The Control Room is the heart of the Barbados Fire Service's (BFS) operations. Like the human heart, all operational functions occur as a result of, or in conjunction with the Control Room. It is usually the first point of contact for persons calling the BFS. There are several small Control Rooms located at each station, but the main Control Room which houses the Dispatch and Call Center (Fire Control) however, is located at The Arch Hall Fire Station.
The mobilisation of department resources, i.e., fire appliances (trucks), personnel and equipment is conducted from the Control Room. All emergency phone calls made to 311 lines are received via the Control Room, and after they have been received, the appropriate number of appliances and crew are dispatched to the scene. Apart from dispatching a fire appliance and crew, the Control Room is also responsible for alerting the senior officers and other mutual aid agencies, e.g., Royal Barbados Police Force, Emergency Ambulance Service, Barbados Defence Force, Barbados Light and Power, Barbados Water Authority or Department of Emergency Management.
Control Room Dispatcher(s)
Control Room Dispatcher is the title given to personnel working in the control room. The Dispatcher has the full authority of the Chief Fire Officer to mobilise the resources of the entire fire service and to implement executive decisions necessary for the control of an emergency in collaboration with the Incident Commander.
The dispatcher is required to have a good understanding of the respective station areas and geographical profile of the island. They are also required to keep calm and objective during emergency calls. The dispatcher should obtain as much information from callers regarding any emergency situation as this could be useful to responding personnel. Dispatchers must be able to multitask, he/she keeps track of all emergency situations that the department has been mobilised to attend, monitor communications via the department's radio network and document all relevant information, including the movement of personnel and appliances.