CRESA Always Here, Always Ready

Posts in category 9-1-1

Celebrating the 4th of July… Safely and Neighborly

The Fourth of July is a big deal here in Clark County and across the country as many love to celebrate Independence Day with lavish fireworks displays. As fireworks go on sale this week in Clark County, people often will call 911 to help resolve issues and ask questions.

As a reminder, please do NOT call 911 to report fireworks violations unless there is a fire, an injury or someone is recklessly using fireworks putting lives in danger.  We wanted to share answers to some of the most frequent questions we get here at CRESA 911:

When are they legal?

  • June 29th – July 4th, 9 am – midnight -Yacolt
  • July 1st -July 3rd, 9 am – 11 pm – Woodland 
  • July 3rd 9 am – 10 pm – La Center
  • July 3rd 9 am – 11 pm  – Battle Ground
  • July 4th 9 am – midnight- Unincorporated Clark County, Amboy, Battle Ground, Camas, La Center, Ridgefield, Washougal, Woodland, and Yacolt
  • July 5th 9 am – 11 pm – Yacolt 
  • Fireworks are Illegal at all times within the Vancouver city limits.  If you’re unsure if you’re in the City of Vancouver, check the website at www.cityofvancouver.us/citylimitsmap.
  • Clark County provides a handy online chart and interactive map that allows anyone with an online device to quickly determine the rules for fireworks based on their address.

What about the big noisy ones?  Aren’t they illegal?

Nope. Even the fireworks that rattle your windows and set off your car alarm are legal.  Unless you are within the City of Vancouver, where all fireworks are illegal.

What about the ones that shoot clear up into the sky? They must be illegal.

Nope – most of those are legal too. Exception:   If you are within the City of Vancouver, all fireworks are illegal. 

Here is a guide for identifying illegal fireworks and explosives.

Here’s a legal overview of state fireworks regulations..

What if someone is shooting fireworks “dangerously”?

It depends on what you mean by dangerously.  Is life or property at risk?  If yes, call 911.

My pets and livestock are being traumatized by the noise!

Fireworks can be traumatic for animals.  If your pet has issues with loud noises please contact your vet for solutions to keep them calm.

Here’s a good article about helping your pet cope with fireworks.

Do Not Call 911 –

** The same dispatchers that answer 911 answer 311… Please help keep these lines open for immediate emergencies.

  • Because your neighbors are setting off fireworks
  • Because it is 10:30 PM and you need to get up early tomorrow
  • The noise is upsetting your animals
  • If someone is using fireworks illegally within the  Vancouver city limits please call 311 or 360-693-3111.   You will be asked to provide an address or cross streets where fireworks are actively being used.

So when can I call 911?

  • If there is a fire
  • If there is an injury
  • If someone is recklessly using fireworks and putting lives in danger
  • If people are being reckless and putting others in danger

** The same dispatchers that answer 911 answer 311… Please help keep these lines open for immediate emergencies.

As a reminder, Fort Vancouver’s Firework Spectacular as well as Clark County 4th of July have both been canceled this year.   

How Should I Dispose of Fireworks?

Clark Public Health has provided information on how and where you can dispose  of both used and unused fireworks in Clark County.

Reported Multi-State Comcast Outage

UPDATE 6/29/2018  2:40 pm.  We have been notified that Comcast is restoring service.  At this time we have no answer from Comcast regarding what caused the outage.  Thank you.

 

06/29/2018 11:20 am -There is a reported  multi-state issue impacting Comcast VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) including the Vancouver/Portland Metro Region.

 

  • 911 Systems in Clark County are functioning properly.

 

  • The impact is to Comcast VOIP Customers only and affects both non-emergency and 911 calls.  Other carrier systems, including cell phones and landlines are working.

 

  • If you are a Comcast VOIP Customer and cannot get through to 911 use a cell phone or landline to call 911

 

  • Please do not call 911 to test your lines.

