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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Open Message to KC-MO Fire Dispatchers: Don't Hang Up on Someone Trying to HELP!

Yesterday at 3:05 p.m.- Kansas City MO Fire and EMS dispatchers sent SOUTH KC-MO fire companies to a reported wreck involving an overturned concrete truck at "Westbound I-435 and Woodland."

Immediately I'm thinking- "where the heck does Woodland meet I-435 in south Kansas City?"

Responding Southland companies soon wondered the same thing over their radios.

There IS an interchange of I-435 and NORTH Woodland in Clay county- and shortly the KC-MO Police Shoal Creek Zone dispatch sends a car to that location to check.

Meanwhile- as the south KC-MO companies go looking in vain for the crash- I decide to call the KC-MO Fire dispatch non-emergency phone number.

I was TRYING to tell them that the Shoal Creek Zone cop HAD arrived at North Woodland and found the overturned truck "with the driver trapped- but conscious and talking" to the officer. 

Somewhere in the middle of my statement- the female dispatcher hangs up on me!

Shortly- fire dispatch sends ONE fire company to North Woodland- and- at 3:13 p.m. or a full eight (8) minutes after the initial crash dispatch to the (wrong) south location- an ambulance is dispatched.

Meanwhile- the Northland officer on the scene is wondering where the HELL the fire and EMS units are.

Kansas City MO citizens would not believe the fire and EMS dispatch screw-ups I have heard over the past several months since the new radio system was brought online and the fire dispatch center moved to the former MAST headquarters building near I-435 and Eastwood Trafficway.

After my experience yesterday- I won't be wasting my time to help-out the fire & EMS dispatchers as I sit back- listen and document these incredible screw-ups.


The Observer said...

My information is that they just hired a whole bunch of new dispatchers--I am noting a lot of new voices and the absence of familiar ones. Green people, without fire or EMS or LEO experience, not familiar with the city dispatching now.

And hanging up on you is stupid and pretty close to inexcusable.

Groucho K. Marx said...

Hiya TO!

Yeah- I know of one FD dispatcher- Bob Carlson- retired after the announcement of the FD & EMS dispatch centers.

T.O.- I hear calls re-dispatched several minutes after the inital dispatches- addresses wrong or- on several occasions- not even GIVEN until the units switch to the madhouse of three operational channels BESIDES "A-1" or dispatch and ask "where are we going?"

And this one kills me even though they SUPPOSIVELY have CAD (computer-aided dispatching)- sending the wrong companies!

I passed-up being hired down there in 1991 when my news service took off- not a good decision monetarily
but a GREAT decision for my mental health.

Hey- when are you and I going to TALK and not TYPE to each other?

At least send me an email addy so we can exchange mud in private....

kcsuppression said...

You cannot blame the dispatch center for the idiots of our city who do not give correct obviously have no idea what goes on when you have not seen how the daily operation works. As for "TO" yes your information is correct about the department did hire a handful of new dispatchers...but if you knew anything about what you were talking about, over 200 people applied for those handful of positions and those selected tested and passed all interviews set forth by the department. Then of course those new hires were all placed on nights due to the new people you think you hear during the daytime hours are in fact all employees who are mainly made up of retired medics and firemen. Mistakes happen, no department is perfect by any means, but dont try and rip a certain division publicly when you have no facts to back up your claims. The employees follow the system that was set in place, and they are told to send what companies it recommends so that when errors do come along, the system can be fixed so that those errors wont happen again.

Groucho K. Marx said...

Thank you for your take kcsuppression- keep in mind that I consider the suppression branch of the fire department one of if not THE best in the Central USA..

That said- it doesn't explain why common sense wasn't used in the incident that was blogged here:

Where does Woodland intersect I-435 in SOUTH KC-MO since there is NO PLACE out south where it's marked as such- ONLY the north of the river location with the interchange?

Aren't provisions made for common sense when dispatching calls?

WHY did the female dispatcher HANG UP on a citizen TRYING TO HELP?