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Old 10-10-2008, 3:50 PM
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Question Bad Dispatchers?

Does your town or county have bad dispatchers that don't know the proper way to call out an ambulance the fire department or call police to a scence? If so, I'd like to hear your story. Thanks!
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Old 10-10-2008, 4:12 PM
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"The proper way" varies by who you work for.

There are good and bad dispatchers, no doubt. Do you mean that they can't follow their own procedures?
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Old 10-10-2008, 5:21 PM
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Or those who are trained and you might not be, and you feel they should do it this way, when they do it that way and you know best ???

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Originally Posted by RolnCode3 View Post
"The proper way" varies by who you work for.

There are good and bad dispatchers, no doubt. Do you mean that they can't follow their own procedures?
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Old 10-10-2008, 8:05 PM
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yeh here in Saratoga County, Upstate New York the dispatchers for Fire and EMS need some training, i mean they are okay but wow sometimes
Sometimes they will accidentally activate another department for another one that is all the way at the other end of the county, they'll start saying the department and address then stop, AND WAIT FOR A MEMBER TO GO TO THE STATION AND ASK WHAT THE CALL IS! they knew they made a mistake and never told that other department that it was a mistake!
Then, some will transmit the tones and IMMEDIATELY after the second tone dispatch, THANK GOD that they repeat the message or no one will get it!
AND THEY GOT TO LEARN THAT YOU CANT SEND THE TONES THEN STOP transmitting and lag for like 20 second before transmitting again
then some will trail.....off in a low voice and u can barely hear then, other talk so fast!
thats all i can think of now, there will be plenty later
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Old 10-10-2008, 10:01 PM
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I can always tell when there is a new dispatcher working. They always are making mistakes, but there is always someone who jumps right in and corrects them.

Buy hey, everyone is new at some point. And overall, there is no bad dispatchers here (at least after they had a few weeks using the radios).
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Old 10-10-2008, 10:30 PM
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Haven't really heard any bad ones. There are those who are better than others but have yet to hear a truly bad dispatcher. There are two in my area that stand above all the others, one recently went from Hopewell to Colonial Heights (I hated that) and the other works for Prince George.
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Old 10-10-2008, 10:36 PM
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I don't know...I've been told I'm wrong, but the way a lot of upstate NY departments dispatch boggles my mind. I was always taught brief but concise, not long winded and unnecessary. 911 dispatch centers are the most guilty of this.
I don't understand the concept of polling, either. It would seem the computers and 911 centers do not keep track of their resources, and in a way I can understand why. A dispatcher must ask for an available patrol in a certain area and wait as the units read off who and where they are. Why not put the job out while polling? At least get someone going as quickly as possible, especially in a true emergency like a crime in progress.
I dispatched for the 5th and 6th Division of the NYPD back in the 80's, during the crack wars. As busy as we were, and as imperfect as we were, if the job was a high priority, it was over the air within 30 seconds of the call. I have personally called jobs in, and it has taken upwards of five minutes from call to radio.
Not good. Not good at all. Seconds sometimes count
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Old 10-10-2008, 10:37 PM
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Fulton County 911, (Ga), has a long history of bad dispatchers. Fulton 911
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:08 AM
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I haven't heard any bad dispatchers in my listening. As with any occupation there are always some people that don't make the cut and all of us were new at some point. I don't care what or who you are, we were all the new guy or gal at some point in our lives.

Not sure if this example has any bearing to the OP, but once I was first on-scene to a bad accident. When I called 911 it rang 11 times before someone picked up.

The few times I've had to call 911 it was always 1st ring or no ring at all before someone picked up. The day of the 11 rings may have been a busy day or a telco problem.
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Old 10-11-2008, 8:48 AM
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I have heard dispatching from every major city in New York and most of its small towns. Procedures vary wildly across the state.

As for quality of dispatching, I have found that dispatchers in the Capital District are the most difficult to understand. They talk too fast and they mumble.
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Old 10-11-2008, 9:05 AM
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This is a bad dispatcher:
http://www.911dispatch.com/db/index....=2087&Itemid=1
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Old 10-11-2008, 9:30 AM
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Here in Morris County, New Jersey we have a few horrible police dispatchers. I do have to say the 9-1-1 dispatchers up here are excellent!
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Old 10-11-2008, 9:34 AM
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I just applied to be a dispatcher. However, I am also a firefighter too. I have heard of the calls they are taking. They have a seperated system which allows the call takers to input all the data into the CAD. Then the dispatcher takes out the data. I enjoy listening to the dispatches going out. I have noticed "newbies" setting off tones to wrong fire/EMS departments on the other side of the county. Sometimes we end up going south or west instead of east or north for the wrong direction dispatch. Our center averages 300,000 calls a year. You will have some mistakes when dealing with people under stresses.

We never call 911 on a good day. We are were new at something. I have learned to keep my mouth shut and ears open. Hopefully, I make it onto the interview stage.