 

We have no additional information at this time. CRESA will send another press release when the system is restored.

CRESA Employee of the Year!

EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR

CRESA recently named Jaclyn Wall as Employee of the Year!  Let us first take a moment to introduce you to Jackie.  We asked Jackie to share a little about herself:

What do you like to do in your spare time?  Jackie is a very active person.  She enjoys working out, (Pure Barre is her go to because it is addictive when you see the results and feels so good,) traveling, planning her next trip, small home improvement projects, or trying out the latest and greatest brew pubs and eateries in the area.  She is on a mission to complete her Mcmenamins passport.   Jackie also loves visiting the National Parks, and hoes to see them all during her lifetime.

Favorite Food?  Thai food…. especially salad rolls and curry.  Jackie says she could eat them for days and not get tired.

Favorite Sports Team?  Seattle Seahawks… This one came as no surprise if you have ever seen Jackie around work especially during Football Season.  She even is a partial season ticket holder now!

How long have you worked at CRESA?  Just starting her 7th year.  Started February of 2011.

 

How Did you first become interested in 9-1-1 Dispatching?  Jackie first became interested in public safety while attending college. Originally, Jackie thought she wanted to go into law enforcement.  During her time at college, Jackie realized the reasons she wanted to go into law enforcement, which she thought would give her a purpose to make a difference were not exactly realisitic.  As a 9-1-1 Dispatcher, she can still get help to people and make a difference and support the people in those jobs.

Jackie truly represents and displays the values of CRESA responders and work for the betterment of the community .  Below is Jackie’s nomination from a peer for Employee of the Year.

Jaclyn Wall
(Dedication & Integrity & Passion & Concern):

Jackie is the quiet example of both dedication and passion for what she does here at CRESA. I constantly see her getting involved and making a difference I have seen her participate at the Washington State APCO/NENA conference previously and she represents our agency with grace and is be proud of working here.  Everyday she arrives to work on time and ready to go. I have never known her to be anything but completely dependable no matter the task or expectation. Jackie is an asset to any shift or committee she works on. Jackie conducts herself with a clear code of strong personal ethics. She is trustworthy, loyal, and always tries to do the right thing even when the right thing may not be in her best interest. She not only abides by our Code of Conduct she expands upon it. From her work with strategic call taking here and at APCO, her tireless efforts in the training program, continued interest in learning new and developing technologies, and participation serving her co-workers on the guild E-Board. Jackie is kind and considerate. Empathetic and dependable. She does not hesitate to render whatever aid may be needed not only to her dispatch family, but also through her exemplary call taking with our citizens.

 

Thank You Jackie for being a wonderful role model!  Here at CRESA, we are fortunate to have you as part of the team!  Congratulations on being named CRESA Employee of the Year 2017!

A Thank You… From Our Director

The second week of April has been set aside as National Public Safety Telecommunicators week.  Initially established in 1981 in Contra Costa County CA, this weeklong event is a time for us to recognize, celebrate and thank those who have dedicated themselves to helping others.

Here at CRESA our dispatchers work diligently to serve the needs of our more than 470,000 resident and 25 different Police, Fire and Medical response agencies.  Last year they answered over 371,000 phone calls and placed over 125,000 outgoing calls in the coordination of responding to requests for service; an average of 1,358 conversations/day

Public Safety Dispatchers serve as the “calm voice in chaos” and are the critical link between the callers and the responding agencies.   Working as an effective team, they provide pre-arrival instructions and calm reassurance to the callers while giving important information and updates to the responding units.

We ask a lot of these dedicated individuals, expecting them to get it right each and every time.  We ask them to be fast in gathering information from confused or frightened callers, who often don’t know where they are; determine a priority and dispatch the appropriate help; continue gathering information while listening for calling responders; pass hazard information along to Police, Fire and EMS personnel, switching quickly from one call or task to the next.

