Public views 911 calls as they happen

Public views 911 calls as they happen

By Donna Young

GCN Staff

Internet users can now see a real-time list of Seattle 911 emergency fire and medical dispatches live on the Seattle Fire Department's Web site at The site automatically updates the dispatch list every 60 seconds.

The Web page does not list names of callers, but it does show the addresses of response, date and time of the 911 call, and the type of response such as medical or other aid request, fire, natural gas leak, or assault with weapons. The site also includes the number and type of fire and emergency units that respond to 911 calls.

Leonard Roberts, the Fire Department's director of management information and communications systems, said the site uses a customized C program developed by systems analyst Frank Brown. The program transfers each dispatch message to a Microsoft SQL Server database running under Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 on a Dell PowerEdge 2100 server with 128M of RAM.

The real-time, computer-aided design dispatch pages'what the public sees and uses'are Active Server Pages. Staff members developed the ASPs using a text editor and Microsoft FrontPage. They contain code that accesses the SQL Server database to present the data.

What Internet users see on their screens is essentially what goes out over the radio from the dispatcher to firefighters, Roberts said.

The Fire Department's site also contains morning reports, a list of fire and medical emergency calls the department received in the last 24 hours. The site displays reports for the previous seven days and allows users to download files of all morning reports as far back as 1992.

Jim Fosse, the department's assistant chief, said the Web page has cut down dramatically on phone calls the department receives from attorneys, insurance companies and the media attempting to verify addresses where emergencies take place.


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