The Waco Fire Dispatch Center is located in the basement of the Waco Police Department. The dispatchers for the Waco Fire Department are Lieutenants in the fire department and were promoted to the position of Dispatcher. The Dispatch Center is located next to the 911 call takers and the Waco Police Dispatchers.
When the Fire Dispatchers receive a call, they determine the level of the emergency and what type of equipment is needed to bring the situation to a safe conclusion. They monitor the radio traffic for any distress class from emergency crews. These dispatchers are under tremendous pressure around the clock. They receive hundreds of calls everyday from emergency to non-emergency. The Dispatcher has to make calculated decisions within seconds. Most of the time, these Lieutenants are working alone with no support staff. The Lieutenants report to the Deputy Fire Chief.
The Waco Fire Department operates on an 800MHz frequency. Also, Emergency Management has a backup Early Emergency Alerting System located in the Fire Dispatch Center.
Tips for reporting for reporting an emergency:
- Remain calm.
- Only use 911 for emergency phone calls.
- Identify what your emergency is.
- Tell the dispatcher where the location of the emergency is and the exact nature of the emergency (example: My car is on fire at 11th and Franklin)
- If you are not in danger and time permits, please give a phone number and a name.
- If it is a structure fire and people are trapped, please tell the dispatcher how many and where they are located. After alerting the emergency crews, wait by the street to wave-down the emergency crews and give them updated information.
- Never hesitate to call the fire department in the case of an emergency. Time is a factor. A fire can double in size in minutes.
- Always have your address in at least four inch numbers and/or letters in an unobstructed view to the street.
- If it is a medical call, please give as much information about the patient(s) to the dispatcher.
- On any call, if there is any kind of danger that exists with the scene, please tell the dispatcher what the danger is. (Example: The car is hanging on the side of the bridge or people are trapped on the 5th floor and power lines are down in front of the building.