1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    S.E. Idaho
    Posts
    915

    Cool What would you want?

    I have been asked to provide a speech to a state-wide group of dispatchers in just a little over a month. I've been given one hour to keep my talking in.
    What I would like to know is, from a Firefighter standpoint, what can dispatch improve on in your area?
    I want to also provide some definitions to them for those not familiar with Firefighting. Do you have any good terms, definitions or stories to share?
    Please give me some thoughts... maybe I'll be speaking to YOUR dispatchers!

    Thanks!
    *Mark
    FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    backsteprescue123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    4,318

    Default

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm....good topic...very good topic.

    Certain dispatchers around here tend to bugger up who they are dispatching, oh they get the tones for the right department but dispatch you out as pretty much anything but the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus.

    There are MANY other people that probably have more important things, but for me at 0035 thats all I've got my good man.
    ------------------------------------
    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
    ------------------------------------

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,584

    Default

    I think that dispatchers should do a ride along with the firefighters to see and hear what goes on the other side of the comm board.

    By the same token, I think all firefighters should, as part of their probie year spend a day in Fire Alarm to see and hear what is on the other end of the radio.

    Tell the dispatchers to keep it short and sweet. You are going to a medical, state a medical emergency at XXXXX main street. Some tell you exactly what the caller told them on the phone, everyone in scannerland does not need to know that Mr. Smith has a rectal bleed, and sometimes they are still rambling when you are off at the call!

    Tell the dispatchers that when dispatching companies to a call, they should say the address number one digit at a time, for example instead of "150 West Street", they should be saying "One Five Zero West Street". With sirens and aire horn in use, sometimes 150 can sound like 15.

    If there are soimilar sounding street names, like Tremont and Fremont, they should say the name of the street, followed by the first letter of the street name , example....

    Fire Alarm to Engine 1... respond to Two Two Fremont, that's Fremont, F as in Foxtrot for a report of a wire down.

    Going to the wrong address sucks.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 06-24-2006 at 07:22 AM.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    backsteprescue123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    4,318

    Default

    Good ideas Gonzo.
    ------------------------------------
    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
    ------------------------------------

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Portage County, OH
    Posts
    115

    Default

    being on both sides of the radio, I gotta go with the Capt on the "short & sweet" idea especially when more than one department uses the same frequency. As a dispatcher, sitting there "holding" a call until the other department finishes a complete 20 year medical history is just infuriating. As a responder, I don't care that the person had a sprained ankle last month, if the complaint today is altered consciousness & short of breath.... tell me why they called today and add the other if it directly relates to today.

    As a responder to a fire alarm, I don't really care who called it in (ie; engine 987 respond to a fire alarm called in by the alarm company). What i care about is the address, type of alarm and if there are any other reports about it.

    Just my $0.02 for now..... more when I think of them.
    the motto of every midnight shift dispatcher - "I'm up - You're up"

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Slaytallica45's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Belle Mead, NJ
    Posts
    282

    Default

    the one thing i'd say, which is sometimes a problem with dispatchers around here, is tell them to collect their thoughts before they go and dispatch a company/squad. we've been having some problems with some dispatchers recently that go and tone out a company and when it comes time to deliver the message we get alot of "45fire your responding.......uhhh......123 fake street...for a......uhh......fire alarm activation". doesnt happen necessarily every time thers a call but when it does it just seems to me that its wasting time and if i need to play back the recording to get the address again it ultimatly takes up more time
    NJ FFII/EMT-B

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    SW MO
    Posts
    4,249

    Default

    I'd like to have dispatchers. We still run on the old "fire phone" system in most of our area, where someone calls an emergency number and it rings in on our home phones.

    The other part is served by 911. But, the 911 dispatcher at the PD does the whole "what's your emergency" thing and once they find out it's a fire call, transfers it to the FD to dispatch us (as a neighboring dept.).

    We've got 911 voted in now, just waiting on the dispatch center to be built and all. Nice to see some things here I can keep in mind for when they start looking into how we want dispatched, etc.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Shoreman22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Mantoloking, NJ, USA
    Posts
    117

    Default

    This may be more of a SOP issue, but I've recently started hearing some dispatchers notifying the IC of the length of time of an incident at 10 or 20 minute intervals. I think its a good tool for the IC to keep track of time for the crews working inside and to assist with guaging overall progress. I'd like to see my county dispatch start doing it.
    Proud member of the IACOJ.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you....

