About Me

My photo
Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, July 17, 2017

Should NorCo 911 Dispatchers Be Watching TV?

When you call a 911 operator, it's not to find out what movies are playing at the Carmike or Regal.For most of you, it's an emergency. Someone may be experiencing a heart attack. Perhaps you were involved in an accident. Every second counts. But according to several local police officers and 911 dispatchers, there's a real problem. Television, the opiate of the masses, is there to dull the senses of employees who should have no distractions.

Though I've never toured the 911 facility, I'm informed that one or more television screens are there for dispatchers. I could understand seeing one tuned into the local weather channel or a local news station.  But it is instead being used so that dispatchers can watch movies or Phillies games.

I have no quarrel with the dispatchers but do have a problem with supervisors who are allowing this to occur.

"Thy need to go," one police officer told me. "My life is on the line and my dispatcher is watching a movie. I have a real problem with that."

Perhaps they were distracted over the weekend, when a 911 supervisor botched a fire call for Bethlehem, and sent a code red out to the entire county, warning of a problem that was nonexistent.

123 comments:

Anonymous said...

If this is true it is totally inappropriate. Furthermore, if there is so much time that people are watching tv, they should downsize the crew. They aren't working hard enough if they watching...

Bernie O'Hare said...

This is the claim of several police officers. I am unable to assert for sure that it is happening bc I have never been inside.

Anonymous said...

Either they are watching TV or watching out for the public

They can't do both.

Anonymous said...

There are tvs in both NorCo and Bethlehem. I'm sure there is some industry rationale. If when a call comes in the dispatcher can't take their eyes off the tv, the problem isn't the tv, it is the dispatcher.

Anonymous said...

I think what's missing here is both sides. All you have is what a "few" of your "buddies" are telling you, so you think it's news worthy. Take a look at ALL the surrounding counties I'm sure your gonna find the same situation. Oh, and then there is what PEMA says the 911 has to have on staff. So why don't you do your due diligence and investigate both sides instead of talking to a buddy, because I'm confident that, that buddy didn't get his way with the 911 Center so he's talking crap.

Anonymous said...

Todd Weaver, the boy Blunder in charge - Enough Said

Anonymous said...

Taxpayers are paying for them to have cable. That is as bad as the HR popcorn machine. I'm a taxpayer and I don't want to be paying for them to have cable. Refund my money!

Anonymous said...

You mean like the same police officers who are sent to a domestic call and decide to pull over a car on their way to that domestic call...leaving the people they're sworn to protect to defend themselves and possibly suffering serious injury?! You mean those police officers?!

Anonymous said...

If the allegation is true, it got to go. Allentown, has over 150 TV's tied into the citywide video surveillance system, however, the dispatchers there are too busy to even watch them. If this is true, NC dispatchers have entirely too much time on their hands and a reflected study should be conducted by outside consultants who can possibly save us taxpayers money. Of course, Mr. Efficiency, John Brown, would never think to do this.

Anonymous said...

Are these the same idiots who put out the stay in place Sunday morning for a fire in Fountain Hill, yet I live in Easton. Then get a oops, sorry stay in place notification one hour later waking us up again. ???

Anonymous said...

So you, who admittedly have never set foot into the 911 center, along with the claims of several police officers, who I'm willing to bet have never taken the time to be bothered to go to the 911 center to see how it operates are complaining about the way they do their jobs? If this officer is so concerned for his life, maybe he should sit down with a dispatcher during a shift and see how it truly operates and the stress these dispatchers are under. I'd guarantee he couldn't do therir job!!! With or without a television!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm nearly 100% certain that dispatchers are watching television while responding to emergency calls, based on what police officers tell me. These officers have every right to be concerned, as an inattentive dispatcher can cost lives. I am amazed that you would defend this nonsense. This practice must end immediately.

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to find out how the mass alert got to be sent, since the fire was in Fountain Hill, Lehigh County (not Bethlehem, not Northampton County).

Bernie O'Hare said...

" Take a look at ALL the surrounding counties I'm sure your gonna find the same situation"

This is a matter of common sense. While I understand the need for multiple screens in front of a dispatcher, they should not be watching movies or television shows. I have written to the 911 operations center about this situation and will be providing whatever answer they give me.

Anonymous said...

I am a county employee who has been inside the center, but I don't work for them. What I observed are TVs at the positions which silence immediately with phone and radio use. Would never want to even attempt to do that job. It is stressful and complicated.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"You mean like the same police officers who are sent to a domestic call and decide to pull over a car on their way to that domestic call...leaving the people they're sworn to protect to defend themselves and possibly suffering serious injury?! You mean those police officers?!"

