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NEWS
April 17, 2012
The Franklin County (Pa.) Commissioners recently paid tribute Tuesday to the 911 dispatchers in the county's department of emergency services. Proclaiming April 9 to 13 “National Emergency Telecommunications Week,” the commissioners honored the work of the emergency dispatchers who serve as the first link in the emergency response chain. Attendees at the meeting were briefed on the activities of the 911 center, which included implementing a new response protocol designed to reduce the number of crashes involving ambulances, utilizing a new program that matches the needs of the caller with the appropriate law enforcement response, and taking a leading role in developing response procedures for high-risk incidents such as active shooters and mass disasters.
NEWS
By JOSHUA BOWMAN | June 11, 2008
HAGERSTOWN -- Hagerstown Police Department Dispatcher Shelbie Hall agrees that Washington County and the City of Hagerstown should combine their emergency dispatch centers. She does not, however, want to lose her benefits in the process. Hall is one of 11 city police dispatchers who would become county employees under a planned consolidation of the county and city communication centers. She and several of her colleagues attended a joint meeting Tuesday between the Hagerstown City Council and Washington County Commissioners to make their displeasure known.
NEWS
May 30, 2011
Police and emergency dispatchers across the Tri-State area said there were few problems Monday with Memorial Day traffic. By midafternoon, traffic was starting to slow on eastbound Interstate 70 in Washington County, while Interstate 81 was free of any congestion, according to a spokesman for the Washington County barrack of the Maryland State Police. Later in the evening, emergency services officials said they hadn't received any reports of backups on area roads. Some 911 dispatchers said they were busy with calls in the evening, but none had reports of significant police or fire incidents.
NEWS
December 27, 2001
For dispatchers, every second counts By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI kimy@herald-mail.com The intense business of saving lives is all in a day's work for Washington County's dispatchers, but with every 911 call comes the pressure of knowing every second and action counts. "It's stressful, particularly on days when there's lot of calls. It gets depressing when a house burns down before the holidays or a toddler dies," said Bardona Woods, assistant chief of Washington County Fire and Rescue Communications.
NEWS
BY STACEY DANZUSO | April 17, 2002
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Franklin County's 911 dispatchers were honored Tuesday with a special proclamation by the Board of Commissioners. "While the rest of us are opening our Christmas presents or eating Thanksgiving dinner, someone is anticipating any call that we may need to make," Commissioner G. Warren Elliott said. "And when that phone rings, the folks who work in our communications center have the training and mental toughness to handle any emergency reported to them," Elliott said.
NEWS
By DAN DEARTH | May 5, 2009
HAGERSTOWN -- The City of Hagerstown intends to compensate a handful of city dispatchers who will lose vacation time when they become Washington County employees on July 1. During Tuesday's City Council work session, Police Chief Arthur Smith recommended that the city pay the dispatchers for vacation time they would have earned as city employees but will lose when they involuntarily are transferred to help operate the county's new 911 center....
NEWS
By DAN DEARTH | July 16, 2008
HAGERSTOWN - The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday heard concerns from the city's emergency dispatchers, who said their benefits would suffer when the city and county 911 centers consolidate within the next year. When that happens, the two agencies will move into a new building, and the county will run the operation. As a result, the dispatchers who are now with the city will become county employees. Shelby Hall, who has been a city dispatcher for the past four years, told the council that city dispatchers would be forced to accept the county's inferior benefits package.
NEWS
By DON AINES | June 30, 1998
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Franklin County 911 dispatchers know how it feels to hear the frantic voice of a caller whose child or other loved one has been injured or fallen ill. Beginning today, they can give callers instructions that may save a life with the Advanced Medical Priority Dispatch System. "One of the most frustrating feelings a person has in the 911 center is when a hysterical parent calls" with a life-threatening emergency, County Director of Emergency Services Jerry Flasher said Tuesday.
NEWS
by DON AINES | October 10, 2003
chambersburg@herald-mail.com Chambersburg, Pa. - An upgrade to Franklin County's 911 emergency telephone system allows faster and easier communications between dispatchers and the deaf, according to Jerry Flasher, the county's director of emergency services. "The upgraded system provides the 911 telecommunicators with an immediate indicator that the call is coming from a telecommunications device for the deaf or hearing-impaired," Flasher said. The 911 center receives a tone from the devices that triggers the switchover.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
July 14, 2013
About five fire departments from Washington County helped battle a house fire Sunday afternoon on Murdock Mountain Lane in Frederick County, Md., officials said. The house fire at 13082 Murdock Mountain Lane was reported at about 5:21 p.m. and crews were still at the scene at 8:50 p.m., according to 911 dispatchers in Washington and Frederick counties. The house was along a steep gravel road and it was difficult to get water and fire trucks to the scene, said James Ulrich, chief of operations for Smithsburg EMS, Inc. There were reports of several firefighters suffering apparent minor injuries and a firefighter was taken to a hospital for a hand injury, according to Ulrich and dispatchers.
