We have a Department of 10 stations 3 shifts 230 FF's. We have a Watch room in our main station. Every one in our department is responsible for dispatching. I a 24 hour shift there are 6 watches broken down into 4 hours. If you are on a truck and you are on watch you answer the call dispatch the needed trucks and then run to you truck before it leaves you. One person is called the House man His responsiblaity is when someone on watch has to go on a call he runs up stairs to the watch room and takes over dispatching. This is how a call will go down, 911 recives the call, they dispatch the police and EMS, then they call us on the phone and then we have to look up where the call is and witch trucks to dispatch. If it is your truck that is goning you half to wait for the house man then catch your truck. It works ok but there is a delay on response.
Sounds like an unwanted delay for every fire call! Here, if someone dials 000 (our emergency number) they're asked "Police, Fire or Ambulance" and the call is switched to the correct dispatching centre. We're on CAD so we're paged automatically as the detaiils are keyed into the system. This includes initial support (mutual aid) depending on the type of emergency.
In my area, we have a central dispatching center in the largest city in the county. They receive all 911 calls for the entire county and dispatch through a CAD system. We, as volunteers, respond by pager. There are 3 county and 2 city ALS equipped medic units, but fire is all volunteer. EMS, Fire and Police are all dispatched through the same central dispatch center. It seems to flow well because if you need additional resources, they are only a radio call away to your dispatch center. No costly time delays when you really need the help...
The delay is the worst part of our system, also when you are running calls all day then you half to pull watch from midnite unitl 4 in the morning and then run some call before shift change, then everyone wonders why your so tireid becouse all firefighters do anyways is eat and sleep.