Communications

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Firefighters in front of truckFire communications is responsible for providing the citizens and visitors to the City of Downey with prompt dispatching of firefighting, rescue and medical equipment and personnel to the scene of an emergency. The Communications Division's duty is to match the public’s request for service with the Fire Department’s resources assuring prompt and adequate response to fire and medical emergencies.

Critical Information When Calling 911

A dispatcher
  • Know where you are when you call the police or fire department; if you do not know the exact address try to know some area landmarks or main cross streets that can help us find you.
  • Stay calm! No one can predict when an emergency might occur-but if it does-try to stay calm and in control so you can better help us and those around you who may need your help.
  • Don’t argue with the dispatchers even though you think their questions are not important.

Call Volumes

  • Total calls: 47, 171
  • 911 Emergency calls: 18,187
  • 7 digit Emergency: 14,151
  • Ringdown lines to local P.D./CSO & neighboring Fire agencies: 6,980
  • Administrative: 7,853

Services

  • Receives and responds to requests for emergency services from the public via 911, other public safety agencies and standard telephone systems.
  • Operates and monitors multiple radio frequencies and determines the appropriate personnel, apparatus and equipment to be dispatched using complex radio and/or computerized systems.
  • Closely works on a daily basis with local police and other fire agencies in the sharing of resources and information regarding multi-agency incidents.
  • Provides pre-arrival emergency medical instructions in accordance with the Department's Emergency Medical Dispatch program.

Staffing

The JPCC employs a total of 9 dispatchers; 8 full time and 1 supervisor who also works in the center as needed. The dispatchers work 12 hour shifts with the minimum staffing for each shift is 2 dispatchers with part-time dispatchers assigned during the busy weekend hours of 4-12 p.m.

Significant Milestones/Developments

  • 2013 Tiered Dispatching Implemented
  • 2009 Emergency Medical Dispatch Program Implemented
  • 2008 Switched to UHF radio system
  • 2008 Fire Dispatch Center Backup completed at Downey P.D.
  • 2008 Reddinet Hospital Monitoring System installed

Communications History

Dispatcher (black & white photo)The Downey Fire Communication Center (DFCC) was established on July 1, 1975 as a regional communications center for Area E Fire Departments (Area E was originally the Civil Defense area of Southeast Los Angeles County). The idea of a regional fire communication center was to effectively share and manage fire and medical resources, thus being able to deliver rapid response to an emergency incident. The DFCC was initially comprised of the cities of Downey and Santa Fe Springs, with the cities of Montebello and Lynwood joining in 1976, Compton joining in 1982, and the city of Vernon joining in 2012. Today, the JPCC provides fire communications and dispatch services to the Cities of Compton, Downey, and Santa Fe Springs, serving a combined population of 300,000 people covering an area of 40 square miles.