When You Call 911...

Ambulance Many of us have had to call 911 to obtain emergency service. Many of these emergency reports arrive by radio from law enforcement officers, and others are brought directly to the Clear Lake Police Station.

Here is the sequence of what happens in Clear Lake:

  1. These alarms arrive at the dispatch desk at police headquarters. Radio and telephone messages are immediately recorded for security and information to the department. Local phone messages are instantly traced through a computer data base, and the caller’s number, address, and emergency information for that locale are shown to the dispatcher in case the caller cannot tell about the problem.

  2. The dispatcher notes the information, keeps the caller on the line, and determines the required assistance.

  3. The needed agencies (fire, ambulance, police, sheriff, etc.) are simultaneously paged via radio as agency members and vehicles are equipped with portable receivers set to the correct frequencie(s).

  4. Firefighters who are needed start toward the fire station to suit up in their turnout gear and other available agency personnel enact their duties. A police car starts toward the scene. Ambulance staff, on duty at the station, board the ambulance and drive to the incident scene. They radio to the dispatcher that they are proceeding and later when they arrive.

  5. Depending upon the emergency, firefighters board the appropriate vehicles, radio the dispatcher, and proceed to the scene.

  6. Upon arrival, the ambulance squad and police radio any pertinent information to the dispatcher, who will report to the firefighters in route. The ambulance squad stays on the scene, unless called away, to assist and to perform medical checks on the firefighters and any victims. Police officers secure the scene and surrounding traffic conditions.

  7. Firefighters, upon arrival, report to the dispatcher. The officer in the lead vehicle becomes Incident Commander. Other officers report to that person throughout the incident.

  8. Every 20 minutes, the dispatcher will radio to the Incident Commander for a PAR-Check, an update of progress, number of firefighters on scene, and expected termination time of the incident.

  9. When a unit is no longer needed at the scene, its members board the vehicle, report to the dispatcher, return to the station and radio their arrival. They also report when their vehicle has been returned to condition for another call, including refilling of tanks, air bottles, and fuels. Usually, the last unit home is that of the Incident Commander who radios the “Incident  Terminated” report.

  10. Reports, using the dispatcher’s reports, are generated on all vehicles, participating members, and persons involved in the incident for local and state agencies and the media.