I live in a very rural area, with the biggest town being just 1900 people, and only a few communities around, closest is us within 7 miles. We are strictly Vol. Just wondering whats your system of dispatching of Emergency Depts for structure fires and MVA's. We are trying to get an automatic mutual aid page to nieghboring Fire Dept's during structure fires, and automatic page of Fire Dept to all MVA's. We have been after this for a year, and cannot get this done. Our Sheriffs Dept does all the paging of Fire and Ambulance. When we get a call of a structure fire, we have to request mutual aid, ambulance, and public service. When they page out Ambulance to an MVA, they have to request Fire Dept, and on several occasions, have declined because police stated Fire Dept is not needed. I personaly think this is not right. Its all about safety, from protecting the seen to getting more help there as soon as possible. When we have to request extra resources, it takes up alot of time and air time on the radios. Surrounding counties do the automatic system, and it works great and saves valuable time. Am I a nut to think this way ??? How does it work for??? And what can I do to change this???

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I agree, but not here. We do have a county wide agreements with all agencies, had that for half a century. We just cant get dispatch to do it automaticly without us requesting it.
your county fire depts need to look into writing up what my county calls as a dispatch BIBLE, where it states who is going to be called on what type of call depending on the location of the call... my county has a tough time following the BIBLE only when a small few are working dispatch, but we brought it up to the County Commissioners and so far everyone is following it... Maybe if you bring it to the commissioner's attention that will change it all, but you want to inform them on the reason's you would like to change it... also your better off if you have more than 1 or 2 fire depts that feel the same way... thanks any question dont be scared to ask... currently on a structure fire, the 1st tone out is a min of 2 depts, with some area's ranging up to 4 depts for the 1st tone out...
There may or may not be anything that can be done to change this. I know of a couple of departments in my area which have this or similar problems, and have for years. One is dispatched by a city police department. Unless the IC specifically tell the dispatcher what apparatus to send and from where, they don't have a clue. There is no running schedule or assignment for them to go by. And it's not because the Fire Chief has not tried. The city has resisted for whatever reason. Another department is dispatched by the county sheriffs dispatcher. The Sheriff does not want the dispatchers trained as EMD's and does not allow pre-arrival instructions to be given. Reason? He doesn't want the liability of potentially having the wrong instructions given out. So the FD is dispatched 10 min before EMS, or EMS is not advised to stage for law enforcement, or EMS has to call for FD assistance for an entrapment, etc.
I would try going through your county Emergency Management office. There appears to be an Emergency Management committee as part of your county Board of Supervisors, and this may be the best place to start.

I'd come up with some automatic mutual aid agreements with surrounding departments, as well as standard response for specific incidents like MVA, car fire, etc. then meet with the director of emergency management to discuss. The Local Emergency Planning committee may also be interested.

We have automatic mutual aid agreements with surrounding departments that all show up on the dispatcher's CAD screen. If your county doesn't have computer aided dispatch, the good old 3-ring binder would work just fine.

Let us know how you make out.
I would think that all you would need is to get the agencies to agree to auto mutual aid, sign the letters of agreement, place them on file, go over it with the 911 Coordinator and enact it.
I don't understand if all parties agree why it can't be implemented. It should be built into the on screen protocol, it should be followed to the letter by the dispatchers and it should enhance your service in your coverage area.
Well I should have mentioned that our Emergency Cordinator for our county is just there to get a check. Her father-in-law is the big wig on the county board, thats how she got the job. Until he is out...she stays. Ive complained to the regional director about her, come to find out several others have also, but thats an appointed position, and as long as she meets the minimum requirements, which is all she does, there is nothing they can do. She has NEVER been to our or any other Dept to see what we need or would like, whether it be training, grants, equipment,etc..So thats my main bump in the road. Thanks for all the replies, and suggestions, I will keep you posted....might be awhile...LOL.
we have a county emergency dispatch system, that every fire dept chief can set up a way to get called out ---my dept on mva's are Vienna fire dept First Responder this is your call have a 10-50 PI with possible entrapment---my fire chief has been to dispatch time and time again to get this changed to Vienna fire dept have a 10-50 PI where the whole dept goes not just first responders.than you have first reponders get toned out five minutes after the ems service go figure???should change the name to second responders
Here's how my region deals with mutual and auto aid. My chief talks to the chief of the fire dept we want resources from, then once the resources are agreed on, the info is submitted to dispatch and it's entered into CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch).

It sounds like you (if you're the fire chief) or your fire chief needs to talk with the dispatch center officer in charge about your needs.

You're not nuts; here, the auto/mutual aid is seamless spanning 2 counties. It takes work and cooperation.
our 911 center dispathes us.they automaticly page the next closest dept.on all structure fires.they also let rescue know so they can respond.same with lawenforcement.we have a great dispatch center.
I am a dispatcher and where i work we have a mvc with entrapment the closest FD with extrication gets called along with medics. Standard SOP. Structure fires 2 stations automatically. I would suggest you start keeping up with times for different calls when you can show your fire chief and dispatch they are losing time when waiting. We go by what the caller tells us when we dispatch. If they tell us possible entrapment then FD w/rescue. Fires depends on again what the caller tells us. I may have an advantage because our 911 director is also a fire chief. And I am also a fire man too so the other dispatchers look to me on my shift. Our county fire chief has no problems with how we dispatch. But it sounds like you need to do some research and put some paper work together showing delay in times when it would have made a difference. Another thing is start getting some repore with your dispatchers might help. When you have cook outs etc, make sure they are getting either invites or sent some food. Build a closer relationship and talk to them, that might help.
We do not have a fire advisory board nor do we have a Chiefs Assoc. However, my Chief is working on getting the Chiefs Assoc going in our county. Our Chief and myself have talked to our Sheriff about this, he wants to help us, he is very willing to try to get our requests taken care of. However...our Emerg Dir. supposedly runs the whole 911 system, and what she says, goes. As I stated before, she does the bare minimum, and her father-in-law runs the county board, and it is an appointed position, there for we cant get her booted out. As of now there is just 3 of us that want to get this auto aid protocal enacted. This 3 of us have always worked together, very,very seldom do we work with the others. There are 4 others left that may, or may not feel the same way. We are trying to at least get it set up for our depts, and when others see how much time is saved, and better this would work, they would follow. I would like to add that there are like 3-4 dispatchers that work EMS, and/or Fire, and they totally understand the way it should be, and they usually page out correctly. Hope this helps understand things a little.
I am a 911 dispatcher in my county. We do automatic toning for MVA's by sending the presiding ambulance service and the closest fire dept. For a business we do auto toning for the 2 closest agencies. On a structure fire inside the city limits we only tone that city agency and ems service. If they want additional resources they have to request them for the mutual aid to be in effect. However, if it's a structure fire in the district we tone the 2 closest agencies because they already have a mutual aid agreement in place. Hope this helps.

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