Communications Division: Director Sherry Taylor
The Communications Center of the Indianapolis Fire Department is located at the Metropolitan Communications Agency (MECA) building. MECA is a multi-agency facility serving the needs of Marion County Fire Departments and Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services. The communications center is responsible for Fire and EMS dispatch services for all of Marion County with the exception of the town of Speedway and the cities of Beech Grove and Lawrence.
Agencies Served by the IFD Communications Center Indianapolis Fire Department Indianapolis Emergency Medical ServicesDecatur Township Fire Department Pike Township Fire Department Wayne Township Fire Department
The communications center has absorbed tremendous increases in workload in the last few years. Prior to 1994, the center was responsible only for dispatching IFD vehicles and Wishard Hospital Ambulances. Since that time, by absorbing the added workload of dispatching the additional seven township fire departments, the center increased its activity levels in excess of 50% and square miles of area served by more than 200%. In spite of that workload, the center maintains its impressive average reaction time of 54 seconds (reaction time is defined as the time between the answering of the phone and the time that the run is dispatched).
The Indianapolis Fire Department's Communications Division consists of about 36 civilian employees and 10 to 15 contractual employees. The communications center is staffed and operated with four shifts working twelve-hour assignments. All full-time personnel are required to be APCO (Association of Public Safety Communications Official) Telecommunicators Certified and APCO Emergency Medical Dispatch Certified within six months of employment.
Additional responsibilities of the communications center include the provision of radio communications hardware (see Radio/CAD Identification Table) to all IFD units and assisting department personnel in troubleshooting communications problems. The communications center staff also researches complaints or inquiries concerning any event in which communications might have a role. Center personnel also perform tape research on emergency incidents as requested by department chief officers.