We are blessed with Dispatchers who take their responsibilities seriously. They are driven to do well and care deeply about the officers, fire fighters and medics they work with each day, as well as the community they serve.

Our community is fortunate to have some of the best in the industry and it is my honor to be able to work on a daily basis with the women and men who sit behind the mic and are the heart behind the voice, 24 hours of the day, seven days of the week, “Always Here, Always Ready.”

Please join me this week and take the opportunity to thank them for the great job they do each and every day.

 

Dave Fuller

Director, Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency

The Faces of CRESA

Like many jobs in Public Safety, the role of a 9-1-1 Dispatcher brings with it great stress.  This career path isn’t for everyone, and there is much more involved to be successful than just managing a switchboard.  Our 9-1-1 Dispatchers and Call-Takers need to stay proefssional and take the lead to help get critical details from callers, all while helping send the correct help to those in need.  So you may ask, how do dispatcher’s spend their time away from the headset to deal with the stress from their work.  Having healthy methods of handling stress become essential when you deal with people on their worst day everyday.

A Mosaic using the “Faces of CRESA” staff to recreate the CRESA Building

The many faces that make up CRESA  enjoy a wide array of activities to help combat the impacts their work has on them.  CRESA staff enjoy hiking, running, spending time with family, friends, pets, playing sports, cooking, baking, and canning.  Some attend church, practice yoga, or binge on Netflix/Amazon Prime series.

We are proud of our dedicated staff and the leaders they are outside the walls of CRESA.   Your “first” First-Responders are  dedicated to the communities they live in outside of their work hours.  Here at CRESA, we have individuals who volunteer countless hours, from coaching little league, and soccer,  to leading 4-H and Boy/Girl Scout troops. Individuals also volunteer and fundraise for various school activites.

We have Community Education Zumba Instructors.  We have individuals that deliver meals with Meals on Wheels and help with Stone Soup.   At CRESA, we have those who take safety serious, even outside of work and are part of SafeKids Clark County along with participation as Child Passenger Safety Technicians.  We have individuals who are active in their churches and help with world missions.

CRESA has folks that are active to find a cure to end Alzheimers, and Cancer.  Individuals  are active supporting the Humane Society.  They help to stomp out hunger and assist with shelter for homeless individuals. We even have folks that crochet blankets and baby hats to give to people going through hard times and to Legacy Health as part of their Shaken Baby Syndrome Campaign.

At CRESA, we  have a talented, compassionate staff that we are not only proud of for the work they do while at CRESA, but also for their dedication to the communities they live in.  The faces of CRESA run deep within the communities we serve to help make them just a little bit better!

CRESA Cares… Behind the Headset, and in Our Community!

A Calling 9-1-1 Guide

Calling 9-1-1 is serious business.  We want you to call 9-1-1 to receive help for emergencies, potential emergencies, or if you are not sure it it is an emergency. However, if you have never had to call 9-1-1, you may be asking;

  • What happens when you call for help?
  • What should you say?
  • What does the person on the other line need to know?
  • What if you forget something?

Dispatchers are trained to pull and assess information from a caller. Expect them to guide you with questions.  They know what information they need to get first in order to ensure the right type of help arrives in a timely manner, and the best way to get the assistance you need is to answer the questions in the order they ask them.    It takes an average of 24 seconds and as long as 60 seconds sometimes JUST to confirm the location where help is needed.   Our best advice is to try to stay calm and listen and answer the questions dispatchers ask, and have Know Your Location!

