By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Each year the second full week in April is dedicated to those who serve as public safety dispatchers and communications personnel. San Bernardino County Fire honors the dedicated call-takers and dispatchers of the Consolidated Fire Agencies (CONFIRE) who serve as the first, first responders when county residents dial 9-1-1.
The week-long event, known as National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, was initially set up in 1981 by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County (Calif.) Sheriff’s Office. Over the years it picked up steam and was eventually recognized by Congress. By 1994 it was officially recognized as an annual event.
The joint powers authority known as CONFIRE or “CommCenter,” is the communications and dispatch hub for numerous fire agencies within San Bernardino County, including County Fire. In 2019, CONFIRE received over 700,000 emergency and non-emergency phone calls. They also received hundreds of calls via text to 9-1-1. The CONFIRE crew dispatched over 227,000 fire and medical incidents in 2019.
CONFIRE uses the ProQA Emergency Medical Dispatch System, an internationally recognized dispatch triage system, which guides call-takers through a scripted interrogation process with the caller to reach a determinant code that is standardized worldwide. This system prioritizes equipment and crews to be dispatched to medical emergencies that best meet the caller’s needs. The caller is given physician approved first-aid instructions over the phone to provide immediate aid until emergency personnel arrive. These instructions range from keeping the patient calm to assisting with childbirth or performing CPR. CONFIRE has been recognized as an Accredited Center of Excellence by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch. They are one of only two accredited centers in San Bernardino County and one of 185 worldwide.
CONFIRE Joint Powers Authority is a regional Fire, Rescue and Emergency Medical Services Dispatch Center comprised of eight member agencies including; San Bernardino County Fire District, Apple Valley Fire Protection District, Chino Valley Independent Fire District, Rancho Cucamonga Fire District, and the Colton, Loma Linda, Redlands, and Rialto Fire Departments. CONFIRE also provides dispatch services by contract for Big Bear Fire Authority, Running Springs, Montclair, San Manuel and Victorville Fire Departments, Baker Ambulance, and the San Bernardino County Transportation/Flood Control Department. They also function as the operational area dispatch for the county of San Bernardino, where they are responsible for coordinating mutual aid needs within the county and for processing mutual aid requests to and from the Region VI Office of Emergency Services Operations Center.
San Bernardino County Fire Department thanks the CONFIRE team for their hard work and dedication to safety and excellence. We wouldn’t be able to do it without you. To learn more about CONFIRE, visit www.confire.org.