Police officers do not typically pullover a car while responding to a domestic disturbance. What you seem to be suggesting ids that you can thumb your nose at police officers and ignore them bc they sometimes do the wrong thing, too. That is not a justification for your own inattention.

The TV shows need to stop today.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I am a county employee who has been inside the center, but I don't work for them. What I observed are TVs at the positions which silence immediately with phone and radio use. Would never want to even attempt to do that job. It is stressful and complicated."

I am aware of the multiple screens. I am aware they are supposed to silence with phone and radio use. That does not always happen, and officers can hear the same TV shows or movies that the 911 dispatchers are watching.

I do not blame dispatchers. I blame supervisors for permitting this practice. This is common sense. Thee should be as little distraction as possible.

Anonymous said...

I thought we were the only ones to get two calls in the middle of the night telling us to close windows and turn off our air conditioner. No news coverage of this botch job whatsoever. I thought I was nuts!

Anonymous said...

On the face, this TV watching sounds negligent. But is/was there an issue that this practice was immediately responsible for that you are calling for the removal? Seems to me that perhaps TVs are in use to keep operators alert. What should they do? Sit in silence and doze off in the middle of the night? Sweep the floor? There is probably a decent reason to have stimuli in the center.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I could understand being tuned into local news or weather. I see no need t=for the stu=imulus of a television show, which I consider a distraction.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem on say a Sunday morning at like 4:15 am when I'm sure it's a little slow having the late late late show on or CNN or a replay of the Phillies game on in the background to alleviate the boredom. What's the big deal? You tell me the police officers don't have radios on in their cars playing music while they are doing their job?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I do. It is a big deal to me because it is a distraction. Their undivided attention should be on incoming calls and dispatching.

Anonymous said...

If a dispatcher feels that the job is so stressful, a TV will not fix the stress, a change in career will. Do you job or find a new one. Concerned citizen.

Anonymous said...

Common sense says that the County needs to discipline the supervisors for failing to manage their people. The County should correct this issue as soon as possible. I would not want my Doctor watching TV as he preforms a surgery on me, nor my Dentist while doing a root canal.

Anonymous said...

Once had a tour of the place when I attended a meeting there. There are multiple screens in front of the dispatchers, one of them with the ability to see TV. There are also big screen "TVs" up on the walls. At the time I was there, the ones on the wall were tuned into the information channel that each cable company runs (like Channel 2 for SE). The screens that are in front of the dispatcher do go quiet when the person answers a call, but the ones on the wall were still going, but not very loud as I was able to hear our tour guide with no problem.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have no problem with the large screens on the wall tuned into information stations. I do have a problem with tuning into entertainment.

Anonymous said...

As someone who recently called 911, my experience was great. I was frazzled, although it was not a life threatening emergency, and the dispatcher was wonderfully patient with my rambling. I didn't hear a thing in the background. Not saying it doesn't happen because I don't know, but that was my experience. Having been friendly with dispatchers in Allentown and NorCo, I wouldn't wish the job on anyone.

Anonymous said...

"Television, the opiate of the masses..."


Television? I thought it was blogs. :)

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am happy to know you had a good experience, and am sure dispatchers will appreciate what you say. As for not wishing that job on anyone, it seems like a high pressure job. But you are out of the elements as well as the danger faced by other first responders and in a climate controlled environment. There should be no TV shows, movies or sports while on duty.

Anonymous said...

Your trying to start a fire where there is no spark, 911 centers have had TV's for years. It actually helps keep dispatchers awake and alert don't judge until you walked in there shoes. One mistake doesn't mean the dispatcher was watching TV move on to something worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

the dispatchers are doing a fine job. If somebody has a complaint they should have filed it with the county

Anonymous said...

This is inflammatory, incorrect, and irresponsible. As Anonymous 12:14pm stated, communications centers have had TV's for years. They mute when the dispatcher's phone answers each and every time...sorry to disappoint you. For you to state that dispatchers are "out of the elements as well as the danger faced by other first responders and in a climate controlled environment" is, at best, extreme oversimplification, and at worst, tremendously patronizing. I wonder how many times you have provided CPR instructions to a parent that discovered their child in cardiac arrest? Or listened to someone take their last breath while on the phone with you? Or delivered a baby? Or heard a police officer yell "shots fired!" Or listened to the screams of a caller who is entrapped in a working house fire? Do you know how loud the silence can be when that caller is overcome before help arrives? I know, I know...that's what people sign up for when they take the job, blah blah blah. If a dispatcher wants to watch a little ESPN or HGTV when conditions allow, or if they need a minute to step out of the chaos of their day, they earn it every single day. If the so-called officer friends of yours want to lodge a formal complaint, the protocol for doing so is there. Tell them to go on the record and do so. Otherwise, I suggest that you and your friends take your marbles and go home.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Excuse me, but there is nothing inflammatory or "incorrect " bc you've just admitted that dispatchers are watching TV shows. That distracts the from doing what they are paid to do. Just as I would not expect a civil division employee to be watching TV when I apply for a passport, I don't think a 911 operator should be watching ESPN. That is totally inappropriate and needs to stop. The mute does not always work, but even if it does, it is a distraction. As for complaints, I believe this topic has come up at meetings of the county police chiefs, to which 911 does send a rep. As for my description of a 921 operator, I believe I am accurate. They are out of the elements. They do not go into burning buildings. They do not respond to domestic disturbances. They do not stop arterial bleeding. But they have an extremely important role and have no need of the distraction that comes from HGTV.