Here’s a quick guide to help us help You:

  • Let the dispatcher know what is happening. Is there a crime in progress? Is there a fire?  Does someone need medical help? This information lets our dispatchers know what type of help you need.
  • We want to know where the situation is occurring. Knowing your Location is critical in getting the right help to you as quickly as we can.  Provide an exact address if you know it and don’t forget the floor and apartment number if you are in a building.  Unsure of where you are?  A nearby intersection or landmark will help.  
  • When did the incident occur? It is important to know if this is an active situation so our dispatchers can prepare the first responders know what to expect.
  • Let us know who is involved. We want to know if it a family member, someone you know, or a stranger.  It also helps to know if there are multiple people involved and who they are.
  • If weapon was used then let us know. Telling a dispatcher about weapons helps keep the public and first responders safe.
  • Tell us if anyone is injured. If someone is hurt, our dispatchers will ask you a series of questions to determine what type of care is needed.  Our dispatchers are also trained to provide medical instruction until a medic arrives.
  • If you speak another language or dialect tell us right away. At push of a button, we can connect to a translator.  CRESA has translated 9-1-1 calls in more than 170 languages.  Text to 9-1-1 is also available if it is unsafe for you to make a voice call or for individuals with hearing impairments.  Do Not use Emoji’s and be sure to share your location and the nature of your emergency in the first texts you send.  Remember to Call if You Can, Text if You Can’t!

It is important to remember the type of response is based on the emergency.  CRESA’s 9-1-1 call center receives more than 1,000 calls per day.  Not every call can or should involve emergency units traveling at high speeds with lights flashing and sirens blaring.  This type of response comes with inherent risk for the public and the first responders, but is rightly reserved for life-threatening emergencies.  Consider using 3-1-1 if your call is not an urgent life and safety call.  As a reminder, the same individuals that answer 9-1-1, also answer 3-1-1, so if you are put on hold, it is because they are currently busy. 

We hope you rarely have to call 9-1-1.  But if you, or someone else is experiencing an emergency, then keep these tips in mind.  Our 9-1-1 dispatchers will help you get the help that you need in a timely manner.

Happy National Telecommunications Week 2018

Each year, the second full week of April is dedicated to the men and women who serve as public safety telecommunicators.  It was first conceived by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County (CA) Sheriff’s Office in 1981 after the Sheriff overlooked telling Dispatch that he was taking the administrative support team to lunch.  By the early 1990’s the national APCO organization convinced congress for a formal proclamation that was signed by President Bush in 1992.  To read more about how Patricia got the movement started you can click here.

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week helps recognize the more than 500,000 telecommunications specialists nation-wide for an amazing job done in providing excellent public safety.

During the coming week, we will focus on several topics near and dear to our local dispatch staff and what they want you to know to help CRESA help You!  We will of course also highlight our awesome staff and the amazing job they do 24/7.

CRESA Announces Life Saving Awards

As a 911 center, we often forget to celebrate our successes. 911 Dispatchers wholeheartedly believe they signed up to do the good work, provide instructions to save lives, and walk people through terrible situations until help arrives.  The list of what is expected of a 911 dispatcher goes on and on while ever changing each day on the job.  While providing all of above duties, dispatchers are required to follow protocols to the letter.

The job of a 911 dispatcher, most of the time is a thankless role.  Dispatchers assist until First Responders arrive.  Once help physically arrives, the dispatcher in onto the next call, and many times never hears the outcome of those they helped provide assistance to. Sometimes however, we are made aware of those outcomes and the roles that the dispatcher played in saving a life.  These calls are reviewed for what CRESA calls the “Life Saving Award.”

To be considered for the CRESA Life Saving Award,  the following criteria must be met:

  • Patient must be released from the hospital
  • Quality Assurance (QA) panel reviews the call
  • Medical Dispatch Review Committee comprised of CRESA QA staff,
  • the County Medical Program Director’s Assistant, and an American Medical Response Supervisor review the call
  • Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) protocols must be followed to the exact wording
  • Panel reviews the call, verifying the dispatcher met and followed the protocol to the letter, AND the patient lived to be released from the hospital.

If a dispatcher meets all of the above criteria, they are awarded the Life Saving Award.

