These are some of the most common questions that we have been asked over the years. If you have a question that you think should be posted on this page, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
– What does SIRCOMM stand for?
Southern Idaho Regional Communications Center
– Where is it located?
911 E Ave H, Jerome, Idaho– Who/what do you dispatch for?
All Law Enforcement, Fire Suppression, and Emergency Medical Services agencies in Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, and Twin Falls Counties (with the exception of Twin Falls City Police and Fire Departments). This totals forty-one agencies. Along with these agencies, we work closely with the Idaho State Police and neighboring counties, Public Works departments, Street and Highway Departments, Idaho Power and other utility companies, Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, Fish and Game, County Disaster Services, and many other such agencies. – How many people work at your Center?
At full staff, SIRCOMM employs seventeen full-time dispatchers.– What do you get paid?
Starting wage for a SIRCOMM Emergency Services Dispatcher is $18.56 per hour.
– Have you ever had anyone die while on the phone with you?
Yes, unfortunately it does happen – suicidal callers, persons with medical emergencies, victims of tragic car accidents, etc.
– Why can’t you give me legal advice over the phone?
Although we have extensive training in what constitutes criminal and/or civil law, we as dispatchers are not certified legal consultants. We can take information and have an officer call you back and answer your questions or, in some instances, recommend you contact a lawyer in the case of a civil matter.
– Do you have caller ID on non-emergency lines?
Yes, as long as the number that is calling is not a private or restricted number.
– Why don’t you have caller ID for cellular phones?
We do, however not ALL cell phone companies subscribe to the necessary program needed to provide us with that information. It is called Phase Two technology, which displays a wireless caller’s telephone number and wireless provider. If the cell phone company has upgraded to Phase Two technology, we will also be provided with a set of latitude and longitude coordinates of the phone itself, based upon GPS technology. SIRCOMM has the technology to use those coordinates to narrow down an area from where the phone is calling. This techonology is not pinpoint exact, but it gets very close. Numerous emergency situations have been located this way.
– What happens if your computers crash?
All dispatchers have been trained on the old-fashioned pen and paper method. It is an efficient system and does not decrease the effectiveness of the emergency response system.
– What happens if your radios stop working?
The Center is fully equipped with backup communication equipment.
– Have you ever had an officer shot while on duty?
Yes, unfortunately it has happened – but it is a rare situation. All dispatchers are trained on how to handle that type of incident.
– Are you allowed to tell people to shoot someone if it’s self defense?
We are allowed to tell people in an emergency situation that they can do whatever is reasonable and they deem necessary to protect their person, another person or their property until help arrives. This usually means staying inside if the danger is outside, or staying in an area that is safe for them. Since we are not at the scene, we cannot tell people how to handle the situation, we can only request that they keep us updated as to what is happening and that they keep themselves out of harm’s way.·
– How much training is required to be a dispatcher?
Dispatchers must complete training as a Call Taker, Fire/EMS Dispatcher, Primary Law Enforcement Dispatcher, and a Data Terminal Operator. SIRCOMM’s training program is extensive and involves classroom trainng and training on the dispatch floor. Such training includes Emergency Medical Dispatch training, CPR certification, ILETS/NCIC Certification, law enforcement pursuit training, radio etiquette training, critical incident stress management, and many other facets of training. Once initial required training is completed, ongoing education continues online and as it becomes available in seminars, classes, forums, etc. As scheduling allows, each dispatcher will attend the Basic Dispatch Academy and the Advanced Dispatch Academy held by the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council in Meridian, ID.
– Can you use your computers to get information about your friends and neighbors?
Absolutely not. All information accessed by dispatchers is for law enforcement purposes only and not for public use. Any misuse of the Idaho Law Enforcement Telecommunication System (ILETS) is punishable by law. – Do you often dispatch medical helicopters and jaws-of-life?
Yes, we do. We work very closely with air ambulance services in Twin Falls, Boise, Pocatello, and sometimes Salt Lake City. Several Fire Departments in our coverage areas are trained with and use the Jaws-of-Life extrication equipment.
– What happens if someone calls 9-1-1 when there is no emergency?
If it is a genuine misdial or mistake, callers are merely reminded to dial more carefully. If it is someone playing on the phone or an open line (no one talking) an officer will be dispatched to speak with the parties regarding the proper use of 911. Persons abusing the 911 system may be cited under Idaho Code 18-6711 for misuse of an emergency service.
– Why does it take so long for help to arrive after I call 9-1-1?
When a person is in the middle of an emergency situation his/her adrenaline is pumping and time seems to get distorted. In actuality, only five or six minutes may have passed since the phone call although it may feel like 15 minutes. There are also times when responders are bombarded with numerous emergency situations at once. They have to prioritize and delegate their response accordingly. Emergency responders are advised of every call we receive as they are received. No calls are held without the permission of a supervisor. Just remember — NO call goes without some level of response by us or a responding agency.