Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Firefighting: Public service pandemonium

Tonight I'm listening to the local public service radio channel, the station operated by the county sheriff's office.

Half dozen serious auto accidents with injuries have been reported within the last few minutes. Six ambulances and four sheriff units are in the process of dispatch.

Three fire departments were deployed with multiple rescue and emergency firefighting units. Only one dispatch operator is trying to coordinate all this, and he started getting a bit flustered. One unit complained that they didn't receive a timely call-up on their pagers, to which he replied, "I'll get to it as soon as I have time!"

I can imagine how this whole channel for handling such incidents would be just overwhelmed in a sustained wide-scale event. Sometimes it is a bit frightening to uncover the man behind the curtain, and come to realize that he is as human as us all.

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