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The dispatch speakers in the fire house have a volume control. All the speakers in the fire house should be set at a level that they can be heard at all times. Giving the excuse, “if they need us they will dispatch us” is a lazy excuse. Situational awareness applies to all and it is important to know what is going on in the county at all times. Major incidents that you are not due on may impact the next call you are due on. Aggressive companies will know if they are next up if a fire escalates these aggressive companies will be dressed and heading that way routine, but staying in their response area until dispatched. When the call for help comes in, the response time is cut down and you arrive to help faster. For the companies who run mutual aid hearing the dispatch and getting on the road ensures you arrive on the scene in the order you are dispatched. As company officers you need to set the example and pay attention to what is going on in the county. There is an old saying in the music world “if it’s too loud, you are too old”  In the fire service this means, if you no longer want to listen to the dispatch, it is time for you to move on.  I have 30 years in the fire service and my speakers go to 11!

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