1. #1
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    Question dispatch problems

    Was wondering if anyone else is having dispatch problems?

    Our dispatch center is starting a new process were they dipatch on one channel then move to a tac channel for response and operations of that call. The dispatch center covers 6 fulltime paid departments and 4 volunteer departments. The trouble comes in that the volunteers only have 1 channels pagers. So as we respond we can not hear secondary info or even if the trucks are responding. Any help appreciated

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    That's not a problem with dispatch. That's a problem with fire admin not getting everyone the same radios so they can hear what's going on. The idea to move in progress incidents to a seperate channel is a good idea and a move we also made recently. It clears up the main channel so that when other calls come out, they will not interfere with the on going incident and vice versa. Sounds like it's time to upgrade/re-program some personal radios/pagers.

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    I agree with MrJim911, but would add that there needs to be good communication between Dispatch and the FDs. Around here, if one department wants to have us do something in a new way, and it means a new procedure that would affect only one department, we won't implement it until we have discussed it with all of them and have a concensus on how to do it. Once everyone is on board, we will present the new way to our personnel and set a date for the new procedure to start.

    The only real exception to this is our one and only full time department, which uses 800 Trunking radio, so is already on a different channel.

    BTW, we have a County Fire Officers' Association, and I am the representative from our Dispatch Center to that association. We meet every 2 months, and have developed a very good relationship over the years.
    Joe O'Keefe

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    Default Re: dispatch problems

    Originally posted by jdboy88
    Was wondering if anyone else is having dispatch problems?

    Any help appreciated

    It's not a dispatch problem. That is the way it SHOULD be.

    The solution is to get your pagers re-crystalled / re-programmed / get paging two-way radios with more channels. Is it a pain in the ***? Yes. Should they have planned aheard for this? Yes. Did they, obviously not.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    I understand what you are saying. It would be nice to upgrade all pagers but we are a rural department with a limited budget. our dispatch is still trying to work out all the bugs. All suggestiond are appreciated. thanks

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    Well, there isn't much anyone can suggest. Get a cheap-o scanner, thats all you can do until you can upgrade your paging.

    The only other thing is having the dispatcher simulcast on the fireground channel and your dispatch channel so you can at least hear what the dispatcher acknowleges and repeats. I don't know what kind of console it is. It may not be capable of it anyway.
    Last edited by nmfire; 05-15-2003 at 07:19 PM.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    I'd have to agree that this is more of a planning and Administrative problem than anything else. A few good SOP's/SOG's and some training would go a long way. These should address what radio channels to use and when. For example: Use the dispatch channel for all communications with the dispatcher including dispatch, enroute, arrival and sizeup. when units arrive on the scene then they use a channel designated by either command or dispatch.

    But overall, your department needs to do some planning and develop some common ground for all to follow, including firefighters. They tend to be the biggest violators of procedures like this.

    As far as equipment, I firmly believe that with the proper planning and training, you can make just about any communications equipment work to meet your needs. Take some time to look at the big picture.

    Take Care,
    Nathan

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    We have the same type of system. When the first units mark up, they are directed to a tac-channel and all further communications are on that channel. It does get frustrating not being able to hear what is going on. Fortunately, the dispatcher has started going on the air on the dispatch frequency when the first unit arrives and reporting the size up (Engine XX on location with nothing showing). That helps some.

    It even more frustrating for me to be on the tac-channel and not be able to hear who's responding. If the unit doesn't mark up on the tac-channel, you may not know they are responding until the dispatcher gives you a list of units and personnel responding. Unfortunately depending on the size of the incident, that doesn't always happen.

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