    "It seemed like a good idea at the time..."

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    FDNY101TRUCK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    9-0-8
    Posts
    789

    Default

    We have repeaters in are area and the dispatchers stress to their own and to everyone using the radios that you cant just key the mic and say 10-4 or whatever real quick because it will be cut off. Now this is for everyone on both sides because the fireman are just as notorious for it as some dispatchers are. Another thing I would bring up would be using normal text when speaking because a neighboring county here their 10-97 is on scene while are 10-97 is DOA. Again keeping it short and sweet works on both sides, you dont want a dispatcher to keep rambling on while on the same token you do not want a firefighter/emt/cop to be giving you alot of useless information that doesnt help anything. Like Gonz said I agree 100% that dispatchers that arent familiar with how fire/ems/LEworks then they should go see hands on how it works. Same thing with the FF/EMT/LEO who dont know how the dispatchers work. When everyone does this they can see where problems occur and hopefully when you see where one has trouble you can make adjustments so everyone works together.
    NEVER FORGET!
    9/11/01

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    bfranse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    56

    Default

    The public and government have greater expectations from public safety every year. Can’t get in your house or car / squirrel in a down spout (yes this was a real “call”) / my neighbor has a fire in their burn pit = “911 what’s your emergency?” Along with our traditional rolls, we now have to be on the look out for & prepare for the next terrorist event, HAZ-MAT response that small fire agencies can’t train and/or be prepared for, mandated training to be eligible for federal grants. As the demands for service increases, so does our demand on our dispatchers. My organization is fortunate that our dispatchers are fire only. In a neighboring town, their dispatchers cover the whole city (fire/ems/leo/water/sewer/civil defense) pop around 35,000. On a good day they have two dispatchers on duty. I can hear them being overwhelmed on the radio.

    Dispatchers are like firefighters, people with the purse strings get upset when they see you “just setting around”. Communications seems to be the “red headed step child” of the emergency service, I know that in some places the communications center can multi task a presidential visit, mass casualty incident & land the space shuttle. Most of us aren’t that fortunate. What are local governments doing to prepare & improve the communication abilities of their agencies?
    We're not spliting rocket hairs here people!

    Training is like building a pyramid, if you want it to last, you don't built it pointy side down!

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    ffexpCP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    909

    Default

    If the radio system is not on a repeater- rather than just saying 'copy' or '10-4' restate the mesage given so all others can hear it.

  12. #12
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    30

    Default

    Speaking of short and sweet.....

    Speak clearly and dont exaggerate. Give it as you get it.

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    Station2Capt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Longview, Tx
    Posts
    409

    Default

    Getting the Dispatchers out in the field and the Firefighters in the Dispatch Center are both very important. I am developing this very course for our dispatchers. I went to them and asked them what do YOU want to know about the fire service. Almost everyone I spoke with asked to give a simple course on Incident Command, and what all the terms we use on a working fire mean. They were not sure what a "Vent Crew", "RIT", "PAR" etc were, no one had ever explained it to them, and none of them had ever asked. They just hear us call for a PAR or give a "vent" assingment and they just think ok. They are now ridding out with us to see what we do out there. I think things are going to really improve between firefighters and dispatchers. Take this opportunity to really educate your dispatchers and firefighters on the basics of each others jobs.
    A "Good" fire is not measured by how big it is, but by the fact that everyone is going home safe, and that we possibly learned something new about firefighting. Member:IACOJ

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857

    Default

    HMMMMMmmmmmmmmm another one I could go MILES on.
    We are of course dispatched by an agency that is private third party,

    We never seem to be acknowledged in a timely manner. And of course why does this happen ? because they are busy with other traffic ! We never seem to the priority.

    They have not spent any time with us also, and henceforth no not to much about our operation, even though we have SOG's for them.

    Call and get times .............and they dont have any.

    I wish we had a person on dispatch that could focus on us and the way we operate but we just arent that busy yet and it is a shame.

