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  • 9-1-1 cell Phone calls

    Okay let me start with the fact I have a cell phone and i'm not totally against cell phones
    we've had 2 runs within 2 weeks that because people on cell phones have NO CLUE WHERE THEY'RE AT. the first one we we're responding to a car wreck and we get to the spot where it was suppose to be at. The ambulance is there and i turn to chief and said "Where's the car" He said " I don't know" They we're off by a good 4-5 miles. It was out of our district but we responded to it.(we eventally found it)
    today I was awaken by my beeper going off and i went to the station got my gear on they said it's between this on this county rd before the state route. We called for mutual aid(because during day fires most of our dept is working) so we go down this road 2-3 TIMES no fire. so the other fire dept shows up and we have them go go down the next road to the south and we had our tanker check the next road to the north. We checked the road to the east. Still nothing.I thought maybe someone prank calling 9-1-1. So about a hour has gone by now. I yelled over at chief(he was driving and i was radio man) isn't that over there(he said are you sure that isn't christmas lights) I said no it's dancing(the fire) lights don't dance like that(so by now we radio to all depts report to here)(so we had 3 depts ready to drop every hose in the county . so we get there and it's a good 1/2 mile off the road(your thinking well just go down the lane right) well there's a problem it's raining like heck and its basically a mud driveway. and when you get a heavy fire truck like our pierce in mud it sinks. So I said OH CRAP chief we got a problem I'm think great I'll be rolling hose after this fire till next tuesday . so to get back there quicker they jumped in a dude that on the f.d. little dodge dakota and rode back to it. I had the first layer of cross layed hose off the truck and chief comes back and says it's a controlled burn I'm thinking thank goodness I don't wanna hook up A T0N of hoses. cause we might had had enought 2.5 inch on the 2 pumpers we got combined to hit it from the road but to pump into pumper we'd have to borrow hose i bet.

  • #2
    Uh, and what is the purpose of THIS post???


    • #3
      what i was trying to get at is if other dept have problems with locating runs when people call in on cell phones


      • #4
        I used to serve as a dispatcher. This is a very common problem because when people call 9-1-1 from their car they are often still moving. When asked the location, they look up and read the sign they are passing (not thinking that the actual location is down the road a couple of miles). It is important to keep this in mind and confirm the location.

        Being in a highly-populated-everyone-commutes area, we would normally get several calls on a single incident. When dispatching a location - majority rules. If most callers said it was at "X" - that's where the equipment goes.


        • #5
          We get that a lot, too. Seems like anything that comes in on a particular stretch of SH 51 is ALWAYS "five miles east of SH 99"...doesn't matter if it's two miles or eight miles.

          Another big problem we have with cell phones is that we're right smack between Stillwater (Go Pokes!) and Tulsa...half of cell 911 calls go to Stillwater, the other half to Tulsa. Well, Stillwater (35 miles away) doesn't know who to call, so they call Yale FD (15 miles from us), who calls Mannford FD (12 miles the OTHER side of us)and Mannford finally calls us. Tulsa just transfers the call to Mannford.

          The combo department I worked for used the "majority rule" method too, DFD. 4 out of 5 callers say westbound mile marker 57? That's PROBABLY close. Until we actually got a unit on scene, though, you never knew.
          Bryan Beall
          Silver City, Oklahoma USA


          • #6
            I know the feeling, we get plenty of calls that were called in by cell phones and we have some difficulty finding the address. It helps when dispatch tells us how many calls they receive on it. Usually when they only get one call it usually turns out to be a false alarm, but you never know so....
            NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
            IACOJ Attack

            Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.


            • #7
              This is an issue we wrestle with all too frequently.

              Our "focus" is on mountain/wilderness rescue and we often receive calls via cellular 911. In most of the area these calls route to the Calif. Hwy. Patrol (CHP) who route it to the local fire authority (typically). The dispatch system requires certain specifics to determine which resources to call. Often this leads to folks being sent to the wrong location, finding nothing and canceling. The "type" of incident sometimes helps ensure that the right resources are called, but if the subject reports a medical problem it may not be seen as a wilderness rescue and an engine, RA, etc. are sent to find that the patient is 3 miles from the nearest road. Additional delays get introduced since additional (approp.) resources must be dispatched at that point.

