07-24-2003, 10:31 AM #1
- Join Date
- Jul 2003
- Windsor Locks, Connecicut, USA
My city use a firedispact system called "TN" when we call then for a reason to ask like if a system shows reset the say "we are very busy please hold" when it simple right on a board next to them. This is the confusing part of it all my department along with other departments pays them alot of money each year just to dispact us. So for them to say "please hold" and we are paying them to do a job is outragous..This is just my opion what is ur or do u have a situation like this???
07-24-2003, 10:39 AM #2
- Join Date
- Jan 1999
Having spent my previous life in communications, my answer would be this:
Unless you know exactly what is going on in the Dispatch center, its hard to comment. Sure the panel may be right next to them, but they may also be dispatching a call for another Town. Do you know they are not on the phone taking another call? Do you know that there isn't 3 or 4 other alarms on the panel they have to look through? As far as task priorities, alarm status once you are on scene is pretty low. There are probably 10 or 20 good reasons for them to tell you to stand by. Next time just ask, in a friendly way...you'll probably get a hell of an education in how the other half lives.
07-24-2003, 12:26 PM #3
It's very easy to be aggravated when we scan the band and hear the same dispatch center doing a license check for the police while a fire or medical call is happening and companies are trying to communicate. We all feel our traffic takes priority, and dispatch is presented with the task of deciding who talks first. An hour at the desk would probably make an outsider (even one of us!) shake his head in amazement. Multitasking is the first characteristic in a dispatcher. In some departments with internal dispatching, the dispatcher answers the station phone and functions in secretarial/office work capacities too. A key to handling issues like this can be to lighten the load of your dispatch center. If there are tasks that can be distributed among others, then dispatchers have more time to check the panel or call the hospital for a trauma team. Most departments expect way too much for way too little cost, and this is another area that functions exceptionally for as much as they are dealt. Visit local dispatch and state 911 centers and report findings, good & bad. Take care!~Kevin
Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
07-24-2003, 03:11 PM #4
- Join Date
- Mar 2003
- La Crosse, WI
I heartily agree with both hfd66truck and kghemtp. I've been a Dispatcher for 20 years (supervisor for about 14), and the biggest problem I've encountered is communication between our Dispatch Center and the various agencies we serve. (That's right, "serve.")
We have managed to convince all the PDs & the Sheriff's Dept that their new officers need to spend a minimum of 4 hours in our center "riding along" with a supervisor & a dispatcher. It has helped improve understanding and communications greatly.
The La Crosse FD (a full-time department) has arranged for each of their stations to send their crews to our center for a brief tour, and that has been a great help.
As far as the volunteer departments go, we have tried to spread the word that we welcome any members of those departments (and first responder units) to contact a supervisor and arrange either a tour or a ride along for one or a group.
I strongly recommend this kind of interaction. The better we understand the needs each has, the better we can work together. Also, it is extremely important to communicate concerns to a supervisor or administrator so a proper investigation can be made to determine if there was a problem, or if there was a reason for what seemed to be a problem. We urge our firefighters, officers and first responders to contact us as soon as possible with date, time, location of call and specific problem as they perceived it. We then review recordings and check with dispatchers, as necessary, to find out what happened. Then we can take corrective action or report back the reason for what happened.
If we all work at communicating, we will provide the best service possible to each other and to the citizens we ultimately serve.
(End of sermon.)Joe O'Keefe
07-24-2003, 06:13 PM #5
I can't really add to much to what's been said other then we don't serve the field units, we work WITH them. Serving has nothing to do with it. We are all equal.
We also have an alarm board in out center that has a little over 500 police and fire alarms. The vast majorty being fire. We also dispatch for 3 police and 4 fire departments. So I'll echo everyone else when they say if I'm busy, checking to see if an alarm is reset is very low on my things to do. I know that you don't want to sit out there if you don't have to, but there are a number of things that I may need to do that take a higher priority then checking the alarm board. I haven't forgotten you, it just may take a while. Also like JOKeefe said, sitting in with dispatch is a GREAT way to get to know each other and learn some of what the "voice" does on the radio. Just because your not busy, doesn't mean were not. And if you are busy, then we're probably equally and more busy. ALso if you think you do have a valid complaint don't hesitate to call up and speak with a supervisor and see what's up. If it's a serious infraction then document, document, document...
07-25-2003, 11:59 PM #6
Spend a day or two in the communications center at TN. Then see if you have the same opinion. That is the only way people in the field without a clue (no offense) will learn why dispatchers say "Standby" when your traffic is of least importance compared to most of the other 5,000 things going on at once in there.Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.
07-26-2003, 10:08 PM #7
I love seeing other dispatchers post on here. So often I beleive that we are the most overlooked first responders of any incident. I agree with Jim on this one. I think that we're just as involved as any of the responding units. Also great point about how we can busy when the field units aren't. I've had nights that I didn't dispatch a single incident be one of the busiest nights of my career!
Here where I work the officers are required as part of thier traning to spend a shift working with us. How many other dispatchers have heard the comment: "I'm glad I don't have your job?" I invite from my area to come and sit with me for a while and see why once in a while I gotta tell you "STAND BY, WOULD YA!"
Fellow dispatchers unite! It's time that we start posting some stuff in the dispatch forum!
Just a quick shout out to my man McGuyver! (I mean KGH.)
Stay safe and sane out there!
Cheerfully posting from the 9-1-1 center
P.S. I'm not really sure what Whpfd738's original question was, but we seemed to have rescued this post and made it a worthwhile thread describing that we dispatchers rock!
Last edited by 911brad; 07-26-2003 at 10:12 PM.Brad A. Ingersoll
Maple Bluff Fire Department
Blooming Grove, Burke, Maple Bluff EMS
07-26-2003, 10:32 PM #8
We are the first, first responders...
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