READ MORE »

So You Want to Be a 911 Dispatcher? Join the CRESA Team

Are you cool under pressure?  Do you think you have what it take to help callers on what may be their worst day?   When the caller makes the call to 911, it often is when they are mentally and physically at their worst.  Unless someone sits in their chair, on the radio, tethered to the phone for hours and hours, listening to what they listen to, you’ll never understand how it feels and what it takes to be a 9-1-1 Dispatcher!

Why do we share this?  Being a 9-1-1 Dispatcher isn’t an easy job. Dispatchers often are bombarded with calls and work between 10 and 12 hours a day with few opportunities for breaks and no time to reset between calls.  It takes the right type of personality to be able to handle the calls and the pace a dispatcher has to handle.  911 isn’t just a Call Center.  It’s your community’s first-first responders.  Each dispatcher is invested in the moment with people in crisis on the phone.

 

 

Yet with all the craziness the job brings, there are also many rewards.   They provide direction, help, and a direct link to responders.  They coordinate police, fire and medical response to assist those in their time of need. This is a highly trained and specialized team looking for others like them – people with DEDICATION, INTEGRITY, CREATIVITY, PASSION, COMMUNICATION AND CONCERN.  CRESA is highly accredited and has one of the best training programs in the country.  We provide all the training needed to be successful at this job, and yes, to even save a life!

If this seems like a career path you are interested in pursuing, please contact us and apply at www.cresa911.org/employment.

A Guide: What to Know

Calling 9-1-1 is serious business.  We want you to call 9-1-1 to receive help for emergencies, potential emergencies, or if you are not sure if it’s an emergency.  But what happens when you call for help?  What should you say? What does the person on the other line need to know?  What if you forget something?
Dispatchers are trained to pull and assess information from a caller. Expect them to guide you with questions.  They know what information they need to get first in order to ensure the right type of help arrives in a timely manner, and the best way to get the assistance you need is to answer the questions in the order they ask them.

Here’s a quick guide to help us help You:

  • If you speak another language or dialect tell us right away. At push of a button, we can connect to a translator.  CRESA has translated 9-1-1 calls in more than 170 languages.  Text to 9-1-1 is also available if it is unsafe for you to make a voice call or for individuals with hearing impairments.  Do Not use Emoji’s and be sure to share your location and the nature of your emergency in the first texts you send.  Remember to Call if You Can, Text if You Can’t!

 

  • Let the dispatcher know what is happening. Is there a crime in progress? Is there a fire?  Does someone need medical help? This information lets our dispatchers know what type of help you need.
  • We want to know where the situation is occurring. Knowing your Location is critical in getting the right help to you as quickly as we can.  Provide an exact address if you know it and don’t forget the floor and apartment number if you are in a building.  Unsure of where you are?  A nearby intersection or landmark will help.  
  • When did the incident occur? It is important to know if this is an active situation so our dispatchers can prepare the first responders know what to expect.
  • Let us know who is involved. We want to know if it a family member, someone you know, or a stranger.  It also helps to know if there are multiple people involved and who they are.
  • If weapon was used then let us know. Telling a dispatcher about weapons helps keep the public and first responders safe.
  • Tell us if anyone is injured. If someone is hurt, our dispatchers will ask you a series of questions to determine what type of care is needed.  Our dispatchers are also trained to provide medical instruction until a medic arrives.

It is important to remember the type of response is based on the emergency.  CRESA’s 9-1-1 call center receives more than 1,000 calls per day.  Not every call can or should involve emergency units traveling at high speeds with lights flashing and sirens blaring.  This type of response comes with inherent risk for the public and the first responders, but is rightly reserved for life-threatening emergencies.  Consider using 3-1-1 if your call is not an urgent life and safety call.  As a reminder, the same individuals that answer 9-1-1, also answer 3-1-1, so if you are put on hold, it is because they are currently busy. 

We hope you rarely have to call 9-1-1.  But if you you or someone else is experiencing an emergency, then keep these tips in mind.  Our 9-1-1 dispatchers will help you get the help that you need in a timely manner.