Fire Department and Rescue Squad Activity
Alvo Firefighters have responded to 5 fire alarms and EMS personnel responded to 7 medical emergencies or motor vehicle collisions since September 1st.
Since our activity for both fire and rescue seems to be increasing, here are some details on what happens when 911 is called.
1. When you dial 911 your call will be answered by a call taker in either Lincoln or Plattsmouth, depending on whether you call from a land line or cell phone (and where your cell phone is located when you call). That really doesn't matter, because both Lincoln 911 and Cass County Sheriff will dispatch us by radio signal to individual pagers all our people carry. We are also conducting a trial of a cell phone system that duplicates the paging information to individual cell phones.
2. When we are paged, firefighters and/or EMS members report to the Alvo Fire and Rescue Station. Firefighters put on their personal protective equipment and staff fire apparatus. EMS personnel staff one or both ambulances. Unless a silent approach is requested, we will leave with lights and sirens operating. Once at the scene of a fire, suppression is started. At a medical emergency or injury incident, extrication (if necessary), assessment and treatment is completed and the patient is transported to the appropriate hospital.
3. Once the incident is over, it may not be over. At a fire scene, firefighters assist Deputy State Fire Marshals to investigate cause of the fire or they may have to monitor hot spots for rekindling.
4. EMS personnel must clean and restock the ambulance.
5. For both departments, paper and electronic reports must be filed.
The job isn't complete until the paperwork is done.
Here is something important you should consider: Firefighters and EMS workers are at risk for injury or death from the time the pager tones sound until they return to their homes. Driving large vehicles at high speeds even with lights and sirens operating is dangerous day or night.
Dispatchers and responders do not know if a call is real or not - dispatchers must send out the call and firefighters and EMS people must respond.
For this reason, the Nebraska Legislature has passed laws that provide penalties for false reporting and the Alvo Village Ordinances also prohibit false fire alarm reporting. The state laws make false reporting a Class I Misdemeanor, which has a penalty of up to one year in prison, a maximum of $1000 fine or both if charged and convicted. The Alvo ordinance has a penalty of $100 per occurrence.
Here's another tidbit you should know - if you or your family member dials 911 and hangs up, the dispatcher will call the number of the phone that dialed 911 to verify if there is an emergency and in Cass County, a deputy may be sent to check welfare at the location of the phone and determine if the 911 call was an accident or a false call. If you don't answer the followup phone call from the dispatcher, a deputy will come to your location.