JUNE 17, 2007

Don Schoening, Club President, called the meeting to order, welcomed the speaker and thanked everyone for attending. 

The June 17, 2007 meeting of the Golden Triangle PC Club had a total of 17 members and 8 guests in attendance.  Sam Giglio and Monte Woodard renewed their memberships in the club.

The guest speaker today was Captain Ted Hillin who has been with the Beaumont Fire Department more than 26 years and who has had extensive training in all aspects of EMS and 9-1-1, as well as fire fighting and dispatching.  Ted was recently promoted to the headquarters of the Emergency Dispatch Center where he continues his extensive training in Computer-Aided Dispatching, Emergency Medical Dispatching, Emergency Fire Dispatching, 800 MHz Radio and VHF Operations.  This emergency dispatching center works with Jefferson County and surrounding counties taking care of all emergencies through utilizing access to and from one central computer bank, thus giving a quick accurate response of all EMS and 9-1-1 emergencies.

Captain Hillin presented pictures of the headquarters describing each of the pieces of equipment that is used in dispatching emergencies.  These consist of a CAD system, a Status Board and a Radio Dispatch System, There are four stations during the week with each station having five computers, a water and hydrant maintenance team and one Communications Chief, 10 dispatchers, and a Chief Water Distribution Officer. 

He showed pictures of the different screens that appear when an emergency call comes in.  When the dispatchers receive the call, the address and callback number of the caller usually appears on the screen.  The caller is asked the nature of the emergency and confirms the address of the emergency, since the phone number of the caller may reveal an address that is not where the emergency is.  The proper code for the emergency is entered into the computer and a determination is made as to what type of units needs to be sent to the scene.  A map showing the location and routes to the scene also comes up on the screen.  He stated that response time is under three minutes for the Fire Department and 10 to12 minutes for the EMS system to arrive at the scene.  The 9-1-1 system has 10 business lines.  He stated that at times, all of the lines are coming in at the same time; but it is usually in the case of an accident or fire where different witnesses are calling in the same emergency.

Captain Hillin stated that for weather-related problems, they use one dedicated computer for the National Weather Service website, or use KFDM VHF radio to receive information for severe weather occurring locally.  He said that all after-hours phone calls for the City of Beaumont and all calls from the Police Department are handled by the dispatch center.  There is a Tug Boat system and computers on all fire trucks, showing them the location of all hydrants and best routes to take in order to reach the location of the call quickly.  The Fire Chief has Internet weather service and voice-print availability (where all messages are recorded).  There is a battery back up of 90 minutes on the batteries.

The audience asked questions during the presentation.  One of the things that was pointed out was that there is a Primace (SP?) File that contains information that they have obtained from previous calls to that location or from people calling in and asking that certain information be recorded on the file.  The type of information that is on the Primace  File is marked by an asterisk on the screen and can be crucial in the event of an emergency, such as the location of a house key either hidden outside the home or at a neighbor's home, in order for responders to enter without having to break down the door or break a window to obtain entry.  Medical information, such as an occupant having diabetes, can also be recorded.  The phone number to call in order to give such information to be recorded is (409) 880-3901.  He said that burglar bars and dead bolted doors are extremely difficult to get into.

Since many homes are located a distance from the street, one of the questions asked was how much hose is available on a fire truck.  He said that there was  1,000 feet of 5" hose, 100 feet of 2-1/2 inch hose, and 800 feet of 3-inch attack line.  Each truck is equipped with 750 gallons of water.

Information was given as to responses when homes are equipped with monitored security systems.  He sated that the call goes to the central location, such as the ADT Center, and then they call the emergency center.  9-1-1 calls are answered by the police and then rollover to the center also.

Information was given about Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors.  He stated that most have lithium batteries and need to be replaced at certain intervals.  Smoke Detector batteries should be replaced every year, while Carbon Monoxide Detectors may not need to be replaced for five years.  He said that because Carbon Monoxide odor cannot be detected, you should have Carbon Monoxide Detectors located in several different rooms in the home.

Jerry McDaniel, Club Treasurer, showed the members the Presentation Mouse which was purchased by the club to facilitate going through a presentation by remote control and which is equipped with a laser pointer.  The cost of the mouse was $52 plus shipping and handling.  It will be of great asset to the Presenter.

Dr. Sam Giglio gave the schedule for upcoming speakers:

        July 15 - Joe Mike Brooks, with Zydeco, on Wireless Routers and Notebooks

        August 19 - Bob & Steve Fore, with Computer Shak on Advanced Computer Processors and Computer Gaming

        September 16 - Ira Wilsker, on Computer Privacy and ID Protection

        October 21 - Mobile Computers in Law Enforcement Vehicles

Don then reported that there is a problem for people who have Yahoo and who wish to use Mail Washer Software. 

After the presentation, there was a drawing for door prizes.  Prizes were donated by various businesses, as well as by the Golden Triangle PC Club.  The club appreciates the generosity of these businesses and would like for club members to mention the club when shopping in their establishments.  The following were the winners:

        Scrolling Calculator donated by Office Depot Stagg Drive Gateway Store - Monte Woodard

        Gender Changer Kit, donated by Office Depot Stagg Drive Gateway Store - Edna Davis

        Expo Combination Board donated by Office Depot Dowlen Road Parkdale Store - John Mikeska.

         $10 gift card from Gander Mountain winner was Claud Sibert

The meeting then adjourned at 4:20 PM

Respectfully submitted by
Alice Sibert