Fire Department Off Duty Call Backs
  • I'm looking for some feedback from departments that use Active911 for request for call back of off duty members. Specifically, I'm looking to find out how others implement this. Since I started using Active911 last fall for my department, other depts have signed up as well including our one full time dept in the county.

    What I would like to see happen, is our dispatch center adding a special "unit" to the CAD that they can "dispatch" on an active incident which will go to Active911 and activate the call back page group for all members. To me, this seems like the easiest and fastest way to do it. Does anyone else have other suggestions? I'm also having somewhat of a hard time getting a few dispatchers to understand how much this service helps us in the field and helps them as well by eliminating repeated radio traffic.
  • Chance W, The full time department I work for and manage active 911 for has what we call a signal 23 it's a county wide protocol everyone uses. The communications center has a sig 23 CAD NATURE code that can be assigned to a stations address. Once that call is created in the cad a department is added to the call and it goes out to active 911 for page out. We also have used the method of impromptu alerts from the Chiefs iPad or iPhone. By sending a sig 23 call back out through the app on a permitted devise.
    Ryan B.
    Gallatin County 911 Communications Center
    Warsaw, Ky
  • Thanks for the reply. So if I understand you correctly, if you have a working fire incident and IC requests additional manpower from off duty units, you create a second incident in CAD and call it "Signal 23" then dispatch the dept to that call?
  • Chance, 
    sorry for the delay. not exactly is the best answer, essentially the cad and the tone generator are linked so they assign a sig 23 unit to the nature code that is already assigned to the incident and then tone it out over the radio essentially sending another page through active911, however i dont see why the scenario you mentioned would not work equally well. if you need a more in depth answer or discussion, private message me with your preferred contact info 
    Ryan B.
    Gallatin County 911 Communications Center
    Warsaw, Ky
  • The full time department has expressed interest to me in using this as one of their call back methods. I do think that just having a special CAD unit just for callbacks would be the easiest and quickest way to make it work for us. That way, the dispatcher would only have to drag and drop the special unit and click "Dispatch" to activate that special call back page group that all of their members are locked in to. Then they would also see all of the notes entered up to that point.

    Most of the guys that use Active911 have set up a filter for off duty that allows them to receive any structure fire call automatically as soon as it is originally dispatched. I've had a lot of positive comments for that as it gives them a heads up as soon as the call is dispatched. Maybe at some point Active911 could develop a way to set different ring tones based on the page group dispatched as well. That way they could set a specific tone just for the call back group to get everyone's attention more appropriately.
  • These are all good ideas, the key is to get all of the departments in your county on the same page, if you all share the same dispatch center. An idea that might help you, I did a presentation for the NKY FIRE CHIEFS ASSOCIATION and suggested a committee be created to meet and discuss protocol for map data icons, sharing map data, and dispatch protocols. Little did I know the president of the Chiefs association would make me the committee chairman. So we have met several times and accomplished a lot. We have a standard for map data. What each icon and color means so mutual aid companies responding to a neighboring district know what the map data means in a different district because we are all doing it the same. We have also created protocol for the comm center to use for example the sig 23 call back protocol I described to you. We have actually spread our wings and created a line of communications between 6 counties in northern ky. Every jurisdiction in all 6 counties is using active 911 so our specialty units like the technical rescue team, water rescue, hazmat and fire investigation team are all interconnected across several counties all sharing the active 911 alert email address so units can be dispatched directly by the jurisdiction that needs them. Take the time to connect with others meet and discuss things it will make a big difference in your region before you know it.
    Ryan B.
    Gallatin County 911 Communications Center
    Warsaw, Ky