In the emergency responder sector, time is of the essence. From the time the call is dispatched to the time they arrive, these professionals are expected to be as prompt and prepared as possible. While traditional methods of improving response times included driving faster, this actually creates more of a risk for an accident. Therefore, in this series of posts, we’ll cover how dispatch, turnout, and travel times can be improved to minimize response times. Most importantly, ensure your client’s service is protected with a Firefighter Liability Insurance package.
Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) can minimize confusion and send out the necessary resources the first time to manage the emergency. Some dispatchers are inexperienced with high-stress, rare occurrences and are not positive what to ask the caller. However, with these simplified software programs, confusion is minimized, the emergency is addressed correctly the first time, and no resources are wasted or not taken advantage of.
The time from when the firefighters are notified of an emergency to when they board the fire engine is a critical area where efficiency is required. Ideally, the firefighters will board the apparatus within one minute. It’s wise to post an obvious clock that counts down the 60 seconds for everyone to see. This will promote urgency within the team.
According to Fire Rescue Magazine, installing computers in fire apparatus is more common today than it has ever been. Departments have a wide variety of options, from adapting laptops to fit in the cab to purchasing customized, in-vehicle computers. Regardless of the hardware chosen, departments should consider using these computers for apparatus status changes. Using mobile dispatch software, firefighters can be responsible for changing their statuses, thus making them accountable for their performance. This frees up the airwaves for additional information that companies may receive while responding.
In addition, using Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) systems on fire rigs can ensure that the closest one to the dispatched location can be sent, which also reduces unnecessary travel time.
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