1. #1
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    Angry Dispatch and weather warning!

    The 911 center is a severe weather warning point for the county I serve.They do cable override and public radio override warning too the public.This depending on the time of day my reach 10 to 20 percent of the folks in the area.

    We have a problem with the 911 center warning responders.Does it not make sense to pager firefighters and EMS personnel of any watches or warning issued by the NWS.We need the warning as will as the public.Most have pagers and or radio's.We have families that need shelter.There will be a large group of scanner jockies that will also here the warning.In a few cases we have been working accident scenes and structure fires and unaware of severe weather in the area.That's a real safety problem!

    Is there anyone else having similar problems with weather warning not being relay to responders.
    Last edited by coldfront; 12-17-2005 at 02:03 PM.
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    Default Reverse 911

    Maybe look into reverse 911. Computer goes through the list of phone numbers all associated in a geographical area. When the citizen answers the phone it plays the pre-recorded message. Message could say anything from severe weather warnings, to evacuation orders, amber alert messages, anything the county or city decides. As far as I know it's all automated and you just gotta record the message. Computer does all the calling. Anyone out there seen this or used it?

    Could be an option.

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    We have a policy for our dispatchers as ot what kinda of weather and when to tone us out. Want a copy >>? please email me.
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    What is your dispatch center's current policy on this and have you spoken with them to see if it could be done?

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    i vol in 1 county and they are a central dispatch and are ecellant about toneing out info any hour of the day and on runs. but the county i work in wouldnt tell you if a tornado was headed straight for your sation, they have a city pd dispatcher and the sheriff dispatches the county departments.

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    I also wonder how many people (us) have their own weather radios at their homes. I have my own, so I am alerted to severe weather as soon as the NWS puts it out. Here in Memphis, we do not announce any severe weather warnings to our stations. What I am trying to say is don't rely completely on your dispatch center to let you know everything that is going on. Check out the Weather Channel, buy a weather radio, and pay attention to what's going on.

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    I have an older style NOAA radio. I don't usually have it on because it is the type activated by the tone, not the SAME (specific area somthin', somthin') data burst, so it goes off for all sorts of stuff that's not around here. I also have alert on my scanner, so I'll somtimes use that too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coldfront
    The 911 center is a severe weather warning point for the county I serve.They do cable override and public radio override warning too the public.This depending on the time of day my reach 10 to 20 percent of the folks in the area.

    We have a problem with the 911 center warning responders.Does it not make sense to pager firefighters and EMS personnel of any watches or warning issued by the NWS.We need the warning as will as the public.Most have pagers and or radio's.We have families that need shelter.There will be a large group of scanner jockies that will also here the warning.In a few cases we have been working accident scenes and structure fires and unaware of severe weather in the area.That's a real safety problem!

    Is there anyone else having similar problems with weather warning not being relay to responders.
    What kind of weather are we talking about? I mean if its been snowing or freezing in your area you should know about it just from living/working in the area.

    Do you monitor the TV while in quarters? I guess I am not sure what could be happening that you wouldnt know or know that there is a potential for.
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    Lightbulb Possible Solution

    Quote Originally Posted by coldfront
    The 911 center is a severe weather warning point for the county I serve.They do cable override and public radio override warning too the public.This depending on the time of day my reach 10 to 20 percent of the folks in the area.

    We have a problem with the 911 center warning responders.Does it not make sense to pager firefighters and EMS personnel of any watches or warning issued by the NWS.We need the warning as will as the public.Most have pagers and or radio's.We have families that need shelter.There will be a large group of scanner jockies that will also here the warning.In a few cases we have been working accident scenes and structure fires and unaware of severe weather in the area.That's a real safety problem!

    Is there anyone else having similar problems with weather warning not being relay to responders.


    Ok, so your dispatch center seems to have a problem getting the warning out in the event of severe weather. The following is a solution or at least one that has worked for our department. We have several computers setup at the station and what not. Basically when the local weather for the day predicts any kind of significant weather event someone will long onto a computer at the station or at thier own residence and check the weather on one of the various online weather sites such as accuweather or intellicast.com. IF and only IF storms that may be of a threat to our area or will be a threat to our area in a period of time that person can do one of the following. First, contact our chief who will contact our dispatch center *our dispatch center has a constant radar loop display* and ask them to check that as well as a bulletin from the weather service. This usually initiates a flurry of radio traffic followed by a requests by our chief or officer if the chief is not available, for the department tones to be dropped notifying personnel of the incliment weather approaching.

