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  • Cell Phones What a PAIN

    How many junk calls do you get by CONCERNED citizens using cell phones, driving by something they think they saw but were in to big of a hurry to take the time to see what was really happening?

    We get somewhere around 4 to 6 per week, 1 or 2 structures and rest cars on the E-Way
    Vintage Firefighter:
    "The older I get the braver I was!"

  • #2
    Exactamundo! We get a lot of calls like that...I am glad to know that these concerned citizens beleive what they are seeing should be investigated; however, they need to give more detailed info to the 9-1-1 operator. We get many a page at 2:30 am about a possible MVA on Hwy such-and-such, only to get there and discover its an abandoned vehicle thats been parked on the side of the road for days.

    What really suprises me is the folks who call in an incident but won't stop to render assistance until we get there.
    Tom Wardell, Chief
    Lone Pine VFD
    Anderson Co., TX

    "What if volunteer firefighters didn't volunteer?"

    Comment


    • #3
      Consider for a moment that this is a dispatcher problem. How does Joe Q. Citizen, who is trying to do the right thing, kow what to report if he isn't prompted by the dispatcher? It is the dispatcher's job to get all possible information and to relay that info to the responding units. If the info is unconfirmed or vague, the units should be told that in order for their responses to be adjusted accordingly. Cell phone calls have saved a ton of lives out there. Seems to me it is worth it to put up with a few bloopers now and then.
      PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm with George on this one. What would you suggest next? Ban all automatic fire alarms because we go to them too often? False alarms are a neccessary annoyance we all just have to deal with. This example is an illustration of why there is a catagory on fire reports called "Good intent-False call". You can't expect every laymen to know the difference between an overheated car and a car fire. Just deal with it, use the rides back for driver training or somthing.
        "What makes a person run into a building others are running out of?...Character."- Dennis Smith

        www.elmirafire.org

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        • #5
          Here's what happens when you have a dispatching screw up:

          Camco seeks to fire dispatcher for errors related to 9-1-1 call

          Wednesday, July 16, 2003

          By JASON LAUGHLIN
          Courier-Post Staff
          LINDENWOLD The mishandling of a 9-1-1 call about three gun-wielding Oaklyn teenagers last week could have led to a disaster, and that was a major reason the veteran dispatcher who handled the call was quickly suspended, authorities said.

          Lt. Joseph Rhodes, a 16-year veteran of the Camden County Communications Center in Lindenwold, received a call about 3:45 a.m. July 6 from a man nearly carjacked by three armed teenagers later charged with planning a killing spree, authorities said.

          Rhodes advised Mathew Rich, of Deptford, to go to the Oaklyn Police Department, but never passed along the information to Oaklyn police, borough police and county officials said. Rich ran into an officer moments after speaking with Rhodes, and that officer arrested the three teenagers without incident.

          But Rhodes should have followed standard procedure and informed police about the call whether or not Rich was going to the police department, county authorities said. They also said Rhodes did not clearly determine where Rich was calling from.

          Rhodes was suspended without pay Friday.

          "This was very, very serious," said Herb Steelman, the county's public safety director. "This was not your typical everyday call."

          Matthew Lovett, 18, Cody Jackson, 15 and Christopher Olson, 14, all of Oaklyn, were found with a small arsenal, including rifles, pistols and swords, police said. The carjacking was supposed to be the first step in a planned killing spree in Oaklyn, police said. The teenagers have since been charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

          Rhodes has declined to comment on the advice of his attorney.

          Rhodes could receive any punishment from a written warning to dismissal, Steelman said. The county seeks to fire Rhodes, authorities have said. He would have two opportunities to appeal a decision by a hearing officer.

          Steelman released Tuesday a recording of the 9-1-1 call. It begins with a relatively calm Rich saying on his cell phone, "Yes, sir, I just almost got shot by three geeks in Oaklyn township. I need to talk to the police officers."

          Rhodes asked where Rich was driving, and was initially told he was on Route 168.

          "I just drove right past and they came up to the window with three guns and stuck them in my face and I hit the gas pedal," Rich said.

          When asked again where he was, Rich said he was on Route 130, "going back around, turning around to go directly to the Oaklyn Police Department."