              Other problems may occur when a caller gets a cell that lands their call in another county or even state.

              In short, users of cell phones that make these calls need to be "educated" on info. that they should provide and dispatch folks need to probe more (?) when receiving these calls.


              • #8
                Welcome to the reality of cell phones. They are working to improve this problem.

                But weigh the good of cell phones vs the bad, accidents are reported quicker, fire are reported quicker, a good dispatcher asking the right questions can obtain far greater information about an incident than in the past.

                I can remember and still do for that matter, responding to calls that came in via land line and had bad locations because someone "saw" something, or "heard" something.

                There is problems will any technology, but cell phones have provided far more benefit to emergency services than they have problems.
                Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
                "Everybody Goes Home"

                IACOJ 2003


                • #9
                  Rhode Island's E-911 sstem is going on-line next week with a cellphone locator. So far it only applies to one brand of phone, but expansion is very likely. According to the news reports, the locator is accurate to at best 3-5 feet and at worst 25 meters.


                  • #10
                    It's true. These retards (the callers) are the same people who don't know what a turn signal is. Cells phones are a great tool, but people should be educated on cell phone 'musts' when making calls to emergency agencies.

                    Where are you now? Your phone #? Where is the incident? On a street? Do you have cross-streets? Intersections? Exits the incident might be between? Direction (N/S/E/W bound)? What exactly is going on where the incident is?

                    Simple questions that the public can easily answer if they actually think, before they react.
                    May God bless all the people and families who have lost
                    their lives on 9-11-01, to those also lost on Flight 587, and to the rescuers who responded to both.

                    "I'm not saying it's right, i'm just saying (the way it is)."

                    FDNY-EMS - Still New York's Best!

                    e-mail always accepted @
                    [email protected].com


                    • #11
                      Perhaps they intergrate a GPS unit into a cell phone that would give the cordinates to dispatch. There are some aviation gps units that have aviation channels in them. You just look at the display and give them you location. another thing is many drivers have no idea where they are. I think that some think that a mile is a city block. People should know where they are at all times. The cell companies need to make sure that every phone is able to give it's location.


                      • #12
                        Cell phones are good and bad. If they are used right and in a major area, the right location should be pretty good. But most of the time what happens to us is someone sees "something" and calls it in and keeps on going. We get there and we can't find it. The caller should pull over to the side of the road and wait for Police/Fire/EMS to show up and show them what they saw. I rember this one call, it was a reported chimby fire. Well, the fire officers and police drove the street several times, dispacted called the cell phone back (guess what, no answer!). Never found it.



                        ***My Views ONLY****


                        • #13
                          We call them "Drive By Fires" or "Drive By Accidents" or "Drive By fill-in-the-blank."

                          It amazes me when people call on their cell phone and say they drove by an accident and they saw a person trapped in the car and they had blue eyes and long dark hair - all while doing 50 MPH driving past the scene.

                          Stay Safe


                          • #14
                            Cell phones are a great tool but some folks are just dying for the chance to call in about an incident. Don't want to get too involved....but can't hardly dial fast enough while speeding by.

                            Went on a call a few years ago during the Sturgis Rally, 40 mile response to a reported motorcycle down. Arrived to find a motorcycle (on the center stand) with the rider lying on the ground repairing the chain. As long as we were there, we got out our tools and gave him a hand.
                            A quote from Firefighter Timothy Stackpole, FDNY (borrowed from Bits & Pieces magazine)<br />"The greatest high you can get in life is by helping somebody."


                            • #15
                              Maplewood, do you do anything all day other than put posts on Firehouse? I actually thought that your post was going to be something intelligent about cell phones and the fire service! It turned out that you just wanted to parade your latest "conquest" of battling yet another raging inferno. I am truly suprised your 1980's gas rig with the 3000' of bright orange 2.5" did'nt have enough hose to lay in to this monster of a blaze! You need to get a life!!!!!

                              To all of you who actually had an interesting insight into cell phones and the fire service, Thank you!!!


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