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Listen: Washington, DC’s three-alarm fire that wasn’t

DC 911 accidentally dispatches 2nd & 3rd alarms to rowhouse fire

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Usually STATter911 is sharing stories that DC 911 failed to promptly send requested fire and EMS equipment or sent them to the wrong address. Last (Monday) night the opposite occurred. The Office of Unified Communications (OUC) dispatched a second alarm and third alarm to the correct location for a rowhouse fire.  The problem with this is that the battalion chief in charge only requested a working fire dispatch.

The erroneous dispatch was not transmitted on the radio. It only went out on DC Fire & EMS Department alerting devices, including firehouse printers. As you’ll hear in the radio traffic (above) from, OUC made numerous announcements on the radio trying to cancel the 17 various units alerted on the two additional alarms. The last one didn’t get the message until almost eight-minutes after the mistaken dispatch. The working fire dispatch–sending 9 additional units–was dispatched at the same time, but it took more than two-minutes to process that request.

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