12/21/11 512 W - + 4 - 3 Response Changes in Raleigh

For anyone that listens to a radio or scanner, "reading the tones" is a soon-acquired skill. On the Raleigh Fire Department dispatch channel (alert talkgroup), two tones typically means a fire alarm. Engine and ladder. Three tones usually means a vehicle overturned. Engine, ladder, rescue. On the other end, ten or twelve tones means something big. High-rise structure, full haz-mat response, full USAR response. If you've got a really good ear, you can even identify which tones are which units. (Those skilled listeners are usually the ones working in the fire stations. Or, cough cough, sitting beside a scanner all day long. You know who you/we are...)

You've probably noticed a few more tones of late, and a more units dispatched on structure fires in Raleigh. Beginning late last week (December 15), dispatch assignments were charged for a number of call types. These changes are an extension-- or have been made possible-- by this summer's implementation of Emergency Fire Dispatch. More accurate call types = more accurate control of assigned assets, as desired by the department(s) served by the communications center. The Raleigh Fire Department has thus adjusted a number of their responses.

Two of the most noticeable changes involve structure fire responses:

The other changes are a bit more varied:

These are exciting changes (spoken like a true geek), and it may inspire some of the other town and county fire departments in similar directions.

Seems like we tweak the tweaks and brake whats not broken.
But this is a darn good change. In my large city (Dallas), we’ve been operating the response and alarms like this for a while now.
This new procedure is dead on. It works in todays evolving fire operations.

Congrats Raleigh! Well done.
JE - 12/21/11 - 11:15

Kudos to RFD for making two ladders standard on multi-family and commercial occupancies! Truck work has come a long way there. I, along with many, many others wish we would do the same, but there hasn’t been any change.
Drives The Truck - 12/21/11 - 12:31

@DrivesTheTruck; keep your head up Brother and don’t give up!!
Silver - 12/21/11 - 13:19

The county does not follow everything that the city does. Resources are not always available in the county with volunteer departments which is a luxury that the city does not need worry about. The idea is a good one but will not take hold everywhere.
county - 12/21/11 - 13:48

@county; not sure of your point. Nobody said the county had to adopt this as their dispatch protocol as well.
City - 12/22/11 - 18:05

@ County-
“Drives The Truck” isn’t a local person. He was referring to where he works, which isn’t around here.
Wayne - 12/22/11 - 18:37

@County… How can you say the resources are not available with the county vol. depts… They have Engines, Tankers, Heavy Rescues, Ladders and Brush trucks… And if they did use the dispatch protocol now in place the proper resourses could respond as needed and not try to pull everything from one or 2 depts.
Jim - 12/23/11 - 07:25

I applaud the RFD Management Team for this proactive decision! There are still some very minor dispatch glitches in CAD/EFD, but the outcome of more resources on the scene is a premium… and above all else, enhances member safety! In regards to county resources, a department only needs to adjust their run order and CAD capabilities assigned to their apparatus and they will receive more resoruces “on dispatch.” We all (hopefully) agree that “Automatic mutual aid” is much better than the traditional “Mutual aid.” Merry Christmas everyone!
A.C. Rich - 12/24/11 - 09:31

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