Anonymous said...

Sigh....bless your little heart...I haven't admitted anything, Bernie. I said that if dispatchers wanted to, they earn the right. Stop trying to make more out of my comments than what was there. Nice try, though. Bravo.

Anonymous said...

I hope the taxpayers are not paying for cable when they can throw a antenna on the mast and get channels for free.

Bernie O'Hare said...

1:23, then you won't mind being told to stop what you didn't admit to doing. Look, I have no quarrel with dispatchers, but this practice has to end. If you really do care about saving people's lives, agree to stop this distraction.

Anonymous said...

Last I checked, there have been no dispatcher watching tv related fatalities in the county. But the next time I see a police officer at wawa drinking a cup of coffee and shooting the breeze with the employees, I'll be sure to thank him for being distracted rather than protecting my neighborhood. The next time I see an ems unit at Rita's getting a distracting refreshment and not sitting in the front seat of their ambulance anticipating their next call, I'll be sure to thank them as well. The point is, these people need some sort of distraction to decompress. They're not watching tv while giving cpr instructions over the phone and the police aren't drinking a cup of coffee while they're talking someone off a ledge, and the ems crew isn't sucking down a Rita's while saving a gunshot victim...they're relieving stress in the easiest way they can while still being subject to many different kinds of stressors during their shifts. If these people want to watch a little tv in between calls, or cops want a cup of coffee in between calls, and the ems crews want ice cream in between calls, then I'm all for it...because when it's me or my family member who needs help, I want the emergency service providers refreshed and feeling like they want to help rather than feeling like it's "just a job".

Area resident said...

Being a 921 operator is a whole different ball game.

Anonymous said...

Must be certain nc county employees are going to the movies and getting paid for it. Bernie is there a butter machine by the popcorn and are soda's served or is it a BYOB movie club in nc?

Anonymous said...

One of Berries miffed little cop buddies is pissed. So Bertie is now on one of his little bitch fests. How about police on there cellphones watching stuff when parked at speed traps. Check it out.

You know nothing of what you speak. You just mouth the latest bitching if it pushes your sick agenda.

real world

Anonymous said...

TAKE THE T.V.'S OUT! WHEN I WAS STATIONED ON A REMOTE ISLAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE INDIAN OCEAN, WORKING A 12 HOUR SHIFT TO WATCH AND LISTEN TO THE RUSSIANS SO THEY WOULD NOT DESTROY MY NAVY OR OUR ALLIES, THERE WERE NO T.V'S TO WATCH. THERE WERE ALOT OF BORING WATCHES AND WE WOULD HAVE LOVED TO WATCH
SOME TELEVISION ALSO, BUT WE HAD A CRITICAL JOB TO DO. MAYBE STUDY S.O.P.'S OR TRAINING MANUALS TO BE MORE EFFICIENT AT WHAT YOU DO.

Anonymous said...

@3:16
Diego Garcia?
I was there when they were just preparing it for the surge of personnel. Disco hall, bar, 3 lane bowling alley. All that and a woman behind every palm tree - both of them. Heard it became quite active years later, though.
But I digress. No TV for me either. Security duty on all the crap in boxes and behind a fence. Not one Viet Cong made the swim.
Point is, we know when you have a job like security or 911 there should be no distractions - no matter how boring or stressful it may be.

Anonymous said...

3:16 PM

Let me guess, you stole that old Teletype machine when you left the service.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am sorry, and I know this makes dispatchers bad, but I think tv is inappropriate. I agree the job is stressful, and would have no problem with an hourly ten minute break on top of the others. I have no problem with music or the weather channel. That's pretty much it. I would have no problem with a 24/7 local news station but we have none of those.

Anonymous said...

lol. Yeah I am sure you were focused on your job when not with the hoofers and booze. lol.

