In our complicated and fast-paced lives, communication and
information are prized commodities for each of us. But beyond
that, they are absolutely indispensable to the Redwood City
Fire Department. What does happen when you call 9-1-1? How
are communications handled during an emergency, large or small?
When you dial 9-1-1 from a hard-line phone in Redwood City your call will first go to the Redwood City Police Dispatch Center. The Redwood City Police Dispatch Center determines the nature of your emergency. If the police dispatcher concludes you have a call that requires the Fire Department, you will be transferred to the San Mateo County Dispatch Center. A San Mateo County Dispatcher will take your information and the Redwood City Fire Department, and any neighboring, needed fire resources, will be dispatched to you.
If you're calling 9-1-1 from a cell phone in Redwood City your original call will go to the California Highway Patrol Dispatch Center in Vallejo. The dispatcher takes your information and contacts the San Mateo County Dispatch Center (if your call requires Fire Department resources), where the information will be given to a San Mateo County dispatcher. At this point the Redwood City Fire Department will be dispatched to you.
The advantage of using San Mateo County as our dispatch service is their access to all fire apparatus and ambulances in the entire County. Both fire and EMS (Emergency Medical Services) resources are dispatched at the same time from this center. Large structure fires require multiple companies to respond. The County has the ability to dispatch all necessary vehicles at the time the initial 9-1-1 call is received. Most emergency calls are processed within 30 seconds.
A back-up Fire/EMS communication center became fully operational on August 1, 2002. In the event of a failure at the Hall of Justice’s San Mateo County Dispatch Center, the City of Redwood City generously agreed to allocate space at Fire Station #9 at 755 Marshall Street, for this back-up center.
It was designed to be fully operational, 100% independent from the primary dispatch center at the Hall of Justice. It features the following state-of-the-art technology: Zetron Radio Console System, Zetron Telephone System and Computer Aided Dispatch System.
The alternate back-up center is the only fully automated and integrated contingency 9-1-1 center in the County of San Mateo.