fortunate to have consoles that will diplay the calling radios ID or alias. For example if I call the County dispatch center my radio will appear on the radio sceen as 54-21P (P is for portable). The vehicles radios do the same. If we do not respond the them right away due to taking a 911 call, taking on another channel we know who called us. Also have them stay calm and not squirrel. <br />Have them have a backup plan incase the radion channel is jammed or not working properly. The northern part of the state had a problem during a working fire and communications were lost with two firefighter. They were using a trunked (repeater channel). The radios the state uses have a dispatch channel a common fireground channel, 4 tac (other fireground) channels, 1 walkie talkie (line of sight) channel that does not use the repeater system. and lastly each company has a private company channel.<br />Have them know what you expect from them when they call in information, like if the come across an accident, so your can get them the proper resouces.<br />Just some tid bits for youBarry Laise<br />EMT/Fiefighter<br />Little Creek VFC Sta 54<br />Little Creek, DE
01-18-2002, 11:38 AM #6
- Join Date
- Jan 1999
- Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
What a great opportunity for you! I have several ideas...
If these are new recruits, show them how to communicate EFFECTIVELY through the SCBA mask. Explain to them NOT to yell into the mic. Show them how to place the mic (lapel mic) against the rubber portion of the mask near the mouth and to speak as calm as they can (I realize that FF's can be out of breath while trying to talk - the key is a calm voice). In fact, this would be a great opportunity for simulation. Have one of the student don a mask and have them yell into the mic, and then talk normal with the mic pressed to a rubber portion of the mask. Have the students listen over a radio or scanner. They'll hear the difference.
You may to speak about your comm center's policy's and procedures - whats expected of them when contacting your dispatcher (or you) on the radio. Also bring home the point of NOT arguing on the radio. If the dispatcher has ****ed them off on the radio, explain to the students to call the dispatcher or supervisor by phone to discuss the problem. It's absolutely unprofessional to have a ****ing-match on the air.
Also about radio communications. Explain to them what I call the ABC's of communications. A=Accuracy, B=Brevity, C=Clarity. Explain to them to THINK about what they will say BEFORE keying-up the radio. It's simply a good practice to clear and concise when talking on the radio. We want to avoid training folks to be jabber-jaws on the radio. As a simulation, you could develope some scenarios and allow them to perform size-ups over the air. Something like this...
"You're responding to 123 Main St. for a reported structure fire. Your company arrives to find heavy smoke and fire rolling out of the 2nd floor windows of a two-story home. The home is of frame construction and is painted white."
A students response could be... <br />"Engine-1 on scene. We have heavy smoke and fire showing from a two-story frame dwelling, establishing Main Street command."
I'm not certain if this is the approach your fire department takes, but I think you get the idea. You can develop some big incidents - a gnarly mass-casualty-incident, idustrial haz-mat incidents, etc... This should be an opportunity to get the students thinking.
I have other ideas for you - I just don't want to take up all of the space here. Feel free to email me direct at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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