To the editor:
In response to Jan Mohapp's letter to the editor, I would like to clarify an important request she made in dispatching procedures from Mifflin County.
I was in to visit the dispatch center over the summer with a friend, when a call came in for a fire at the far end of the county, very much like the areas she mentioned. I as a field responder was highly impressed with the speed that a call gets dispatched after it has been received. Ms. Mohapp requested that Snyder County equipment be dispatched at the same time as the rest of the equipment from Mifflin County and I understand her request, however, Mifflin County does not dispatch another county's equipment. They in fact call the other county and advise them what type of incident they have, the location and the equipment due on that box alarm. That county in turn dispatches their own equipment.
The day I was in at the 911 center, the dispatcher was still taking the call and getting information from the caller that would be pertinent to the responding companies, the person on the Fire/EMS radio was starting the dispatching of equipment while the police dispatcher was calling Snyder County and giving them the information. From the time the call came in and equipment was dispatched and other counties called was under 2 minutes.
So please, before anyone lays blame and implies that somebody is not doing something correctly, please stop in to their own dispatching center and observe. We will all go away feeling rather impressed with how it all comes together for everyone involved, from the person making that call to all the responding agencies, and like her please support your local fire departments and EMS companies and thank your local emergency dispatcher for a job well done.