Begining in 2000, St. Tammany Fire Protection District #1 had hosted a consolidated dispatch center. With a total of 8 agencies St. Tammany Fire District #1 Communications was serving over half of the parish area with emergency fire response and communications services. Employing 8 full time communications officers, one communications supervisor and a support staff of 9 part-time dispatchers, Fire Protection District #1 communications handled over 11,000 emergency calls and over 29,000 events in 2006. In 2007, many of those agencies migrated into a unified dispatch center in Covington leaving only Fire District #1, Fire District #7 and Fire District #11 being dispatched from the communications center in Eastern St. Tammany Parish at FD1 today.
Based at our Central Station location, in Olde’ Town and functioning as one of the secondary PSAP's for St. Tammany Parish, our communications center has 3 dispatch consoles and can add two additional workstations if needed. Partnered with The City of Slidell Police Department we share a Motorola Centracom Gold Elite series system along with Mobile Tec Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system and AT&T/Positron Viper Telephone/Mapping: these systems are mainstays in our daily operating environment. Our systems are enhanced with a Higher Ground data/voice recording system.
Dedicated staff with many years of experience follow high standards of training: Basic APCO, EMD, Louisiana State University Telecommunicator I at the entry level (obtained within the first year).
Also, LSU Firefighter I/II, Hazmat Awareness, Hazmat Operations, First Aid, Telecommunicator II, APCO Communications Training Officer, APCO Communications Center Supervisor. We include Certifications in National Incident Management System classes and also have members enrolled in advanced fire training and communications education along with college curriculums for public safety.
We enjoy twelve hour shifts with four crews operating 24-7 to answer the call for our area citizens and public safety responders. Since the experiences and eye opening education gained since Hurricane Katrina, your local fire emergency call center has seen the need for remaining in close proximity to its customers. We have made a conscious decision to remain in the area to insure that our local area citizens and their property are a priority in all situations.
Our Strategic Plan includes relocating our Communications center to the planned public safety communications center being developed by St. Tammany Parish 911/Communications District No.1 and completion of our standards and qualifications for educational requirements that will put us in line for future development and direction. We also plan to develop more interaction from this division in community outreach and education.