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  1. #1
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    North Carolina Fire Dispatcher Receives Threats

    Oct. 31--The 911 dispatcher who fielded the first reports of the house fire that claimed the lives of seven college students is now receiving threatening calls for her handling of the blaze, her supervisor said Tuesday.

    Tom Rogers, deputy director of the county's Emergency Services who oversees the call center, said he does not believe the call was mishandled.

    He declined to name the dispatcher, but said she'd been with the department for three or four years.
    The dispatcher asked several times for a specific address on Scotland Street on Ocean Isle Beach, saying once that she was not familiar with the area.

    A fuzzy cell phone transmission or ambient noise in the call center from a sudden heavy volume of calls about the fire may have made it hard for the dispatcher to understand the address the caller was trying to give her, Rogers said.

    That call came 50 seconds after 7 a.m. Sunday: The Ocean Isle Beach Fire Department was dispatched about 30 seconds later.
    The dispatcher began entering information about the fire in the call center's computer within a second of answering the first call, according to records of activity that morning.

    Within a couple of minutes, 19 more calls came in about the fire, several of them about people believed trapped in the burning house and one telling of people in the house screaming.
    Four fire departments and several rescue squads were dispatched within five minutes, with a fifth unit called two minutes later.
    The call volume was so heavy that all five dispatchers were answering the calls, Rogers said. While one was answering a call, another was dispatching units.

    People who read the transcripts or heard the tape have called the dispatcher at work to tell her she is incompetent and shouldn't have a job, he said. "She's very upset."
    Rogers has only had time to briefly review the call logs because of the number of local, regional and national media calling for information, he said. But from what he's seen, he's confident things were handled as they should have been.
    On Sunday, the dispatchers started their shifts at 6 a.m., and all worked their normal 12 hours.

    Brunswick's 911 center employees get 47 hours of training developed by the N.C. Justice Academy before they start their first shift as dispatchers, Rogers said.
    According to the academy's Web site, the employees are probationary for a year while they take another 60 hours of training to become certified.

    Keeping the certification takes 16 hours of annual training.
    While dispatchers are trained to remain dispassionate during emergency calls, those calls can be hard to handle and will sometimes cause dispatchers to break down after the stress of the incident has passed.

    That has not happened with the crew on the job Sunday, he said, and all have refused offers of counseling.
    Still, Rogers said that getting calls about people screaming in a burning house is not easy.
    "Those are hard calls when you're in the center," he said. "Those [dispatchers] are strong individuals."

    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...2&sectionId=46
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

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    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  2. #2
    PeterJasonMN Guest
    While our dispatchers up here aren't exactly top-notch, with that being said if I ever found ONE person talking shit about a dispatcher who went through something like that, they'd soon find themselves on the phone going

    "Hewwo? I neeb ab abuwance, mah jaw is boken"

  3. #3
    Willowdared's Avatar
    Willowdared is offline Bendy not Breaky
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    If she's getting real threats, I hope they press charges.

    People assume that we know exactly where they are calling from, and they shouldn't. We always need to verify location, as the 911 information can be incorrect, fail to come through on the computer, or even not exist in the database.
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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  4. #4
    MacLean's Avatar
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    I was a pretty decent operator once.

    She's already having a hard time, having uninformed public weigh in and make death threats is going to suck for her well being.

    Hope she makes it through.
    I'm your huckleberry...

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    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  5. #5
    armsmaster270's Avatar
    armsmaster270 is offline Ret. Sac. P.D. - 270th M.P. Co., Now with D.H.S.
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    Sounds like the bitching is unfounded


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  6. #6
    adroitcuffs's Avatar
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    Here's a news flash for you ignorant media / citizenry...

    We cannot prevent all disasters!!!

    Had that dispatcher been able to immediately beam over (a la Star Trek) all of the essential equipment & personnel as soon as the first call came in, tragedy still would have occurred. We are now living in an age where the public minions expect the government (and all it's entities) exist solely to save them from any possible disaster. Cell phones, while adding a level of convenience to our lives, have also been a bit of a nightmare for public safety dispatchers inasmuch as the connections are often garbled or fail completely.

    Yes, it is a tragedy that lives were lost in this fire. No, it is NOT the fault of the primary dispatcher... or any of the others in the dispatch center that day. This is reality people. Deal with it & welcome to OUR world.
    The true measure of your character is what you choose to do when you think no one is looking.

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  7. #7
    Willowdared's Avatar
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    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

    Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
    or otherwise distort statements of fact.
    FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley

 

 

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