Incident Dispatch Team

Background: The Metropolitan Area Communications Center (MetCom) was established in 2006 and currently provides fire & medical communications to the South Metro Fire Rescue Authority and the West Douglas County Fire Protection District. Our service area encompasses 266 square miles, diversely mixed with everything from commercial high rises to wildland interface. Our numerous hazards and potential for significant incidents prompted the need for communications support outside of the dispatch center. To fill this need, the Incident Dispatch Team (IDT) was established in 2008. Building upon the philosophies of successful IDTs across the country, MetCom is able to offer an operationally efficient team with diverse capabilities.

Staffing: MetCom operates on a 24-hour Modified Kelly cycle, allowing for optimal staffing at all times. Daily staffing is 4 dispatch personnel with a minimum of 2 IDT members per shift. Our constant staffing level is 3, allowing one IDT member to respond immediately to an incident. On-call IDT members are also available to supplement staffing with 8 total members.

Training: MetCom's IDT members are qualified through an in-house training academy which covers a wide range of material from the basics of firefighting to building a communications plan. All members are certified in ICS 300 and most in 400. The team also has 2 FEMA Type 3 COMTs, 2 NWCG COML Trainees and 1 COMT Trainee. All IDT members are RADO certified.

Equipment: All IDT members are equipped with a full set of Nomex bunker and wildland gear, allowing us to safely function on scene. As a single resource, our members will bring a kit with laptop computer, iPAD, printer, camera, GPS, VHF radio programming equipment, internet access, weather software including radar & lightning data, a cache of ICS forms and a small office supply kit.

Apparatus: MetCom operates two fully-equipped response vehicles and two staff SUVs. "IDT1" which is our small ambulance-sized communications unit has all of the capabilities of a single resource dispatcher with added computer capability, whiteboard walls for resource tracking, onboard generator, three cell phones, fax machine, two 800 MHz & two VHF mobile radios and most importantly, an ICRI Tactical Gateway. The ICRI allows us to bridge dissimilar radio systems or frequency bands together on scene to facilitate interoperability.

Our largest vehicle is designated as "Command 3" which is a 45' long, tandem axel, mobile command and communications unit. All of our IDT members are trained to drive and operate this vehicle. Its capabilities include a private command/planning room with teleconferencing, satellite phone, cell phone lines, satellite television, microwave, coffeemaker, refrigerator, bathroom and several dispatcher/communication stations with radios varying from 800 MHz, VHF, Aircraft, HAM and CB. The vehicle's roof can be used as an observation platform and the sides are also equipped with several scene lights.

Requesting The Team: Requests for MetCom IDT can be made directly through MetCom at 720-258-8911. For additional information, please contact Paul Smith at 720-258-8701 or p.smith@metcom911.org.