Friday, June 22, 2007

60 Control's Rock Stars

60 Control, Westchester's Fire & EMS Dispatching and Mutual Aid coordination center, is a tremendously difficult job, with all the departments they dispatch for having completly different operating procedures on many different frequencies.

Additionally, they answer numerous different phone lines including 911 and the dozens of PSAPS in Westchester, plus the 7 digit lines. They also provide over-the-phone lifesaving instructions, as well as coordinate the dispatch and assembly of the county's specialized teams.

I believe 60 Control is one of the most difficult dispatching jobs in the country. On top of that, low pay, poor working conditions, understaffing, obsolete facilties, constant critcism from those who are ignorant to what they have to do, and most of all, lack of respect, makes their job extremly difficult.

Many of us love to critque and criticize them, after all, many of us don't know them by face, listen and judge every move they make, and place blame on them for things that our our own faults, such as the ridiculous mutual aid and home rule system this county has. How would you like to be followed around with a video recorder all day every day at your job and have your collegues judge every move you make? They also have no downtime whatsoever when there are calls going, whereist we do.

The new Captain is working hard to resolve a lot of these issues, and he is making tremendous progress. However, we in the field have to realize what they do, and campaign for these guys to get paid more, have a 20 year pension just like FD and PD, since their job is just as stressful as ours, if not more, and for every department to work together to come up with a unified, central communications system. We need to help them out- let the DES commisioners know, write a letter to your local politicians about their pay and about a 20 year retirment system for them....they are a part of us and we need to start reconizing that!

I give my thanks to the professional and extremly patient dispatchers of 60 Control. They do an awesome job, and they deserve all of our respect for coordinating and bringing out the best they can in the mess that this county's fragmented 911 communication systems is.

Thank you 60 Control! You guys are the rock stars of the dispatching world!

*Full Disclosure: I'm x-60 Control. I wish I could swing it to go back there to work in addition to my regular job which I love too, it's like family up there, and I miss it, most especially the wonderful friends that I worked with there.