Emergency calls are received and dispatched by the Raleigh/Wake County Emergency Communications Center. Also known as the “911 Center”, they provide communication support to fire, EMS, and law enforcement agencies in Raleigh and Wake County. The center serves an area of approximately 860 square miles in Wake County.
Fire units are notified of emergencies by two-way radio. Each unit has a different radio tone, which activates a buzzer and overhead lights at the fire station. The tones are followed by an automated voice dispatcher that states the type of emergency, the street address, the responding units, and the radio channel. This information is also received at the fire station on both printer and an alphanumeric pager. A number of fire units also have mobile data terminals that display emergency call information from within the fire apparatus.
Fire units responding to emergency calls travel with flashing lights and sirens. When responding to emergencies, fire units can proceed through red lights and stop signs as long as they stop first and see their way clear. It is important for all motor vehicles to pull to the right when an emergency vehicle is approaching from behind them with flashing lights and siren.