Groveland Fire Rescue communications are handled by the Groveland Police Department. The Police Department staffs the Emergency Communications Center with one full time dispatcher 24/7/365. When interacting with Fire companies on the radio, the communication center is referred to as “Fire Alarm” and the dispatcher is subsequently known as the “Fire Alarm Operator.” This individual receives 911 calls, any incoming private home or private business fire alarms, and any non emergent phone calls for the fire department. The Fire and Police departments enjoy a good working relationship and continue to work together to improve the services we provide to the Town of Groveland.
The Emergency Communications Center was renovated starting in January 2016. The renovations included new flooring and new furniture. New communications consoles were installed and new systems were put into service. These changes increased the effectiveness of the Emergency Communications Center and Fire/Police operations. The new Emergency Communications Center was operational and in service on March 3, 2016.
What happens when you call 911?
Emergencies of different kinds happen everyday. The following is a timeline of what happens if you ever need to use the 911 system.
- If calling on a landline, the call will be answered by the Police Department dispatcher. The dispatcher will take basic information from you, verify the number you are calling from in case the call disconnects, and gather information about the nature of the call. At this point the dispatcher will begin to dispatch the appropriate units to your location.
- If calling on a cell phone, the call will first be answered by a dispatcher at a call center. This dispatcher will gather the same information mentioned above, and then transfer you to the Groveland Emergency Communications Center. The Groveland dispatcher will verify the information and then begin dispatching the appropriate units.
- If the call is a medical emergency, it is subject to the State mandated Emergency Medical Dispatch protocols. The Groveland dispatcher will transfer you once more to a dispatcher at Trinity EMS, Groveland’s contracted ambulance service. Trinity will gather specific information on the patients condition and give first aid instructions over the phone if possible. Rest assured that while this process may seem lengthy and un- necessary, this information is vital to you and the responding units. While the Trinity dispatcher is speaking with you, the Groveland dispatcher has muted their end of the phone line, is listening to the conversation, and is making sure that the appropriate units are being dispatched to your location and that information is being relayed to those units.
- The first arriving unit to your location will most likely be a Police Department cruiser. A cruisers is sent to all medicals to ensure that the scene is safe for the other incoming responders and to begin any immediate medical treatment that may be needed. The Groveland Fire Rescue will then arrive to your home in our medical response vehicles, with up to four Firefighter/EMT’s. These Basic Life Support units perform lifesaving interventions before the arrival of an ambulance. They also prepare the patient(s) for transport. Next, an ambulance will arrive. This ambulance may be at the Basic or Advanced Life Support level depending on the nature and severity of the call.
- The units arriving to your location for other emergencies will vary depending on the nature. For any reported or confirmed structure fires, fire alarm activations, odor of gas in the building, or reported smoke in the building, you should expect to see two police cruisers and multiple Fire apparatus on an initial response, and more if needed. For carbon monoxide (CO) and smoke detector activations with no smoke or fire present, you may only see one engine company respond. Firefighters and dispatchers are well trained in knowing what equipment is needed for different emergencies. Responses that may seem excessive or too light are most likely not.
Whenever on a 911 call, it is important to remain calm and speak clearly. While this may be difficult, the clearer you are, the better we can tailor the response with appropriate personnel and apparatus. If for any reason you believe you situation is an emergency, please dial 911 and NOT our business line.
For information on what happens if your 911 call involves a police matter, visit the Groveland Police Department website.