    So in a nut shell make sure they know what is expected of them, have SOG's,
    sometimes you have to be a ***** to fight for your depratment and its abiolity to get the same service as the police, and when they do a good job make sure they know that too.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Somewhere cold in MI
    Posts
    401

    Default my opinion

    when calling another unit it should be like this in my mind,
    "engine 1 FROM dispatch"
    this is so the officer or whoever is on the radio can know someone is talking to him and then know who it is. not the other way around this allows him to hear the unit calling for him. and thats all i have to say on this matter.

  16. #16
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    S.E. Idaho
    Posts
    915

    Default

    Excellent replies! This is what I'm looking for.
    Captain Gonzo, couldn't agree with you more.
    PTFD19, we're in the same ship pal! I ride both sides of the airwaves also.
    Slaytallica45, sometimes I wonder if there are even thoughts. I think I can tell you why "they" do that... I see newer and sometimes older dispatchers here do that. It is because they are reading the comments directly out of the CAD without thinking them through first. Most times, the other dispatchers type some ***** in that doesn't make sense. Makes the person telling you sound stupid, but they're turning around telling the other dispatcher "You stupid *****, did you hear how I sounded?"
    Catch22, GOOD LUCK! Train them right the first time and you'll love them forever.
    Shoreman22, any relation to Catch22? But back on... those are SOP's developed through relations with the FD & Dispatch. I'm advocating this same thing right now. I'm also trying to push for a "WORKING FIRE DISPATCH NOTIFICATION" where whenever there is a working fire dispatched we AUTOMATICALLY instead of waiting for FD to request it.
    FDNY101TRUCK, we have those problems here too. I think that the bottom line is KEY THE RADIO count to 3 (Silently!) and then talk.
    Station2Capt, I've add those items for further explanation to my presentation.
    Weruj1 - We used to have that problem here. Still do to a point. But we're getting better. Pretty much rooted out the problem by assigning a specific console to the FIRE channel. Like I said, it's still an issue, but not what it used to be.
    Thanks to everyone again!
    Keep your input coming, I've only created 40 slides so far and have MUCH more to talk about.

    *Mark
    FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    Dave1983's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Gator Country
    Posts
    4,157

    Default

    We are very lucky here as far as our dispatch. Its a centralized county system, and they already do everything the good Capt. mentioned. I really have no complaints other then the fact that per policy, the dispatchers cant make any operational calls.

    By that I mean say they get a call for an MVC at 34th st and 54th ave. Then a second MVC call comes in as 3399 54th ave. They have to dispatch it as two seperate calle, even though its clear that its the same incident. But like I said, thats not on the dispatchers, its the countys policy.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    478

    Default

    Our dispatchers work out of the SO office, so at times it seems that is there priority. They have city police, SO, EMS, and VFDs. There are 11 VFDs on same Frequancy! this can turn into a bucket of worms when 2 or more VFDs each have there own fire. At night we are down to 1 dispatcher and they can get overwelmed when the excrement hits the fan.
    Stay Safe ~ The Dragon Still Bites!

  19. #19
    Forum Member
    KEEPBACK200FEET's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    East Carolina University
    Posts
    1,176

    Default

    Tell them to slow the roll when they are talking; especially on initial dispatch.
    Just know, I chose my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingKiwi View Post
    Go put your pussy 2 1/2" lines away kiddies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer343

    By the way KEEPBACK200FEET, you're so dramatic!

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Portage County, OH
    Posts
    115

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KEEPBACK200FEET
    Tell them to slow the roll when they are talking; especially on initial dispatch.
    I've been accused of this one a couple of times. I tend to forget that at 0300 when i'm wide awake & it's the "middle" of my day, the people I'm talking to are just waking up and not fully coherant.
    the motto of every midnight shift dispatcher - "I'm up - You're up"

  21. #21
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    S.E. Idaho
    Posts
    915

    Default

    Still more excellent replies!
    Common "advice" is for slowing whilst speaking into communications device.
    Any others????

    Thanks!
    *Mark
    FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

  22. #22
    Permanently Removed
    CALFFBOU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    6,520

    Default

    Mark- I am on the road right now. When I get back, I plan on giving the typical Bou response with lots of info. And I could mail you some stuff as well. A dispatch tape, etc.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register