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  • NJFFS_A16
    replied
    DISPATCHERS LEAVE YOU HANGIN'?

    If John Q. Public attempted to hang himself....at whatever location, I would say there's a good chance that the majority of that municipality would soon find out anyway. No matter what codes you use, THAT kind of gossip is gonna spread like wildfire.

    Don't beat around the bush....get the info out to the crew, and be as discrete as possible, without witholding vital information.

    Let's face it....we all have great dispatchers, good dispatchers, mediocre dispatchers and just plain awful dispatchers. A little conferencing after the run is complete....might make for an improvement in the communications next time!

    Leave a comment:


  • Temptaker
    replied
    I don't think the dispatcher in question is displaying any more professionalism then the crew that walks into the bar or coffee shop after their shift and discusses the frequent flyer they picked up off the ground once again... still it does happen.

    Up here if the crew was in quarters the details or suspected details would be relayed to them over the hotline, which is actually a phone. Since the ambulances aren't stationed in the fire halls here there is no broadcast or tone as in halls. If they were on the road at the time, the dispatcher would tell them to call in. All of our ambulances carry cell phones. The reason they are told to call in is not just to prevent friends and family from hearing the info over the air, it is also to prevent the press from showing up. The dispatchers here also use codes for the different hospitals, police and fire, so if you aren't familiar with what the codes are you don't know who is going to be on scene or where they will be taking the victims. The codes are changed periodically simply to protect peoples privacy.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chief Reason
    replied
    Mark440:
    I don't recall mentioning you in my previous post. I am not going to take on the entire community of dispatchers. I give credit to the excellent professionals who are becoming small in numbers. There are alot of happy endings out there, but we always remember the ones that aren't so happy. But they make the lawyers happy, don't they? I have the utmost respect for dispatchers in our county, but you can always spot the new ones. I don't expect Clinton or you to fix my problems. I am a big boy. If I am not pleased with the way a call was dispatched, I will calmly pick up the phone, call the Dispatch Center's Supervisor, advise her that I will be contacting the 911 coordinator to resolve the problem. It is no different than a concerned citizen calling me about running the sirens on the trucks at 2:00am. There has to be a dialogue. I believe you would call that professional communication.
    Have you hugged your dispatcher lately?

    Leave a comment:


  • captstanm1
    replied
    Excellent Point FiremanGeorge....

    Short, sweet, to the point as a matter of fact!

    Leave a comment:


  • fireman george
    replied
    Tell me everything

    Size up starts whent the bell rings. Responding units should know all that is available as soon as it becomes available, even in Farmland USA.
    Relatives with scanners? They're gonna find out eventually. If they insist on knowing what's going on, they will have to accept the truth when it comes.

    Leave a comment:


  • mark440
    replied
    Chief Reason, are you saying you are discontent with your local Communications Professionals? If so, what are you doing about it? Posting on an internet forum is not going to solve your problem with Clinton's Welfare to Work program graduates. I am very happy to say that I dispatch with a great group of folks! Sure, we have a couple that weren't born to be dispatchers, but we overcome it. Your dispatchers obviously do thier job correct to a point, otherwise your whole City, FD, and existance would be gone because the dispatchers couldn't do it right. I applaud Chiefof21, there you have it straight from the family of the patient. Having that info broadcast saved his wifes life and the broadcast info didn't bother him....


    *Mark

    Leave a comment:


  • Chiefof21
    replied
    I understand the concern, in a way, but remember that the radio is our tool. If the people in scanner land don't want to here it they can shut it off. Our dispatch center does a good bit of delicate info over the cell phones but that is not always possible. I had mixed emotions about rumors I had heard that groups where lobbying the FCC to regulate the sales of scanners. This post may be a pro to this regulation.
    In both cases I feel all the info given was need to know info for the crew or crews responding, and would not have a problem with recieving it over the radio.
    Shortly before X-mas my wife almost died here at home, the call I generated by dialing 911 went over the radio in full, I had 2 paramedics and 6 emt's here before the ambulance due to this. So there are pro's and con's to both sides of the coin.
    Do I care that my wifes info went over the radio, NO she is alive today because of it.
    Not trying to argue just hoping you look at all side of it before coming down on the dispatcher.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chief Reason
    replied
    Like any other job in today's job market; you get what you pay for. People who are detached from the emotions of human tragedy and only concerned about detaching their pay stub and cashing the check. I realize that there are some fantastic dispatchers out there, but let's be real; they are few and far between. We are replacing the good ones who are retiring with hold overs from Clinton's Welfare to Work program. That speaks for itself.
    My opinion; right or wrong.

