The Fire Communications Division’s effective operations ensure that requests for assistance by the public are promptly received and effectively addressed. Oversight of this division includes ensuring that necessary resources, equipment and direction needed to complete the mission of the division are provided.
The overall mission of the Fire Communications Bureau is to receive phone, radio and computer messages from 9-1-1 call-takers, the general public or other agencies. We interpret or evaluate these messages and then take the proper professional action either by dispatching the appropriate resources to the emergency or handling the non-emergency situation.
As the primary communications bureau for Fire and Emergency Medical Services, we receive, record, prioritize and dispatch all requests for service from emergency and, as necessary, non-emergency telephone callers at five permanent telephone consoles. The Bureau is staffed twenty-four hours, seven days a week, by approximately 23 civilian employees to handle any and all requests for public safety services. All of our personnel face an extremely difficult, challenging but rewarding career choice. Their jobs require them to possess a tremendous amount of knowledge and ability in responding to the needs of the citizens, visitors and uniformed personnel each and every hour of every single day. They are the nameless, faceless professionals who are diligently performing a highly stressful and fast paced job, in addition, they must possess, or quickly acquire, many critical skills from multi-tasking to proper extraction of information to the immediate prioritization of emergency requests.
The Public Safety Dispatchers at these consoles will ask a detailed series of questions to determine the location, nature and urgency of the request. As they gather the information on emergency calls, they enter it into a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system and it is sent to the appropriate dispatcher who relays the information to the units. The Bureau utilizes Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) on all EMS request. This is accomplished by the Shift Supervisors and certified dispatchers using a pre-formatted guide during the call taking process for all medical emergencies. After obtaining basic information about the incident and dispatching the appropriate assistance, instructions can then be relayed to the caller to provide medical assistance to the patient, until first responders arrive on the scene.