Anonymous said...

have to be FOX news so it is fair and balanced.

Anonymous said...

3:16, living the angry man dream. What base in the east has no hookers an booze. Hell the US fly's them in.

Anonymous said...

The dispatchers in Northampton County screw up more than realized. How many times is a fire call given out to the police on the police channel yet the fire dispatch for the same town is delayed on the fire dispatch channel. And when is somebody going to address the volunteer fire departments, some of which are failing due to a lack of volunteers.. Listen during the daytime and it can be scary. Some fire companies are going to automatic mutual aid on the first alarm due to a lack of personnel. Im not knocking the volunteers as the ones that are still active are putting in a lot of volunteer time but some government officials know they don't have adequate coverage but just keep silent.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:43 maybe the fire channel dispatcher is busier than the police channel dispatcher. There's more fire departments than police departments in the county.

Anonymous said...

DO the air traffic controllers at Lehigh Valley Airport have TV's? does the County Executive have a TV. Do the Judges have TV"S? Do they have TV at the prison? who sets the example anyway. Such nonsense.

Anonymous said...

It is true that each dispatcher has their own tv at their work station and they can watch whatever they like. The tvs do no interfere with the job in any way! The dispatchers and supervisors do their jobs and they do them well. The dispatchers and supervisors are not the problem at the 911 center. The problem with the 911 center is the incompetent and unqualified administration that runs the place. Let me fill you in on a few FACTS about the 911 center. The County employed a quality assurance manager for SIX YEARS before any quality assurance reviews were conducted, they were only started after an anonymous email was sent to PEMA. so for SIX YEARS the taxpayers paid for someone to NOT DO THIER JOB! That same quality assurance manager asked a female new hire in an interview, what she would do if she had a penis, the same quality assurance manager distributed a naked picture of a former dispatcher to many people via text message. All of these issues were reported to Human Resources and nothing was done. There is currently a dispatcher who was caught approximately 5 years ago answering and then immediately hanging up on 800-1000 911 calls, the administration swept everything under the rug because at the time there was a planned expansion of the 911 center and the dispatcher was on the Upper Nazareth Board of Supervisors and was going to help push the expansion through. This was also reported to the Upper Nazareth Police and Human Resources, and he is still an employee. The Administration never works a 40 hr. work week, they are late to work on a regular basis and leave early constantly, and rarely work on Fridays, just go sit in the parking lot on any given Friday and see how many of them show up for work, these practices have been going on for years, it is very well known, They constantly use the emergency vehicles for personal use, picking their children up at school, grocery shopping ect. They claim they are "on call." There are constantly equipment issues with the CAD system, mapping, the phone system. It takes forever to get things fixed. Again all of this is fact and can be easily verified by any current or past employee. AGAIN TVS SHOULD BE THE LEAST OF THE WORRIES FOR NORTHAMPTON COUNTY TAXPAYERS, I THANK GOD IM NOT ONE OF THEM!! Thank you dispatchers for everything you do!

Bernie O'Hare said...

What you describe is pure government waste and sexual harassment.

Anonymous said...

They have played favorites in hiring out there for years. They ignore the county job test results and just hire their insiders. The place is a swamp, time to drain the swamp.

Anonymous said...

Is the blogger calling for dispatchers to relinquish their cell phones upon entry as well? This has to be on the list for most ridiculous outrage sessions of all time.

Bernie O'Hare said...

There is nothing ridiculous about insisting that dispatchers have no distractions like TV shows or movies while they are doing their job. When I record a deed, I would be very offended if the employees in there were watching TV. And nobody dies if I have to wait. Fora 911 operator,seconds matter. The TV watching has to stop.

Anonymous said...

No, they need their cell phones to use their own data to pay to look up locations the obsolete county computers do not contain.

Anonymous said...

County 911 needs an enema and rid us taxpayers of the filth that has become in the place- TV's? seriously?

Anonymous said...

Could this disgruntled officer be the same one who dated a dispatcher? It didn't work out between them and now he's just being vindictive?

Bernie O'Hare said...

This is far from one "disgruntled " officer. I have heard from several. Also, let's not go into personal relationships. That will end poorly.

Anonymous said...

WOW you shouldn't throw stones at glass houses. Why aren't you still employed there? Could it be because you fell asleep at the console and had a delay in dispatch?

Anonymous said...

Seems like a likely coincidence. And end poorly for whom? Your ridiculously frivolous blog? *yawn*

Anonymous said...

And for YOUR records, I did not "go into personal relationships" had I done so I would have named your disgruntled officer.

Anonymous said...

This is an impotent rambling by an attention starved blogger, who, by his own admission, admits his complete ignorance of what the 9-1-1 center looks like or how it works.

