06/08/11 245 W - + 9 - 1 Outside Fire | Emergency Fire Dispatch Debuts

If you've been listening to city or county fire dispatch for the last 36 hours, you've probably heard a couple new call types. Such as Outside Fire. Or what Raleigh units were dispatched to this afternoon, Extinguished Structure Fire. Starting yesterday, the Raleigh/Wake County Communication Center began dispatching fire calls using a new protocol called Emergency Fire Dispatch (EFD).

The system works like Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD), which the Wake County EMS System has been using for 13 years now. Call takers ask more questions and more targeted questions, and classify calls with a wider and thus more accurate range of call types. And more accurate priorities therein. (Sound good as a layman's description? Here's a Google-found document that tells about this trademarked system of priority dispatch.)

Anyway, what we'll be hearing on the radio are some new call types, and accompanying numeric descriptors. Such as 69 delta 9, which is a structure fire involving a mobile home, house trailer, or portable office. Here's an example of EFD codes as used in Guiford County. Watch for the codes for Raleigh and Wake County, as soon as your favorite scanner nuts and fire buffs (myself included) get their data together.

Readers and radio users can and certainly will expand this information and discussion as needed. And then in another week, get ready for radio changes on city fire channels. No more major working fire. More information on those changes in a later posting.

Plain text? 16-20
Rob Mitchell - 06/08/11 - 20:11

Will translate EFD codes for food.
Legeros - 06/08/11 - 20:17

And those that wish to contribute info (even anonymously) to assist us in making sure the codes are accurate are welcome to email me or Mike. I have started a Radioreference.com Wiki article about this topic: http://bit.ly/WakeEFD
Marshall Sherard KE4ZNR (Email) (Web Site) - 06/08/11 - 21:31

lets go back to coding calls out when clearing – Victor One, Sam Two, Adam Paul Three, etc.
lee - 06/08/11 - 23:11

“Multiple Residence Structure Fire” was dispatched in Raleigh Tuesday night (late). Translation = “Apartment Fire” (which I think is a 69-D-7). Anyway, the county units have their field guides already and Raleigh FD will receive theirs in a few days. The EFD determinant codes are not really that hard to understand and I believe we will soon memorize the primary codes by virtue of exposure.

Also, I understand ECC is in the process of transitioning into the program completely so there will naturally be bumps in the road (they may wish to comment in detail). Currently on Locution you may hear the incident type (ex. “Outside Fire”), but may not hear the determinant code. In contrast you may only see the determinant code on the alpha, but no incident type. These discrepancies should alleviate soon as the program is fully operational.

I for one am an advocate for the new system as it provides the call-taker critical tools to assess the nature of the problem when speaking to the 911 caller, thus making the caller safer and providing us with additional information. My only concern is if there is too much reliance in the EFD information collection, it may not be readily transmitted verbally to responding units (unless you have a MDT and comments are added by ECC. In addition, we as responders will need to adapt our apparatus responses to meet the determinant code given (many of these changes are in process now). Finally, don’t forget… the ECC telecommunicators are still learning too. This is new to them as well! Hang in there everyone!!
A.C. Rich - 06/09/11 - 01:00

Good Comments A.C. – its too easy to get into bellyaching because something is new. It may be aggravating but as said-we are still in transition. Give it a little time to smooth out and work with it. We are a remarkably resilient and capable species-we can make it work!
Goose - 06/09/11 - 11:59

As A.C. stated this is a VERY new program and there are bound to be growing pains, but it is a very close cousin to EMD which we have used successfully for years. So, we are hoping that the bumps will be minor. However, we are also realistic enough to know that there will be problems along the way, and are ready to address these issues in a controlled and reasonable manner. Locution should catch up shortly, so that, as indicated, the codes will be broadcast, as well. In the interim our folks are self policing and kicking themelves in the head each time they enter a call “the old way”. This will work itself out in time, as old habits are often hard to break. One thing of note to the fire service is that this system was not developed in a vacuum. It is in service internationally, and elsewhere in NC. An informational meeting was held several months back, and the protocols were developed and fine tuned by representatives of both the city and county fire services. So, what you’re hearing has been programmed specifically for Raleigh and Wake County. Fire services personnel also serve in ongoing advisory and QA capacities similar to the medical oversight required under EMD. The bulk of the effort was funded through RWECC 9-1-1 monies, with little to no impact upon local general funds.
RWECC – 06/09/11 – 15:21
RWECC - 06/09/11 - 15:23

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