Project Blog

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The team visits KAHI Radio.

The Lego Guards visited KAHI  today. I was really excited to find out about what happened at KAHI during the recent 49 fire in Auburn. We talked with Victoria Beninga, who told us that she was the first on the scene at KAHI. Mrs. Beninga used a CALFire radio frequency to get info to braodcast on air. She also used the yubanet, calfire, and KCRA3news websites

The team learned that lots of people were calling the station to give and get information. We thought that emergency volunteers were a good idea. That way, three people could answer phones, one could do twitter/facebook and two could be on air.

The team was also interviewed on air for five minutes.

Thank you KAHI and Mrs. Beninga!

Field Trip to KAHI

Today we went to KAHI of Auburn to talk with Victoria who works there.  She was on air during the 49er fire, and she told us about some of the problems she and the other staff were having.  We asked a lot of questions, and got great answers in return.  It seems to me that the biggest problem for them was they needed more people to anser phones, keep them updated, run a Twitter or Facebook, etc.  I think it would be better if more people had hand crank radios, so when the power is down, you still have a way of getting information on the situation.  It was a great trip and we learned a lot!

Our KAHI Trip

Today we went to Auburn's local radio station, KAHI. First, we talked to Victoria, (an employee, and the organizer of our trip) abouthow they received information and such during the huge Forty-Nine Fire. We discussed ways to make things like this easier fr them to transport there messages at the same time as receiving phone calls and scanner broadcasts.

Then they put our team on air for five minutes. We talked about FIRST, last year's team, and this year's project. It was a very interesting trip.

The Dispatch Center

On Wednesday, September 16, our team took a field trip to the Sheriff's department.First we got a team photo, and next we went inside and had a conference call with Kathie Fenley and we learned about there reverse 911 system. She showed us how to notify people in a certain area. It was very interesting to learn about how they are also thinking about using microglobing sites for early notification, as we had also been thinking of.

Then the man who had helped us before showed us the dispatch center, where all the 911 calls were coming in. It was very interesting talking to the operators that were not busy.

Over all, I thought this was a very interesting field trip, and I enjoyed it.

Field Trip

Sweet field trip to the dspatch center! I learned a lot about what they used to contact people. Very cool!

Notes from the Placer County Dispatch Center

BASICS:

-Dispatch uses a system called WARN (Wide Area Rapid Notification) to send phone messages in case of emergency

-Dispatch keeps landline phone numbers up to date by taking all the new phone numbers and verifying the legal address. The number is then "geocoded" into a map.

-This procedure is called "datascrubbing"

-There are four main steps to sending a message using WARN: 1. Datascrubbing procedure

                                                                                                     2. Select area to send message to

                                                                                                     3. Phonetically type warning message

                                                                                                     4. Send message to phones in selected area

-Dispatch is constantly datascrubbing to keep all landline numbers updated and accurate.

-Nearly 40,000 phone numbers were called in 10 minutes during the recent Auburn 49er Fire.

-There are two ways to select an area to be called: 1. Select a point on the map and draw a radius from the point

                                                                                 2. Draw free form to encompass the desired area.

-98% of all landlines in Placer County are geocoded.

POSSIBILITIES:

-Considering using cellular and additional phones per house.

-Possible to attach numbers together-you could be called when your family/friends need to be evacuated.

-Maybe use micro-blogging, text messages to send updates.

PROBLEMS:

-If a number is not geocoded properly, the call to evacuate will not go through.

-Dispatch wastes time by answering calls that don't matter. This means that they are not free to talk to someone who really needs help.

LOOK AT:

-Alertsandiego.org

-LSED.org

-NINA.org

-Look at what other counties are using and if successful

The Placer County Dispatch Center

Today we went to the  the Placer County Dispatch Center. We saw some cool stuff and we learned bout Nixle and that it is better then Twitter for many reasons. Then we went to the 911 calling place and it was cool!

PLACER COUNTY DISPATCH CENTER FIELD TRIP

 Today, we had a meeting with the Dispatch Superviser Erik Wollsen. We went to the computer traning  room, looked at the system and talked to Kathy at  the Lake Tahoe Dispatch on the phone and asked questions about the system ( W.A.R.N.). Then we listened to a demo recording in two voices! After that we looked at the office and talked to the dispatchers about the 49er fire that occurred one and a half weeks ago.

Thanks again Erik and Kathy and all the Placer Dispatchers working all day every day,

Owen H.

 

Field Trip to Placer County Dispatch Center

Today the whole team went to the P.C. Dispatch Center (arranged by Owen, good job!) and met with Eric, who is a dispatcher with the Dispatch Center.  He gave us a tour of their building, and on the first stop we had a conference call with Kathy Fenley, a "Datascrubber" who works in Auburn and Tahoe.  She told us about a system they use called W.A.R.N. (Wide Area Rapid Notification)  She said they used it for automated phone calls during the 49er fire, as well one other last year.  She said some problems they were having were that they could not (as of yet) register cell phone numbers with W.A.R.N. and that it took too much time to select the area to notify, type the message, and send.  When we asked if they had considered using a system like Twitter, she said that she had actually spent the past couple weeks researching using a system like that for warning, and gave us some names to look up.  After that conversation, we moved on to the actual dispatch center, where personel would take 911 calls.  We talked with the people on duty there, asked a few questions and got good answers.  We learned that the didn't actually hear about the 49er fire till they got 911 calls for it, but after a little while they could actually see a lot of smoke from their office window.  It was a great field trip, and we got a lot of good information!  Thank you Placer County Dispatch Center!
 

Visit to the Placer County Dispatch.

The team met Erik Wolley, who works for the Placer County Sheriffs and is a dispatcher. He took us into his office, where we went into a conference call with Kathie Fenley, who is a "Datascrubber". She told us lots of facts and explained how the WARN (Wide Area Rapid Notification) system works (see "Notes from Placer County Dispatch" for notes"). Then, Erik took us into the actual dispatch center and and we got to meet the dispatchers on duty! It was really neat! Everyone was really nice, and answered our questions. One of the things that I found really interesting was that they(dispatch) didn't find out about the 49er fire until they got several 911 calls reporting it.

Thank you Erik, Kathie, and Placer County Dispatch Center!

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