Fire dispatch center cuts back hours
The Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center is no longer a 24-hour operation.
Janice Meyer, of the Nevada Division of Forestry, said the center has transferred some of its dispatch duties to Reno-Washoe County dispatch center – particularly those dealing with medical emergencies and other issues.
“Sierra Front will just handle wildland fires,” she said.
She said Reno will handle dispatch duties for NDF as well as its own fire crews in the Bowers Mansion, Galena Creek and Verdi areas as well as Cold Springs and Peavine north of Reno.
“Reno has just grown so much, some little pockets NDF has been providing service for are now surrounded by Reno jurisdiction.”
She said the change should actually speed crews on their way during an emergency because when a call comes in to Reno, it will cut out the extra step of notifying Sierra Front to actually dispatch the fire crew. Reno dispatch will send the crew whether it’s a Reno, Sparks or Truckee Meadows fire truck or an NDF truck.
“It just makes a difference of a couple of minutes, but sometimes, a couple of minutes is critical,” she said.
The change, Meyer said, enables the Minden dispatch center to shut down at 6 p.m. and open at 7 a.m.
She said Sierra Front will still have people on call at night and county officials have a cell phone number they can call in case of emergency.
“It’s real common for wildland dispatch centers to shut down at night, particularly in the off season,” she said.
During the summer fire season, she said, hours at the center will probably be extended.
“If we have a busy fire season, we may make the decision to have people here 24/seven,” she said.
Sierra Front will still handle dispatch duties for wildland fires for the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Forest Service and NDF for more than 11 million acres of rural Nevada.
n Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 687-8750.