          The area Rich was in was not far from the department on West Clinton Avenue.

          The call ended when Rhodes told Rich police were out on the street, and advised him to continue on his way to the headquarters.

          "You go to their headquarters and pick up the phone and we'll send an officer in," Rhodes said.

          Officials at the Camden County Communications Center in Lindenwold reviewed the 9-1-1 call July 9 after the Camden County Prosecutor's Office asked for a copy of it, Steelman said.

          The teenagers charged with attempting the carjacking at Clinton Avenue and Kendall Boulevard were arrested minutes after the 9-1-1 call was made. The man who called 9-1-1, Mathew Rich, found a police officer shortly after making the call and told him about the armed teens, authorities said.

          Rich ran into Patrolman Charles Antrilli near the Oaklyn Police Department at Clinton Avenue and the White Horse Pike, authorities said.

          Rhodes, who makes about $47,000 a year, will have his first hearing July 29, Steelman said. That could be postponed if Rhodes' lawyer, a member of Dennis Wixted's firm, needs more time to review the case, Steelman said

          PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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          • #6
            another thumbs up for cell phones...

            A local mail carrier used his cell phone the other day and saved a family's home. The carrier was delivering mail on his route and heard the smoke detectors sounding in a SFD. He called Marlborough Fire Alarm via 911 at reported it. The 1st due engine arrived, the crew looked the windows and saw the home was charged with smoke. After venting, they entered to find a pan of "something" that was left on the stove with the burner on, the cabinets above were just starting to char. If it weren't for the actions of the mail carrier, the home would have suffered major damage.

            I agree with George...dispatch has to get more info. May I also suggest that if the call is coming from someone driving on the highway, that the dispatcher request they pull off to the side of the road as to avoid creating another situation?
            ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
            Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

            Comment


            • #7
              Oh no not my favorite subject!!!!! We have had some great ones. But much like George and Capt G said if you have good dispatchers that know what they are doing they can get the appropriate info for us.

              We recently had a cellphone hero cost the County $6,000 for calling out the HAZMAT Team for a call. Was called in as a Tanker of Nitroglycerin leaking on the side of the road. Which propted a recall of all off-duty Techs and extra personnel. The county ate that one due to it was a empty truck that had last hauled some non-flammable liquids.
              AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

              IAFF Local 3900

              IACOJ-The Crusty Glow Worm

              ENGINE 302 - The Fire Rats

              F.A.N.T.A.M FOOLS FTM-PTB

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              • #8
                as an EMS only dispatcher we use a set of Medical Priorty Dispatch Systems (MPDS)cards for 33 different complaints, we can only go with what the people tell you on the phone. Certainly we can tell that certain callers are reporting "BS" complaints but we still have to follow the cards. I certainly do not know how this is a dispatch problem as we/they can only report to crews what they are told , promted or not. The same people that make the MPDS cards also have a FF ciriculum and I would also like to take that as well, so that may make some things better. As someone posted below people call in alot reporting an MVA "with a car on fire" well 99.9 % of the time it is because the radiator has of course ruptured, and they havent stopped at the scene they were " just driving by" and are now blocks from the scene, so it would be relatively imprudent to ask them to pull over, albeit a good idea. How much more info and what kind do you all want ?
                IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
                Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
                ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
                RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
                LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
                I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
                "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
                http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

                Comment


                • #9
                  In many cases, there is only so much information you can get from the caller. Sometimes the callers just don't have a clue. You can ask all the questions you want but if the caller doesn't know, it won't help. The caller just hanging up or losing signal doesn't help either. The carriers are taking their sweet time with the cellular E-911 roll out and that isn't helping either.

                  Now, there are also plenty of times when it goes like this....

                  "911"
                  "There is an accident by exit 58"
                  "Is anyone injured"
                  "I don't think so"
                  "OK" Click.

