BEATRICE – When 911 is dialed someone is expected to show up quickly and ready to help. In Beatrice 911 is called more than 2600 times a year. But what happens when 911 is called? Fire Chief Brian Daake says the process varies depending on the situation.
“Yeah, it starts out somebody calls 911. It goes to the Southeast Nebraska Dispatch Center which is up in the police station. they process the call, determine where it’s at, ask a few questions and then if it’s a fire call here, you know in our jurisdiction, the city limits of Beatrice, then they page us out.
And from there it depends on what we’ve got going on and where it’s at. if everybody is here, we’ve got three shifts that work 24 hour shifts, A, B, and C and they’ve got seven firefighter, EMT, Paramedics assigned to each one. Typically we hope to have six here. We’ve had a lot of injuries here lately so it’s a little dynamic with our numbers.
But essentially we get paged out, determine if it’s a structure fire, then Engine 1 with a crew of four will respond. Myself and the deputy chief will respond as well as more of a safety back up, but anyways the Engine 1 crew responds and their job is to secure a water supply and basically determine what type of tactics they need to deploy. The captain decides if it’s an indirect attack, direct attack, depending on which way they need to advance the hose and things like that and go in a knock the fire down. Then go from there. Then if the other two responders are available they will respond in an ambulance.”
Each firefighter is part of one rotation that works 24 hours and rotates with two other teams. Daake says the shift isn’t just playing cards.
“We’ve got a dormitory in an area so they, if they are able to, we run 2600 calls a year so sometimes it’s kind of tough to get any rest but they’ve got dormitory. They stay here for their 24 hour shift and just try to rest up.
Having spent many, many years on shift, even if you do get a chance to sleep here, it’s not like sleeping at home because you are always at a heighten sense of awareness wondering where you’re going next, what’s going on, and what you’ll be doing the next few minutes.”
Daake says the most common calls are medical responses and take less than an hour in city limits.
“Medical Emergencies, and depending on those, just responding, taking care of the call and going back into service, they take not quite an hour, about 50 minutes if it’s inside the city limits. Outside the city limits it takes about an hour and a half. But of course you also have to consider we have readiness that we have to have involved with, making sure the equipment is up to date, training and ten after every call we have to do paperwork. The paramedics do patient-care reports and those can take up-words, depending on the type of call, over an hour just to do the paperwork so you have that on top of it.”
Whether it is a medical emergency or a fire that causes citizens of Beatrice to call 911 there is more involved than just dialing the phone.