    Leave a comment:


  • SquadCapt
    replied
    Having worked "both sides of the radio fence", full time and part time in both, I have found that dispatch gets blasted for either giving out way too much info or not enough info for the crews. Some crews say they want to know everything and forget about the scanning public and media. Others say dispatch should keep in mind that the press is listening and should withhold some info based on that reasoning. Ten codes don't work because a list can be copied from the local radio shack. Basically, as is seen here already, what is appropriate dispatch info is a personal opinion and not everyone would be happy with what's established. The best thing would be to have a board; consisting of dispatcher, a chief officer, 9-1-1 manager and field personnel, meet on a regular basis to establish guidelines for dispatch info.

    Leave a comment:


  • mcleoud151
    replied
    option2

    In my agency the first call would have gone out something like this:

    Disp: Station ###, Some City Ambulance, Possible 41-Sierra (code for death-suicide), 123 Ouch Lane, Map page 1223, (repeat), time out 1330.

    Medic: Medic 123 enroute.

    Disp: Medic 123, you're enroute to a possible 41-Sierra 1223 Ouch Lane, map page 1223, scene is secure, contact dispatch for further (by cell), working South 2 at 1332 .

    That my friends, would be that.

    The second call (pliars to the head...wow) would have gone more like this:

    Disp: Station ###, Some City Ambulance, Stage for an assualt (provided LE was not on scene yet or had not secured scene), 1330 Headache Lane, map page 1234, (repeat), time out 1501.

    Medic: Medic 124 enroute.

    Disp: Medic 124, to stage for an assualt 1330 Headache Lane, map page 1234. Report of a puncture wound to the head, scene is not secure. Working South 3 at 1504.


    It is my opinion you should give information necessary for the responding units to do their job appropriately and safely. If you don't have cell phones or MDTs, obviously a little more information is going to be broadcast. It is too bad if that means news may get out over the airwaves, but it's the best system we have until MDTs are available everywhere.

    Stay Safe,
    CS

    Leave a comment:


  • 126asstchief
    replied
    Changing channels......

    I get both worlds when it comes to dispatching.

    Dispatch for my Vol. Fire/ EMS Service.....

    beep beep beep beep.....Station xxx, respond priority one, 123 Somebodies St, 20 yo m possible hanging. M pt is hanging by a 3/4" blue and yellow rope tied in a figure eight on a bite, over the rafters in the barn. The temp in the barn is 94* and humid. Pt has on blue jeans and a red shirt. Pts name is John Doe. He was upset at his girlfriend and told her she would pay. Pt is a nasty color of purple and his neck is about 8" long. Pts girlfriend has left the doors open so anyone can drive by and take a look. Pd are enroute. Time out... O dark early (say 0215).

    OK, a little overboard, but like others have stated here, I think we get way too much info over the air for the people in scanner land to hear.


    Dispatch for the Paid EMS/ Rescue Service I work for....

    beep beep beep beep..... Medic xx, Supervisor xxx, respond priority one in xxxxxxx township.....
    Medic xx goat head (or go ahead).....Sup xxx go ahead....
    Medic xx and sup xxx respond pri one in xxxxxxx townnship, 123 Somebodies St for a suicide attempt.....
    Medic xx and Sup xxx enroute......
    Medic xx and Sup xxx enroute at O my God its early (thats about 0315), channel three (private channel) for update.....
    Medic xx is on three....Sups on three...
    Caller states that this is a male pt hanging in the barn, unknown length of time, pt is possible 10-55 (you guessed it, DOA), 10-24 (PD) are enroute, stage a block away until scene is cleared.

    Much better on a private channel. Still, even on the private channel, only the info that is needed.... method, location, how successful (is it a threat of suicide or suicide) and has the scene been cleared by PD. On the other hand, what is the first thing everyone else that is working or has a portable at their house does...... Changes to channel three to hear what happened

    Leave a comment:


  • AZRAEL
    replied
    I believe in my area the dispatchers announce the address and the general medical problem, also if theres an assault or possible threat so they no to stay clear until the police clear the scene, in most cases the EMS crew will call the dispatch for further details. I don't agree with how the dispatcher handled those calls althogh i feel its okay to say possible suicide. Some details shouldnt be put out over the radio to protect the privacy of the families of where the calls going.

