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News : Dispatch Upgrades Help Handle Increased Emergency Calls
Spokane, WA, USA, July, 2015 -- The Spokane fire dispatch call center has some new upgraded features to work with in July. They are hoping the changes will help them with handling emergency calls, especially during fire season.
The Combined Communication Building is where 911 and emergency calls go in the Spokane area and based off what you tell them, you are guided to the right division.
The fire dispatch center in this building has made a lot of improvements in the month of June to better handle your calls.
In 2014, with thunderstorms and strong winds, fire dispatch got almost 600 calls in a short four hour span. Compared to a typical average, which is about 200 calls in a 24 hour period. It was a pretty big jump from the norm.
Even though they had enough staff members to bring on board during those peak times, it was space for those extra staff members to work that became an issue. Because of that, they changed the whole layout of the center. From more consoles for fire dispatch to work with to a more central supervision station, to floors with more durability.
"With this new layout, we have the ability and space to bring people in and actually have people function with these consoles and mitigate the call volume and handle it efficiently," said Jay Atwood, the Fire Communications Division Chief.
The department had hoped to have the center done by the fourth of July, which they did. They were able to see the benefits of the changes immediately.
And the changes for a more efficient and effective fire dispatch center are not done yet. They are thinking of things like adding a nurse to the staff to handle medical calls that may not require fire trucks or ambulances.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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