07/21/07 44 W - + 20 - 21 Unusual Dispatch

Heard on scanner just now for a fire, nature unknown, on Ebenezer Church Road at Richland Drive: Western Wake Engine 191, Engine 196, Tanker 198, Tanker 295, Bay Leaf Engine 122, and Raleigh Engine 14. That's a combination that you don't hear every day. Bonfire, it turned out.

Driving distances, you ask? About 1.80 miles from Raleigh Station 14. About 2.50 miles from Western Wake Station 1. About 6.40 miles from Western Wake Station 2. About 11.10 miles from Bay Leaf Station 1. Distances computing using Microsoft Streets & Trips.
Legeros - 07/21/07 - 22:20

Mike 122 is at BL #3, which google earth has being 6.0 miles. WW#2 being 7.2 according to the same program. Which would be why it called for only the truck company from WW#2, and got the 3rd pumper/tanker from Bay Leaf!

But, as we’ve talked about before with “closest unit” RFD#16 is 4.5 miles away, and houses a ladder/truck company, so we see that indeed the “CAD” doesn’t go deeper down the run card, just stopping with engine companies. Oh yeah, RFD #17, 3.1 miles.

interesting to look at all of these recent calls and analyze the whole “closest unit” concept. I have all the fire/ems stations mapped in google earth, and then can pinpoint the location of the call and do “directions to here” and “from here”, it really puts things into perspective!
CFP 7021 (Email) - 07/22/07 - 11:17

Another thing to possibly consider is that CAD might be picking the “closest unit” based on its calculations. If it is anything like the CAD here in Charlotte, [b]most[/b] of the streets have the same speed limits (not taking into account for neighborhoods, speed bumps, curves, etc.) and the routing for units often seems screwed up. Say you have a call between two stations. Station A has a fairly direct route to the call via a 45mph road. Station B has a somewhat more complicated route through some narrow winding roads with a few speed bumps and stop signs. Since the speed limit in CAD is set to the same speed, it picks Station B because according to CAD they are “closer” based on seconds. That is where the dispatchers knowing the area really comes into play. It is up to the person dispatching the call to recognize that in real life Station A will be able to make it on scene quicker than B.

So yes, we do have cases when one station will ‘appear’ to be 1+ miles further away from a call than another station and it won’t get picked for a call; however, we all know that it can make up that distance in time, because of the [actual] roads traveled to get to the call, not the route CAD thinks they’ll take!

At least that’s what I understand about our Computer AIDED Dispatch and its (sometimes) perplexing routing.
Luke - 07/22/07 - 14:58

edit…. that should be most sorry, I used the wrong format.
Luke - 07/22/07 - 14:59

Something else to consider is that CAD doesn’t look at Bay Leaf Eng 122 the same as Eng 17 or Eng 16. If I were to venture a guess that even though it isn’t dispatched as a pumper tanker, I bet that it was entered into CAD as one. Therefore if WWFD said we want 1 eng and 2 pumper tankers or tankers dispatched that CAD would skip the Ral engines. And obvisously again it doesn’t go any deeper than the 1st level.

What would it take for Chris Perry to change CAD for the entire city and county to go deeper than 1 level?
Mike - 07/22/07 - 16:02

I do not believe there is one person responsible for typing resources county wide or across “jurisdictional” boundaries (if incorrect, please advise). The resource typing is departmental specific as are the run cards for # and types of resources for a particular incident. While the current system is not perfect and will continue to improve, we are strides ahead of where we were in the past. As for CAD, those entering the data and requests do so in accordance with the direction given by those departments.

Resolution of many of the issues brought forth in the discussions regarding closest unit response must begin at the departmental level. Get with your Chief Officers, Company Officer, or whoever is handling resource typing/resource requests for incidents and ask questions about specific incidents in your response area. You may learn a lot. There area reasons some departments need certain # of tankers, engines, pumper tankers, ladders, special service, or etc for a specific location or incident. Just like RFD is looking toward a “high rise alarm” concept (sorry if I got the term wrong), other departments have to look to request the appropriate resources to meet the demands or the district they cover.

I hope we never reach a day when we say “We’re done, we can improve no more”. That is the day to do something else, because we can always improve what we do.
McGraw (Email) - 07/22/07 - 21:42

Chirs is not the one that needs to decide, sure he would be involved if the change is going to happen, but the Departments (Cary, Raleigh and County FDs) have to agree on the concept. I think it is simple in concept, but there are a lot of details on the practical side of things.

I think the CAD we have today is not that bad. You have to understand how it works and some things seem wrong or weird on the surface, but once you look into it you can understand why something happened, most of the time. I am not saying CAD is perfect, or even close, but it could be and has been worse. It is going to take time and effort if it is going to change. Talk to you department’s administration and get buy in there and have your Chief be an advocate for change.

Change happens slow, like it or not, but slow is the trend.
Griggs - 07/22/07 - 21:51

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