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NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD and DAN DEARTH | matthewu@herald-mail.com and dan.dearth@herald-mail.com | July 9, 2013
A technical problem that prevented Sprint cellphone customers from reaching emergency dispatchers on Monday in Berkeley and Jefferson counties in West Virginia when dialing 911 has been resolved, officials said Tuesday. A spokesman for the Jefferson County Emergency Communications Center and a Berkeley County Central Dispatch supervisor said they no longer had the “one-way” audio problem. Washington County Emergency Services also received a number of disrupted calls from Sprint customers, an official said.
BREAKINGNEWS
July 8, 2013
Berkeley and Jefferson County emergency dispatch center officials said they are currently unable to hear 911 callers who are using Sprint cell phone service. The caller, however, is able to hear the dispatcher, who can call the individual back, if necessary, officials said. Sprint is aware of the issue and is working on solving the problem, officials said.   Any person who has Sprint mobile service that needs emergency services should use a landline to call 911.  This problem affects only Sprint customers.
NEWS
March 22, 2013
Emergency services dispatchers in West Virginia said they received several calls from people who said they saw a flash of light Friday night. A Jefferson County dispatcher said a caller reported seeing a flash of light near the Shenandoah River. The herald-Mail received calls about the sighting, as well. The American Meteor Society has received more than 300 reports of sightings and are reportedly investigating if the item was a large fireball, which is a large meteor, according to published reports.
NEWS
By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | October 30, 2012
When Potomac Edison customers in the Tri-State area awoke Tuesday morning and found Superstorm Sandy had knocked power lines down across their vehicles or streets, their calls for assistance went to a hazard dispatch center at the utility's Bower Avenue complex near Williamsport. The windowless room is usually empty, but since Monday morning 31 dispatchers have been working one of two 16-hour shifts. They are handling electrical hazard reports from customers and 911 centers across Potomac Edison's territory in Maryland and West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle, and sister company West Penn Power's territory in Fulton and Franklin counties in Pennsylvania, utility officials said.
NEWS
July 8, 2012
Emergency crews from Washington County and Jefferson County, W.Va. were dispatched to a water rescue on the Shenandoah River near Harpers Ferry Sunday night, dispatchers from both counties said. The call went out at 9:04 p.m., a Jefferson County Emergency Services dispatcher said, but she had no other information as of about 9:50 p.m. A woman at the Friendship Fire Co. in Harpers Ferry acknowledged that units had gone out to on the call, but also had no additional information.
NEWS
By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com | June 1, 2012
Friday storms that brought heavy winds and dropped roughly an inch of rain didn't do much damage in the Tri-State area, according to emergency dispatchers from Washington County and surrounding areas. The heaviest damage appeared to be in the east end of Frederick County, Md., where three tornado warnings were called at 3, 6 and 9 p.m., said Chip Jewell, director of Frederick County Emergency Communications. “I think all of them were Doppler-reported on radar,” Jewell said.
NEWS
May 29, 2012
Trees and other debris were blocking some lanes of travel on Franklin County, Pa., roads, particularly in the hard-hit St. Thomas and Fort Loudon areas, according to 911 dispatchers. However, no roads in Franklin County were completely closed at 5:15 p.m., dispatchers said. St. Thomas Fire Department had crews out evaluating problem spots, according to personnel on station. No vehicle collisions were reported in Franklin County related to the storm as of 5:15 p.m., dispatchers said.
NEWS
May 29, 2012
Storms knock down trees in Franklin County CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Trees and other debris from a fast-moving line of tunderstorms blocked some lanes of travel Tuesday on Franklin County, Pa., roads, particularly in the hard-hit St. Thomas and Fort Loudon areas, according to 911 dispatchers. However, no roads in Franklin County were completely closed at 5:15 p.m., dispatchers said. St. Thomas Fire Department sent crews out evaluating problem spots, according to personnel on station.
NEWS
April 17, 2012
The Franklin County (Pa.) Commissioners recently paid tribute Tuesday to the 911 dispatchers in the county's department of emergency services. Proclaiming April 9 to 13 “National Emergency Telecommunications Week,” the commissioners honored the work of the emergency dispatchers who serve as the first link in the emergency response chain. Attendees at the meeting were briefed on the activities of the 911 center, which included implementing a new response protocol designed to reduce the number of crashes involving ambulances, utilizing a new program that matches the needs of the caller with the appropriate law enforcement response, and taking a leading role in developing response procedures for high-risk incidents such as active shooters and mass disasters.
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