I’ve spoken many times about the horrible policy many departments are following where they forgo coding calls for assistance in an effort to get the call out quicker. For whatever reason the bean counters think heading out the door with no information is a great idea. Imagine being sent “shopping” with no list and arrive at the grocery store to find you should be shopping for clothes. All that time saved so more time can be wasted where there is no record or performance goal: On scene. I just heard an exchange over the radio that made my skin crawl.
Who knows? No one asked, aparently, and an engine and ambulance have been dispatched to an unknown medical aid call.
Engine 99 and Medic 99 are responding and asking for updates, receiving none.
This is what I hear over the radio while sipping my coffee:
“Fire Control to Engine 99 and Medic 99 responding, the call has now been coded psych, violent, stand by for PD.”
30 seconds pass.
“Control to Engine 99 did you copy, stand by for PD?”
“Control this is Medic 99, we’re on scene already, unable to make contact with Engine 99.”
Another 30 seconds pass as everyone in the house is around the radio waiting to hear what happened.
“Engine 99, what is your status? We’re sending PD now.”
“Control this is Engine 99, we have made patient contact, are you sending PD to this location?”
“If you need them 99.”
“There is no need for PD here, do you have additional information on this run finally?” A hint of sarcasm noted. I smiled.
“Afirm 99, we have a report of a psych patient, possibly armed at your location.”
“We’ll make a note of that control, cancel PD there is no danger here.”
A collective sigh of relief went through the entire building and I’m sure the entire com center as well. Had they simply waited another 60 seconds to code the call like they’re trained to do, this could have been avoided.
Or do we wait until Engine 99 is shot to death while responding to the ‘unknown medical , more to follow’ before letting the dispatchers do the job they’re trained to do?
At least the stats will look good in the paper next to the obituaries. I feel sick.