The Emergency Command and Data Center (ECDC), affectionately known as “Metro” within the department, is the hub for fire and emergency medical services communications for San Diego Fire-Rescue (SDFD) and the cities of Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City, and Poway.
Located in Kearny Mesa, ECDC processes about 350,000 emergency calls each year and is considered a secondary public safety answering point within the 9-1-1 system. When you call 9-1-1, if you have a fire or medical emergency, you’ll be transferred to ECDC by the law enforcement agency that receives your call.
ECDC maintains a staff of 51 full-time fire dispatchers, overseen by seven supervisors and four command battalion chiefs. Dispatchers work 12-hour shifts and the center is staffed 24-hours a day, seven days a week. All SDFD fire dispatchers are highly trained and earn certifications as emergency medical dispatchers (EMD) through the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch.
Fire dispatchers manage about 200,000 incidents each year and ECDC also holds the distinction of being an Accredited Center of Excellence from the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch.
Fire dispatchers use a computer aided dispatch (CAD) system, phone system and radio console to perform their work. The CAD system is what dispatchers use to enter calls for service and, through automatic vehicle location technology, can recommend the most appropriate resources for responses. SDFD crews and medical units receive response notifications via station alerting, secure iPhone notifications, and automated voice dispatch over the radio.
Fire dispatchers have access to some of the most advanced mapping applications in public safety today. In addition to live routing and the maps in CAD, dispatchers utilize RapidDeploy and RapidSOS technology to assist in pinpointing cell phone callers with better accuracy than ever before.
Through an interface with the CAD system into a mobile computer or tablet, SDFD and medical crews are able to receive turn-by-turn directions, real-time mapping, and real-time call updates.