28 Sep 12
A North Carolina fire department will start using a tool that officials hope will improve the department’s dispatching system. According to the Avery Journal, the department will soon have the capability to records message and generate dispatch information, enabling firefighters to more efficiently respond to calls. Once the system is in place, individuals will be able to send texts to let others know when they will be arriving at the scene as well as determine a headcount of who will be at the scene.
Jim Brooks, secretary for Avery County Firefighters Association, told the source that the new tool will be comprehensive and extremely advantageous to the team. One of its biggest advantages is being able to detect whether the calls are an emergency or not. The source said there are several reasons this will improve the fire department’s rating and maintain Avery’s low fire insurance rates.
“First, each department’s insurance rating is determined in large part based on the number of personnel responding to calls,” Matthew Hundley wrote in the Avery Journal, citing Brooks. “When a call is dismissed, most firefighters do not report to the station to sign-in for having responded to a false alarm. That rate of response, however, is one of the key factors in determining how much each homeowner pays in fire insurance.”
In addition to this, the system will include a calendar for meetings and events, incident reporting and a tracking system for volunteer training.
Incident reporting is a necessary aspect of a fire department running smoothly. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National FIre Incident Reporting System is responsible for recording 75 percent of all fire incidents reported each year.