    So far this has worked especially in the last two years when on multiple occasions we have been saturated with as much as 30-40 calls going on simultaneously. I hope this idea or fix that my department has implemented works. Oh, and one more thing, a class is held once a year for all personnel on how to recognize what is a weather threat and what is not, so everyone knows what they are looking at and not *kind of a storm spotter class if you will*.

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    Someone asked the best question, what is the current policy on notifying citizens and field units of severe weather? If there isn't one, then that is the problem.

    We get weather reports all the time from the NWS on our state terminal. Weather reports also come in via EMnet which is an Illinois thing. We also have polices in place as to how and when to notify all police and fire units whether in station or out on calls. Policies are in place for thunderstorm watches and warnings and tornado watches and warnings.

    *It should be noted we are NOT responsible for making the public aware or activating any type of sirens, that responsibility belongs to our local EMA.

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    Default http://www.emergencyemail.org/


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    Default

    Our county dispatchers page all of the county fire departments whenever a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch is issued. If a warning is issued, the departments (which may be all in the county) in the direct path of the storm are paged.

    Usually once a watch is issued, the chief officer will monitor the weather, and if a threatening storm begins to head our way, he will page out weather spotters. Nine times out of ten, we are out on storm watch when and if a warning is issued.
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    Severe weather is common in this area. Our comm center has a NOAA weather alert radio and relays any severe weather warnings to all stations and units via an "all call" tone as soon as they receive them. Severe thunderstorms, tornado watches and warnings and flash flood warnings are the most common alerts.

    When we know in advance that a strong storm is coming, we have time to check to make sure all preps have been made. We can always count on a rash of alarm activations from power outages and surges. Downed power line calls are common and we're apt to get a lightning strike structure fire during any of these storms as well. Flash flooding is a fairy common event here also, so rescues from flooded homes and vehicles keep us hopping too.

    Our system seems to works pretty well for a "heads up" on what we may be in store for. All on-duty personnel are made aware of any approaching threatening weather soon after NOAA broadcasts it.




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    Quote Originally Posted by hairman
    Maybe look into reverse 911. Computer goes through the list of phone numbers all associated in a geographical area. When the citizen answers the phone it plays the pre-recorded message. Message could say anything from severe weather warnings, to evacuation orders, amber alert messages, anything the county or city decides. As far as I know it's all automated and you just gotta record the message. Computer does all the calling. Anyone out there seen this or used it?

    Could be an option.
    Our county just got a grant to provide this service. Should be implemented in about a month. Also notifies the public of criminal activity that has occurred.. Kinda like giving them a "BOLO".

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    Quote Originally Posted by gladevfd
    I have used this service for about 7 months now. It sends a text message to my cell phone when the weather service issues a warning for the county I specified. Have been very pleased with it... and you can't beat the price!

    It will send a notifcation to an email address, pager, or cell phone.
    Resident Chaplain of the IACOJ

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    Default Automated Warnings ---

    There are a number of products and services that will get the NWS warnings to your wireless devices. Most are them are based on receiving the alert via EMWIN (Emergency Managers Weather Information Network).
    http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/emwin/index.htm

    Our software parses and processes the information to users and groups of users for the State Wide Mutual Aid Organization as well as other public safety groups. The code is clean and fast, and I usually get the page for my county at the same time the weather radio goes off. The down side here is that NWS warnings are based on FIPS (Federal Information Processing System) standard codes. So many times I get a page when the storm is 60 miles away in the south end of the county.

    EMWIN also contains Fire weather forecasts and red flag warnings, among many other things. Simple Windoes software is available to receive and print the messages in your dispatch center, or more complex code, like mine, is available to receive parse to a short form and page the message to interested parties based on configuration data in a relational database.

    JMS...

  17. #17
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    Post Dispatch will pass on NWS warning to first responders!

    Emergency Management was made aware of the problem.The local 911 center not passing on warning to first responders.The policy was in place to page all agencies after the NWS issued a severe weather warning for the county.The page out will give warning information from the NWS boardcast.The dispatch was passing the warning to the public via cable over ride but failed to warn first responders.I hope our problem has been fixed.
    Last edited by coldfront; 01-15-2006 at 04:07 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldfront
    The policy was in place to page all agencies after the NWS issued a severe weather warning for the county.
    While the Policy is important, the implementation is usually more important. As 911 centers can be at there busiest as storm fronts come through. Be sure they are using a system that does this auto-magically for them, an does not rely on an overworked dispatcher, who gets to you third in the SOP process, but much to late for the Emergency worker in the field.

    JMS..

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