WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU CALL 911
Have you ever wondered what happens when you need the fire department and you call 911. Here is the sequence of what happens in Clear Lake:
1. The 911 calls come into the dispatch desk at Clear Lake Police headquarters. Radio and telephone messages are recorded for security and safety purposes.
2. The dispatcher will collect pertinent information based on the nature of the call. Once the dispatcher has all the information available they send a voice page to the fire department. This page should include the location of the emergency, who is needed to respond and the nature of the call. Clear Lake Fire Department also utilizes a cell phone based paging system called Active911 that allows the same information to be sent to personnel's cell phones.
3. The voice page comes across pagers that are carried by each member of the department.
4. Firefighters who are needed respond to the fire station to suit up in their protective turnout gear. A police car starts toward the scene. Ambulance staff, on duty at the station, board the ambulance and drive to the incident scene. They radio to the dispatcher that they are “en route” and when they arrive they will let the dispatcher know they are “on scene”.
5. Depending upon the emergency, firefighters board the appropriate vehicles, radio the dispatcher, and proceed to the scene.
6. Upon arrival, the ambulance crew and police will radio any pertinent information to the dispatcher, who will report to the firefighters in route. The ambulance squad stays on the scene, unless called away, to assist and to perform medical checks on the firefighters and any victims. Police officers secure the scene and surrounding traffic conditions.
7. Firefighters, upon arrival, report to the dispatcher. The officer in the lead vehicle becomes Incident Commander. Other officers report to that person throughout the incident.
8. Every 20 minutes, the dispatcher will radio to the Incident Commander for a PAR-Check, an update of progress, number of firefighters on scene, and expected termination time of the incident.
9. When a unit is no longer needed at the scene, its members board the vehicle, report to the dispatcher, return to the station and radio their arrival. They also report when their vehicle has been returned to condition for another call, including refilling of tanks, air bottles, and fuels. Usually, the last unit home is that of the Incident Commander who radios the “Incident Terminated” report.
10. Reports, using the dispatcher’s reports, are generated on all vehicles, participating members, and persons involved in the incident for local and state agencies and the media.