The Call Blog

New World Public Safety The Call

The Call

rss

True stories from dispatchers, law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel who use New World public safety software to help them save lives, protect communities and increase efficiency


Faster Response Times Create Safer Communities

In the world of public safety, dispatchers play a pivotal role in emergency responses. Severe weather, fire emergencies, and criminal acts all require first responders to get on the scene as quickly and safely as possible. To get them there, dispatchers need computer aided dispatch (CAD) tools.

Explore these feature stories to read about how agencies from across the United States help create safer communities when responding to calls for service.

40 Burglary Cases Closed Through Connecting Data
Lightning Strike Causes 6-Alarm Fire in Rural Oregon
First Responders Arrive on Scene Faster with Better Navigation Tools
Tattoos Help Public Safety Official Identify Body
A Deadly Terrorist Attack: Lessons Learned


Sending Responses to Multiple-Alarm Fires

In a fire emergency, every second is crucial. That's why dispatchers must work quickly to send the appropriate response to the scene.

When a summer lightning storm caused multiple fires in an Oregon community, dispatchers with the Marion Area Multi Agency Emergency Telecommunications Center (METCOM) were tasked with providing effective coverage to their citizens.

METCOM Dispatcher Discusses Saving Time with Fire Response Plans in CAD

 

To do this, dispatchers relied heavily on built-in fire response plan capabilities in METCOM's computer aided dispatch (CAD) system. These plans dictate what units and capabilities are needed for a specific call and help get a response moving as quickly as possible. Because fire emergencies can escalate quickly, these plans also take alarm levels assigned to fires into consideration.

When dispatchers escalate a fire emergency to a higher alarm, which indicates the severity of the fire emergency, they know exactly what type of response will be sent to the scene with pre-determined responses built in to CAD.

According to METCOM director Gina Audritsh, dispatch centers throughout the United States use the term level and alarm synonymously when discussing fire emergencies.

"It's important that dispatchers can assign alarms in CAD to fire emergencies and get the right response to the scene as quickly as possible," Audritsh said. "Without these capabilities, sending the best response takes longer."

According to Audritsh, there was a time before METCOM upgraded its CAD system when dispatchers relied on paper maps and manual processes when sending a response.

"At METCOM, we've come a long way," Audritsh said. "We've grown to dispatch for 29 agencies. To do this effectively, we needed a CAD system capable of getting our first responders on the scene as quickly and safely as possible. We have that capability now and our responses have improved so much that our fire departments have experienced improved scores with their insurance rating as a result."