Alerting system delivers faster response times, says Orange County Fire Chief

Maps, intel shave 40 to 60 seconds off arrival to scene

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Fire and Rescue’s top brass is convinced the new station-alerting system implemented in May has already delivered impressive results, “shaving off a potential 40 to 60 seconds” from each response time.

Chief Otto Drozd told WKMG-TV News 6 that the alert technology matches the “correct units” with the emergency call based on location, a major change from the old alert systems.

“The difference today is that it sends an electronic packet directly to the fire stations, ” Drozd said, “So instead of sending one call at a time, if 10 calls come in, we can distribute all 10 at the same time.”

Drozd conceded there has been an adjustment to the technology but in a short amount of time the alert system has become the “new norm” for the department’s first responders.

“What you’re not used to today you train on and two weeks from now you can’t live without it," Drozd said. Each second that we save is one second that we are at the patient’s side or that we can put water on the fire.”

Lt. Robert Izzo, a veteran of more than 24 years as a firefighter currently serving at O.C. Fire Station 30, told News 6 the system has been impressive because the information is coming in as soon as the alert tone sounds in the station.

“It’s crucial and instant,“ Izzo told News 6. “We can actually get a pre-alert on the system so we know even before we are out the door where we are going.”

Orange County Fire and Rescue reports the department averages 119,000 response calls every year, Drozd said this new technology is part of the formula to respond to scenes at a faster pace.

The alerting system is one of the first in central Florida tied to Winter Garden, Maitland, and Ocoee.

Worldwide, 385 cities are using similar systems, covering 24 million people, according to Drozd.

“This is melding all of the data bases that we have with modern technology in order to get it to the people that need it to the people that need it in the most timely fashion.”

About the Author:

News 6’s Emmy Award-winning Investigative Reporter Mike Holfeld has made Central Florida history with major investigations that have led to new policies, legislative proposals and even -- state and national laws. If you have an issue or story idea, call Mike's office at 407-521-1322.