When an emergency situation occurs and public safety assistance is required, the professional men and women working in the Public Safety Communications 9-1-1 Center are trained to ensure the timely dispatch of Police, Fire, EMS or Sheriff personnel to the emergency.
Public Safety Communications personnel dispatched public safety personnel to more than 1,280,000 incidents in the last year.
When 9-1-1 call takers receive calls reporting an incident requiring public safety response, they enter the basic information into the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. The call for service information is routed to the appropriate dispatcher for processing. When the incident is displayed on the dispatcher’s status monitor, the CAD system will recommend units to respond to the incident, based upon the geographic area and availability of the Police, Fire, EMS or Sheriff units.
Updates from the 9-1-1 call taker and information received from field personnel are entered into the CAD system to provide a full picture of the situation to the dispatcher to pass on to field units. The questions that are asked by the 9-1-1 call takers help the dispatchers determine whether additional units are required or if an enhanced level of response is required.
Public Safety Communications law enforcement and fire/EMS dispatchers dispatch the appropriate units to incidents via radio. The radio system provides interoperability with the public safety first responders to ensure coordinated efforts between public safety agencies and seamless communication with the dispatchers. Should an emergency situation occur, the dispatcher is able to send immediate assistance or support to the officer, deputy or firefighter in need.
The time it takes for a first responder to arrive on the scene of an incident after the call is answered in the 9-1-1 Center, depends on several factors. The factors include weather conditions, how far the unit is from the incident, and how busy the responding agency is at the time.
Police calls for service are prioritized based upon incident type and whether or not the incident is still in progress. As a result, there may be a delay in response while units respond to higher priority, in-progress calls or until a unit becomes available in the area. The dispatch response priorities are determined by the responding agencies, not Public Safety Communications.