Quicker emergency response times part of countywide regional effort

All Ventura Co. fire agencies included in effort

Ventura County Fire Communication Center

VENTURA, Calif. - Three fire agencies helped put out a structure fire last week in Port Hueneme. It's part of a regional effort in Ventura County to respond to emergencies as quickly as possible.

Just last year 180,000 phone calls came into the Ventura County Regional Fire Communications Center with 75,000 of those calls dispatched.

Everyday the Ventura County Fire Communications Center manages 71 fire stations throughout the county, that includes 121 specific units. It wasn't always that many. The Oxnard Fire department is the newest member coming on board back in September.

"They were the last fire agency to come into the center and once that happened we truly became the only communications center that dispatches all fire agencies in the county of Ventura," said Kelly White, Ventura County Fire Battalion Chief.

Before that the Oxnard police department would dispatch for both fire and police calls.

"By separating the fire and police calls into the communication center that allows the police department to focus on the law enforcement and we now take on the reasonability of their fire," said White.

When a fire and emergency situation call comes through out of Ventura County the call goes straight to the communication center. Then the dispatcher selects the closest agencies to the emergency providing a quicker response time.

"This is not common," said White. "We see throughout the United States people are responding closest resource, but it's not common with the size of the county of Ventura and with a multitude of agencies that they are all dispatched based upon the closest resource and not the jurisdiction."

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