South County officials fixing troubled dispatch system

September 22, 2014

five cities fireA month after an Oceano home burned while public safety agencies played phone tag, South County officials say they have corrected their troubled dispatch system. [KSBY]

After neighbors first reported the Oceano house fire on Aug. 21, it took dispatchers nearly five minutes to notify the Five Cities Fire Authority about the situation. The 911 call went first to the California Highway Patrol, then to Cal Fire, then to the Grover Beach dispatch center, which finally informed the fire authority that it needed to send personnel to extinguish the blaze.

The fire began in the backyard, but it spread to the home before responders arrived. It took more than eight minutes for the first truck to arrive.

Officials said the phone tag problem stemmed from the initial call coming from a cell phone. Due to the location of cell phone towers, most cell phone 911 calls in the area have gone first to the CHP.

On Friday, Grover Beach Police Chief Jim Copsey made a presentation to the Five Cities Fire Board of Directors in which he announced that 911 calls from cell phones in the area will now go directly to the Grover Beach dispatch center. The dispatch center also made technological improvements that will allow it to send alarm tones and information to the fire authority’s mobile computer system.

Copsey said the dispatch center worked with the CHP, Cal Fire and the county sheriff’s office to work out the kinks.



  1. r0y says:

    Put your faith in government, and you will be rewarded.

    (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
    • zaphod says:

      projecting self loathing? the government is made of and by people either you are onboard with the concept. remember “think about what you think”

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. falconbh says:

    I still believe we need to consider the potential savings and merger with Cal Fire.

    With all the financial struggles of a lot of people who are trying to comeback from in this current economic turndown.It seems cutting costs should be the number 1# goal for our elected leaders of the people.

    When you look at the most recent research data from the government it paints a pretty dark financial picture for most citizens.

    Most people are just looking for some relief and a little financial security.

    Now we are faced with New Sales Tax Increases, Multiple New Education Tax Increases, Property Taxes and Rents Increasing, New Road Taxes, More New Automatic Water Increases, Gasoline Tax Increases, Utility Rate Increases, and the South County Sanitation District wanting a New Tax Increase, after the Election !

    Right now we need some brave new leadership that will be more research driven, with creative long range planning, and the fiscal discipline to balance budgets with existing revenues, until we can get more hard working and retired American’s back on their feet.

    (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
  3. MBwaiter says:

    This will definitely happen in Morro Bay now that we have gone to County dispatch. Another great move by King Irons, Johnson and Smukler. Chief Knuckles didn’t want to stand up to Irons because he knew Irons would fire him if he did. So sad how he is destroying our Town.

    (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down
  4. Jorge Estrada says:

    Maybe this can be funded by the NRC….

    (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down

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