Fire agencies adopt identification system

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Nine fire agencies from four Nevada counties and one in California have agreed to implement a standardized apparatus and station identification system.

Agencies from Douglas, Lyon, and Storey counties and Carson City in Nevada, and Alpine County in California, will be implementing the new system Oct. 1.

East Fork Fire and Paramedics Districts Chief Tod Carlini said participating agencies realized the value of having one system for numbering fire stations and apparatus, even though they are all dispatched from separate centers.

Currently, each agency has its own numbering system creating conflicts with duplicated apparatus and personnel numbering on incidents where regional support and cooperation is essential, Carlini said.

Carson City Fire Chief Stacey Giomi developed the system, which provides each agency with a master number as the primary agency identifier. Other numbers identify apparatus and personnel.

The group also agreed on common apparatus terminology, whereby apparatus of the same type will be referred to with the same name. Regional agencies have three terms to identify an ambulance. Under the new system, an ambulance is now known as a "rescue" in all participating jurisdictions.

"While this may seem like a simple step to take, it breaks with what we have been doing for at least the past 30-plus years I have been in the fire service," Carlini said.

"With the current state of our economy, moving in a direction which attempts to maximize our efforts and funding on a regional basis makes sense," he said.

He praised the spirit of cooperation that exists between the agencies represented.

"There is not a single agency which can muster the necessary resources to deal with a significant large event, and in some cases even the day-to-day responses that we all encounter. Mutual support is essential. The new numbering system is just one more way we have found to cooperate on a regional basis," he said.

Giomi said the step opens the door for continued cooperation by the regional fire agencies.

"We are continually looking for ways to improve service delivery and save money. A regional fire dispatch center is the ultimate goal. Collectively, we are pursuing grants to see if we can obtain funding to develop a regional center," Giomi said.

Carlini and Giomi were instrumental in the creation of a formal boundary drop zone between their two jurisdictions which earned the Nevada Taxpayers Association's Cashman Good Government Award in 2007, and continues to save an estimated $500,000 per year in duplicated resources.

The new system will go into effect in October once all dispatch centers have had time to make the necessary adjustments in their computer-aided dispatching systems.

Participants include East Fork Fire and Paramedic Districts, Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District, Carson City Fire Department, Central Lyon County Fire Protection District, Mason Valley Fire Protection District, North Lyon County Fire Protection District, Smith Valley Fire Protection District, Storey County Fire Department, and Eastern Alpine County Fire Department.


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