                  Of course, a little more questioning would reveal that is tour bus rolled over on a minivan, on fire, with entrapment blocking the whole interstate and hanging off the edge of a bridge. It's all about propper training and the supervisors making sure the employees are doing it right.
                  Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree with all of you, cell phones are a necessary evil. We have exellent dispatchers in our area, they keep us up date on any new developments to our calls. It was just that yesterday was one of the 3:30am car fires we never found and the dinner time structure fire with "lots of flames" that was actually an open burn behind a residence. All the post asks is, do you have this problem and what is the frequency. We have quite a few members who don't respond to the cell phone car fires, which is a problem we are working on. I just see this as an interesting contrast to the call reality we now have as opposed to the days before the cell phone. CaptainG your mail carrier did an exellent job but it sounds like he knew what he was looking at. Engine 5 auto fire alarms? No I'm having a pretty good day so far, don't think I want to touch that one.
                    Vintage Firefighter:
                    "The older I get the braver I was!"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We Got 'em Too!......

                      With over 800,000 people in a 430 Square mile County, we get a LOT of cell phone calls. Many, if not most, are from people who haven't a clue where they are at the moment. Our dispatchers are a great bunch of people who often have to get information from a caller by prying it loose with a Halligan bar. "There's a bad accident at 5th and Main". Problem? 5th and Main do not intersect. "I'm going South on Rt 50...." Rt.50 runs East/West. You get the idea. We are working on a enhancement to the 911 center to provide the location of a cell phone caller, automatically, similar to our current system for wired phones. Stay Safe....
                      Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
                      In memory of
                      Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
                      Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

                      IACOJ Budget Analyst

                      I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

                      www.gdvfd18.com

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                      • #12
                        There is no doubt that cell phones have done a great deal of good. I have done more than my fair share at working dispatch and it is very frustrating when the caller simply hangs up. I guess its kinda like when you keep telling folks to dial 9-1-1 for emergencies and they still want to use the old 7 or 10 digit numbers to the Comm. Center. I guess some folks never learn.

                        An in all fairness to the 9-1-1 operators, sometimes when the radios are blaring and the phones are ringing, it can pretty hectic in there. In our area, all fire calls are dispatched through the county Sheriff's Office. The dispatcher has 4 radio frquencies to monitor and THEN the fire channel...whew! Thats a lot for one person during multipple incidents where there are 14 VFD's in the county. More power to the dispatchers out there!
                        Tom Wardell, Chief
                        Lone Pine VFD
                        Anderson Co., TX

                        "What if volunteer firefighters didn't volunteer?"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          i much rather run the false alarms called in by cell phones then not get notified of the incident where someone died because no one called from a cell phone.
                          NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
                          IACOJ Attack

                          Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

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                          • #14
                            The excicted cell phone callers are the greatest...

                            There is an accident at exit 65. It is REALLY bad. yadda yadda yadda. You'd think a busload of nuns just drove off a cliff. Upon arrival, it is a car in the shoulder with a flat tire.

                            It's just the way it is and probably will be for a long time. The people who make these calls do not have the training and sense that we all have. Is it a waste of time? Well, at the time it may seem so but the day no one calls anything in will be the day one extra person in an MVA dies. And look on the bright side...

                            1. Job security
                            2. You can laugh at after you get back to the station.
                            Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ff7134
                              Oh no not my favorite subject!!!!! We have had some great ones. But much like George and Capt G said if you have good dispatchers that know what they are doing they can get the appropriate info for us.

                              We recently had a cellphone hero cost the County $6,000 for calling out the HAZMAT Team for a call. Was called in as a Tanker of Nitroglycerin leaking on the side of the road. Which propted a recall of all off-duty Techs and extra personnel. The county ate that one due to it was a empty truck that had last hauled some non-flammable liquids.
                              This is exactly what I am talking about. Why in the world would you send a full blown hazmat response on an unconfirmed incident called in by a civilian?

                              If there is no more info to get, you dispatch exactly what you have:

                              Which is better:

                              1. Respond to a structure fire with flames through the roof!
                              or
                              2. Respond to a possible structure fire. We have recieved one call reporting fire through the roof. Incident is unconfirmed at this time.

                              I vote for 2.

                              Go listen to the NYPD dispatch channels for awhile. You will hear the ESU dispatched to "Unconfirmed shots fired" or "Confirmed EDP".

                              You simply dispatch ALL the info you have.
                              PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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