herald

Monday 21 August 2017

The hidden heroes of the night - control room staff

Meet the heroes of 'C Watch' - the men and women who were working at the nerve centre of the Tara Street control room.

They are the dedicated staff of the Dublin Fire Brigade who began working their 15-hour night shift at 6pm on St Patrick's night.

They worked up until 9am yesterday morning, with breaks in between.

It is a hugely important job. Around 13 operators are on duty in the control room and emergency calls come in here for all of the eastern region, not just Dublin.

It handles 999 or emergency calls from as far away as Laois.

One of the operators picks up the call and decides what course of actionto take. If it is an ambulance call, there is an on screen protocol to be followed, so they will take the person step-by-step through the questions and answers.

Assess

Then they assess the situation in relation to the patient and they then decide to despatch an ambulance.

A radio operator is in regular contact with all of the vehicles and the ambulances and fire appliances.

"There is a lot of interaction that will go on when this control room gets busy between all members of staff, just trying to make the best of all the available resources," said Liam Hyland, District Officer.

There are 12 ambulances and some 19 first line fire tenders are available.

"We also do a lot of emergency medical services calls at the moment. We have always provided a very good service to the people of Dublin," he added.

Paul McCann, a sub officer in the control room explained that they can monitor what is going on around the city through the use of camera screens.

"If you need them to be zoomed in, we can just ring traffic control," he explained.

fdillon@herald.ie

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