Communications

Communications Center

The Alpine Fire Protection District is dispatched by the Heartland Communication Facility Authority (HCFA) in El Cajon.  The HCFA was formed in 1987 by a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) to provide emergency communication services to fire agencies in the eastern and southern areas of San Diego County.  The mission of HCFA is to provide high quality , compassionate, emergency dispatch services to the communities and public safety agencies they serve through a cooperative effort and the sharing of resources.

Since it’s inception, the JPA has worked steadily to enhance emergency communications.   In 1990, HCFA installed an 800 mhz trunked radio system.  HCFA now operates on the County Of San Diego’s 800 mhz Regional Communications System (RCS), allowing countywide radio coverage.

HCFA also provides dispatching services to numerous volunteer agencies.  In 2003, agencies serviced by HCFA responded to 61,804 fire and EMS incidents.

HCFA operates a six-position Dispatch Center in El Cajon.  The center is equipped with Computer Aided Disptach (CAD) consoles, which are used for the management of all incident activities.  This system has redundant computer services for security purposes and to minimize down time.  A state-of-the-art 911 telephone system interfaces directly with the CAD.

In The Engines

Each engine is equipped with an 800 mhz mobile radio and a VHF mobile radio.  For safety purposes, each firefighter position has a portable radio assigned to it.  In each vehicle is a portable computer or Mobile Data Terminal (MDT).

When someone calls 911, the dispatcher takes the information and determines what units should respond.  The station is notified and an alerting system in the station advises the personnel the type of response and what units.  By the time the Captain gets into the engine, all of the call information is on the MDT including type of call, location of call, the map page number, and any special notes about the call.

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