AACoFD Frequency Overload

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jpeterson24

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Yesterday, midday (05/02/18), AACoFD was operating multiple working incidents:
(1) HazMat Box 11-14 with mutual aid from Baltimore County for a chemical leak in an IDLH building (610 Pittman Rd, Curtis Bay, MD);
(2) Box Alarm 26-05 with a structure fire in a 2 story single family dwelling with one civilian injury (7682 Quarterfield Rd, Glen Burnie, MD) with mutual from Baltimore City Truck 23 from station 33;
(3) Box Alarm 9-12 with mutual aid from Calvert and PG Counties for a brush/outside shed fire in the woods (4400 Sands Rd, Harwood, MD);
(4) Box Alarm 12-12 (8213 Harbor View Dr) for an outside fire that E104 arrived to that extended to a shed which became fully involved and eventually completely burned to the ground. BC1 held the brush units to hit hotspots and take care of exposures.

Before the dispatch of the 9-12 box, Fire Alarm advised that the frequency was "overloaded" and all requests must be made on Talkgroup Delta (1D-COM1) to keep Talkgroup Alpha (1A-DISP) Dispatch open. Fire Alarm advised it would no longer be monitoring the other Tac channels.

Meanwhile PG County was dealing with a 4 Alarm fire at 10126 Dorsey Ln in Upper Marlboro, MD.
 

Dispatcher308

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What they said is they were at capacity in Fire Alarm, it had nothing to do with the radio system. It meant that they did not have enough dispatchers to handle the radio traffic FOR ALL FOUR WORKING INCIDENTS!
 

jpeterson24

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Oh I didn’t know this! Interesting! Maybe I should apply to be a dispatcher in any case, 4 working incidents is hectic for sure.
 

Dispatcher308

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They also needed to keep track of the units on 1B & 1C as those channels were still being used by field units responding to other calls.
 

troymail

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Until not that long ago, AA Fire ALWAYS used a "field communications" talkgroup for the dispatchers to talk with the designated field communications unit on the scene. Recently, that was changed and as long as there aren't too many active incidents, these comms now occur directly on the fireground talkgroup - until, as you saw - there are too many incidents for Fire Alarm to cover every talkgroup. When that happens, they more or less revert to using a "field communications" talkgroup until things settle down.
 

jpeterson24

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Yeah I’ve only started listening for the last few months so I hadn’t ever heard them do that before. (I’m MAR101 on IPN and it was definitely busy yesterday).
 
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