    Leave a comment:


  • captstanm1
    replied
    I neglected to say that I was a dispatcher for several years before I was a career firefighter and after becoming one, I spent another year in the communications center.

    So...yes Mark 440 I have been there. And...you are right on target with your response. As is BONES.

    Everyone has scanners and anyone who has a scanner most likely in these days also has an 800 trunking scanner. So they can hear everything. Even if you use 10 Codes or Signals....they are part of the county system and are usually easy to figure out. It is not top secret so they can usually be acquired from the jurisdiction by "asking."

    The dispatcher was not unprofessional in saying what he/she said. It appears to me that the dispatcher is giving out information in the interest of personnel safety.... The last time I checked...that was the primary concern here.

    #1 Personal Safety
    #2 Crew integrity and safety
    #3 Public Safety.

    In each of the cases mentioned here, there was a potential to have harm come to the responding personnel. People who attempt suicide(cowards)and are serious about it, often have a back up plan in case they are once again a "loser." Walking in to a suicide attempt without knowing that there has been one could lead to a BAD DAY AT THE OFFICE. Equally, domestic disputes are equally as dangerous. I once responded to one where a son had beat his stepdad with a baseball bat and the dad was now holding him down at gunpoint. How would you like to walk in on that after being dispatched to an "injury?"

    Like Mark 440, I wonder what the experience level of some (we know some) who think the dispatcher was "wrong" in passing it on the way he/she did.

    Leave a comment:


  • mark440
    replied
    While most posts have excellent points and share with us their local dispatch traits, I would like to ask, besides the two who have already volunteered the info, how many of you are or have been Dispatchers? It is not exactly a walk in the park. Have YOU ever taken a call from a distraught mother or father or husband or wife who is standing next to a loved one who has just taken their life? It is not as easy as working on the deceased family member. I can tell you this because I have been on both sides of the picture. While dispatchers are not 100% correct most of the time, neither are field providers. I will censor my broadcasts to "meet the criteria of Scannerland" but NEVER leaving the responding units in jeopardy! That is first and foremost is the safety of Fire, EMS, Law. I don't give a rats a** who I offend as long as the responding crew is safe and has pertinent info. What happens on the street and in the Communications center is totally different. You ought to go spend a tour with your local Communications Professionals. Everyone thinks that it is easy. You try doing CPR over the phone, blind, senseless, and handicapped. Not that simple. The hanging in the barn scenario provides great detail to the event.
    #1- The call is of a suicide nature, tension is high
    #2- The subject has attempted to take his life via hanging, this presents several concerns for the EMS provider and starts defining care for the patient.
    #3- This gives the location of the pt. He is in the barn. This lets us know that if LE (Law Enforcement) is not on scene there are a whole array of weapons if the subject is actually not hanging and is looking to inflict harm upon responders.
    #4- If he is haning in a barn I know that it could be from some distance off the ground and may want to have FIRE start to provide vertical assistance if I cannot reach him. Have then start out non-priority and step up if needed.
    #5- The barn may be someplace different from the house address. You would know this if you are local and are efficiant with your area familiarization.

    The next dispatch scenario presented:
    #1- Father and son obviously are hostile.
    #2- Pliers as a weapon. They are more blunt then a knife and not nearly as penetrating. I would treat them both differently.
    #3- I would be hessitant to approach scene when an adult male appears and is asking for help, I would know who the perp is.
    #4- The other thing I would like to know is if LE is on scene and if alcohol is involved.

    Stay safe,

    *Mark

    Leave a comment:


  • captstanm1
    replied
    The information is critical. If you are running something that is potentially a danger to yourself and your crew you need to know what you are going into.

    You can maybe drop the ages in the description and simply say: Rescue XXX you have an attempted suicide by hanging, male patient in the barn....or...Rescue XXX you have a juvenile patient with a stab wond to the head as a result of a domestic dispute.

    Domestic disputes and attempted suicides have claimed the lives of firefighters and to go in with the warning that there is a bit more going on that "normal" calls is to your advantage.

    Additionally, where some departments that have Air Medivac, that information gives the responding medical crew enough information that can help them decide if the helicopter should be pre-alerted. In some cases (not many) the dispatcher has that authority but if they dont, then the unit can do so.

    Leave a comment:

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