The Communications Center located at the Indian River County Sheriff's Office is one of three Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP's) in Indian River County. Through the use of the 800 MHZ radio system, the Dispatch Center dispatches Fire Rescue for the entire county and Law Enforcement calls for the unincorporated areas of the county including the City of Fellsmere and the Town of Indian River Shores.
Communications serves as the vital link between citizens and public safety agencies and is usually the first contact citizens have when reporting a crime, fire or medical emergency. By use of a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, dispatchers must react quickly and effectively to determine the proper course of action by providing citizens with the fastest and most efficient response to emergency calls. A series of questions are asked to help and or provide assistance to citizens, minimize the risks faced by field personnel and enhance the quality of patient care.
As of July 1, 1998, the 911 operators became Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMD) using the flip card system established by the Association of Public Communications Officials (APCO ) International Inc. APCO follows the National Standards for EMD, and in most cases, exceeds the minimum standards required. Through certified training and using the approved EMD guide cards, Communications provides pre-arrival instructions on every medical call saving valuable and often life saving seconds while emergency personnel are en-route.
The Communications Unit is comprised of a Public Safety Dispatch (PSD) Section Administrator, shift supervisors and members. Members work 12 hour shifts beginning at 6:00 a.m. or 6:00 p.m. New members are hired as call takers and are assigned to classroom training for the first several weeks and then work with a Training Officer in the center. During training, members can be expected to learn the basic operations of call taking, how to operate the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, discuss departmental/unit policies and procedures, learn the working fundamentals and become certified in CPR, EMD and the operations of the Florida and National Crime Information Center.
In 2008 the psd unit processed over 280,000+ calls, of which nearly 66,000 were received on 911. That's ~767 calls per day. Of the 160,000+ incidents, 81% were dispatched to sheriff deputies, 14% to fire rescue, 3% to Fellsmere police officers and 2% to Indian River Shores public safety officers.