Does Time Equal Quality When Evaluating Alarm Handling   [open pdf - 100KB]

"The Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) in 2003 originally accredited the City of Rocky Mount Fire Department (RMFD) and since that time, the requirements for remaining accredited have continually become more stringent. The problem faced by the RMFD is that the department began utilizing a new and more thorough dispatching protocol system, which requires gaining more information from the caller before emergency crews are dispatched. Since the implementation of these new protocols, the time it takes to process an emergency call has increased. While the information has aided in dispatching the appropriate number of emergency units, it has also placed RMFD accredited status in jeopardy. This is because CFAI provides a standard baseline expectation of 90 percent of emergency calls being dispatched within 90-seconds after the receipt of the call. CFAI does not factor in the quality of information that is provided to the emergency responders. The purpose of this research project was to determine if elapsed time is the only measurement that should be used to determine alarm-processing quality."

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United States Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/
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