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Old 10-11-2008, 10:45 AM
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B7spectra is absolutely correct about Fulton County, Georgia. There are one or two dispatchers in DeKalb County that seem to be a bit disorganized or not focused while speaking.
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Old 10-11-2008, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarbrian30 View Post
I just applied to be a dispatcher. However, I am also a firefighter too. I have heard of the calls they are taking. They have a seperated system which allows the call takers to input all the data into the CAD. Then the dispatcher takes out the data. I enjoy listening to the dispatches going out. I have noticed "newbies" setting off tones to wrong fire/EMS departments on the other side of the county. Sometimes we end up going south or west instead of east or north for the wrong direction dispatch. Our center averages 300,000 calls a year. You will have some mistakes when dealing with people under stresses.

We never call 911 on a good day. We are were new at something. I have learned to keep my mouth shut and ears open. Hopefully, I make it onto the interview stage.

Brian
I will be applying next month.
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Old 10-11-2008, 11:10 AM
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I was a fire/EMS dispatcher at a VERY busy dispatch center for five years. The shift I was a part of was home to some of the best dispatchers I've ever known, and I have been around for my young age.

I'll tell you this: going into the job, having volley fire/EMS experience CAN be very helpful, BUT, when you are just getting started, FORGET EVERYTHING YOU KNOW!!! No matter how much you're sure that you "know a better way," you MUST follow the DISPATCH procedures, which may contradict what your past field experience tells you.

Then, once you get some time under your belt, and begin to develop a rapport with other dispatchers on your shift, as well as the field providers you service, you can begin to integrate your DISPATCH knowledge and your FIELD knowledge and make the most of both.

It's not the glory job you're expecting going in. Remember, on any normal night, or week, or month, you'll have to muddle through hundreds of "my belly hurts for five days" calls to get to that one "MY HOUSE IS IN FIRE!!!" call, or through hundreds of "my neighbor stole my parking spot" calls to get to the "armed robbery in progress" call.

It is a great job -- a fun job -- and it's what you make of it. I'd still be doing it if the center I worked for treated their employees more like people and less like luke-warm bodies filling the chairs!
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Old 10-11-2008, 11:41 AM
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I had to do an observation rotation in dispatch last week for my new job with new job. Its pretty tough work, I was screwing up stuff all over the place and they had me working only the EMS side, no fire, no PD. Although I have no experience as a dispather, it really puts it into prespective how many things are going on at once in there. I think most of them do the best of theri abilities. They don't get the cresit they deserve.
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bomber2782 View Post
Although I have no experience as a dispather, it really puts it into prespective how many things are going on at once in there. I think most of them do the best of theri abilities. They don't get the cresit they deserve.
You're right, we don't. I'm a fire dispatcher up here in Ontario, Canada and we don't get the respect, acknowledgement, and credit we deserve.

However, in the same breath, I didn't get into the job for credit and acknowledgement, I got into it because I love the job and it feels good when you help someone in their time of need. (It is nice though when you are recognized!!)

Also, staying on the topic of this thread, there is a service up here that dispatches both fire and police and they suck at fire dispatching. One example, a fire call, command reported that they had loss stopped and dispatch acknowledged and repeated back, are you ready for this..... "10-4 command you have a LOST DOG!!!" Seriously??!!! LOST DOG?? Command repeated loss stopped and there was silence from the comm centre. They had no idea what loss stopped meant! They are a fire dispatch centre, they should know that term.

I live in the community that is serviced by this dispatch centre and I feel very unsafe!

End of rant....
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Old 10-11-2008, 6:15 PM
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It all comes down to training, pay, and respect. Down here, dispatchers get very little of the first two and so have almost none of the last. One of our local dispatchers sends a unit to a house on the report of a warrant subject being at the address. EOT. OK, says the officer, any description of the subject? Yes, it's a female. EOT. OK, says the officer, any clothing description? Yes, the female is wearing blue shorts with a white top. EOT. OK, says the officer, age, weight, height, race? Yes, the dispatcher has this information and gives it to the officer. OK, says the officer do you have the warrant in hand and what are the charges? Yes, warrant is in hand, charges are armed robbery, attempted murder, with a note that subject should be considered armed and dangerous. EOT. After about a 15 second pause, which I'm sure gave the officer time to calm down, he asked if maybe he could get a backup unit for this call.
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Old 10-11-2008, 6:50 PM
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That should have came first, then the other stuff. I have heard my fear share of screw ups. It always fun when 5 agencies share one telecom net band, make for interseting traffic. Or 15 fd all on one frequency, yea thats right 15, not repeaterized either. It gets verry annoying not to mention the towns on the frequency 40 miles away that come in as well.

Pauses in responses or time delay in my book, send a waring flag for a back or countinues verfication of officer saftey or other. Been their done that, myself delay response why your tring to firgure out what to say or how you want to apporach the situation ( confrontanional or otherwise). Where is backup ???
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