EMS & Communications

Technology

Wireless Capabilities and Data/Voice Lines

The Dallas Fire-Rescue Technology relies on our Telecommunications Analyst to develop a plan to meet wireless and wireline requests and needs. The analyst helps by managing readily accessible cellular communications inventory, troubleshooting data/voice lines through a third party vendor, supporting installation of all data/voice wiring in fire stations, and overseeing requests for installation of Wireless Access Points (WAPs).

Dallas Fire-Rescue has a vision to continue being the most technologically advanced department in the country. By providing wireless service with 4G capabilities, requesting and utilizing the most innovative devices available, and increasing accessibilities through installation of WAPs, the department forges on toward our vision.

Mobile and Handheld Radios and Pagers

The Communications Specialist manages an inventory of hand held radios department wide, mobile apparatus radios, and pagers. Additional caches are programmed and maintained for large special events or immediate deployment to catastrophes. The specialist installs channel sequences and frequencies through coding, trains personnel on radio terminology and product knowledge, develops inventory methods, and becomes available for special event needs.

In an effort to ensure more efficient use of the radio spectrum and greater spectrum access for public safety users, the FCC required that all public safety radio systems operate using at least 12.5 kHz efficiency technology rather than the 25 kHz being used at that time. Dallas Fire-Rescue became fully compliant by January 1, 2013 regarding required FCC Narrowbanding.

Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD)

It is incumbent upon the CAD Administrator to investigate, determine, and eliminate problems that occur during dispatching to emergencies. Possessing experience, training, and education, the administrator manipulates the program in a test environment to verify known issues are fixed. Once numerous tests are run, the program is placed back in production to once again provide accurate and timely assignments of emergency apparatus.

Quality Assessment and Control

The Alarm Office needs continuous influx of updated information, as well as, recurring training to help maintain proficiency. The Training Officer provides this valuable resource. In addition to any pertinent and relevant training, the training officer monitors, reviews, evaluates and corrects dispatchers using a quality assurance program where feedback can help develop and solidify efficiency and morale. Customer service is the top priority and recognized in our vision to be the "best customer-focused fire service in the country". The training officer can maintain guidance in times of emergency and disarray.

In addition, building response plans and areas, creating capabilities for CAD units and researching incident histories are part of the administers responsibilities.

Purchasing Equipment

All requests for computers, peripherals, software, and technology related equipment are initiated through this Division. The needs and requests of our internal customers become paramount due to the departments very nature, and are therefore determined, evaluated, and funded accordingly upon approval. When large scope projects that include the purchase of new software with support, purchasing new equipment or upgrading existing technology from outside vendors, or participation in required training to keep efficiency high are requested, an RFP process will be initiated. Any vendor wanting to participate in providing products to Dallas Fire-Rescue can request information on the process using our link to the purchasing department.

NFIRS

United States Fire Administration (USFA) is authorized to gather and analyze information on the magnitude of the Nation's fire problem, as well as its detailed characteristics and trends. They are further authorized to develop uniform data reporting methods, and to encourage and assist state agencies in developing and reporting data. In order to carry out the intentions of the Act, the National Fire Data Center has established the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS).

The NFIRS has two objectives: to help State and local governments develop fire reporting and analysis capability for their own use, and to obtain data that can be used to more accurately assess and subsequently combat the fire problem at a national level. To meet these objectives, the USFA has developed a standard NFIRS package that includes incident and casualty forms, a coding structure for data processing purposes, manuals, computer software and procedures, documentation and a National Fire Academy training course for utilizing the system. The NFIRS reporting format is consistent with the current NFPA Standard 901 version 5.0. The NFIRS 5.0 expands the collection of data beyond fires to include the full range of fire department activity on a national scale. It is a true all-incident reporting system.

Within the NFIRS states, participating local fire departments fill out Incident, Casualty and optional reports for fires and other incident types as they occur. They forward the completed incidents via paper forms or computer files to their state office where the data are validated and consolidated into a single computerized database. Feedback reports are generated and forwarded to the participating fire departments. Periodically, the aggregated statewide data is sent to the National Fire Data Center at the USFA to be released and included in the National Database. This database is used to answer questions about the nature and causes of injuries, deaths, and property loss resulting from fires. The information is disseminated through a variety of means to states and other organizations. The National Fire Incident Reporting System is a model of successful Federal, State and local partnership. The database constitutes the world's largest, national, annual collection of incident information.

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