Instead, he relies simply on rumors spread alleged police officer accounts.

But then, this blogger reveals himself to be simply yet another of the bad elements who believe everything they hear, doesn't research it, but posts it. Which, in turn, stirs up others who read this and believe it without question...and they cry for action.

It the current plague of the internet.

By the way the way, are paid firefighters distracted by their televisions?

Believe it or not there is not an emergency every 10 seconds. There are times, especially in the winter during graveyard shifts, where no calls come in for hours. Are the dispatchers suppose to just sit quietly, do nothing as if they are in detention? Good luck keeping staffing under those conditions in an industry that suffers from understaffing.

Another thing, if there are police officers who came to you with this, are they the same officers who currently had flings with some female dispatchers that ended badly? These same officers who have been trying to get back at these female dispatchers and attempt to get them into trouble when they can.

And why are these alleged police officers spending so much time at the 9-1-1 center enough to witness "widespread distractions" instead of patrolling their jurisdictions? Is that not a waste of tax payer dollars? Does that not delay their response to emergencies having to leave the 911 center to return their jurisdiction?

You can't believe everything you read on the internet. Those thinking readers here understand what I'm talking about.

Ask yourselves what research has been done to prove that any distractions exist? Surely, the intelligent voice, the wise choice, is to conduct a study before condemning, no? Innocent before proven guilty, right?

Or are you to take the word of some blogger who, by his own admission, is ignorant of this whole situation and is only spreading rumors--rumors!--from alleged and possibly disgruntled police officers.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This story has nothing to do with personal relationships of police officers or 911 dispatchers. It has to do with the common sense proposition that dispatchers should be prohibited from watching TV shows while on duty bc it distracts them and could cost lives. If you wish to argue that point, by all means do so. But when you get into personal relationships, like you did despite your denial, you look like a petulant child. And were it to choose to go into that topic, no one would look very good, nor would I for writing about it.

Anonymous said...

Where's the proof of distraction that causes any problems? You're just rumor mongering.

And the reason why we know your story is false is because police officers know to and have put in complaints to county about any issue they have.

So, I have to question the veracity of the rumor you are spreading. And since these alleged officers have not put in such complaints to county (as if proper), I mention the angry officers spurned by female dispatchers to show the unreliability of their accusations.

Rise above rumor mongering and get out and do some research, because all this is heresay.

And that's unfair to do to dispatchers working hard. And many have received commendations over years.

So you have many of these readers worked up over a subject:

1. You admit you know nothing about.
2. Based on rumors of alleged police officers who, they felt the proper and better course is not to follow procedure, but to go some blogger?



Bernie O'Hare said...

Numerous commenters have already admitted that they watched over Jean well acting as dispatchers in addition I've heard that from several dispatchers personally. So this is not ruler mongering as you claim this is actually factual

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have claim of this is a distraction because that is just common sense. For the same reason you don't watch television while you're driving.

Anonymous said...

Dispatchers don't watch TV while dispatching. It's only during down time; like firefighters at their firehouse.

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh, so someone told you and you told us. So, of course it must be true! And now there are alleged dispatchers confiding in and confessing to you that they're distracted by TV.

And it's on the internet,'too!

So you've met all the criteria for showing that a story is absolutely true!

You have no proof. You claim to have spoken to police officers and now dispatchers...you no evidence. You have nothing but what people allegedly told you. THAT Is spreading rumors.

That makes you a rumor monger and rabble rouser and nothing more.

Anonymous said...

The lack of common sense is on your part. And that is because you are uninformed. Of course you should not watch television while you are driving. The dispatchers don't watch TV while they were driving what do they watch TV while they are dispatching. It is use simply for when there is down time.

Emergency Services have ebb and flows. Some days it's like a tsunami, other days it's like low tide. So when nothing is happening, dispatchers will read, watch TV. When someone happens, they stop and do their jobs.

Just like paid firefighters. Are you going after them next, claiming that they can't do their jobs because they're watching TV while waiting for emergencies?

Only a fool (or someone with a suspicious agenda) would assume that dispatchers watch TV while dispatching.

You keep going though, your argument is weakening. You're backed into a corner now and are only proving my point about the foolishness of claiming rumors told to you are true.

Anonymous said...

*that should've said nor do they watch television while dispatch.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I usually enjoy your blog and can at least appreciate your opinion; but c'mon...talk about making a mountain out of a molehill. As long as it doesn't compromise the job, what does it matter what dispatchers are doing in their downtime? You want admin to outlaw tv? What's next? No books? No magazines? No talking? You want the whole shift to sit there in silence staring at each other?
I worked there for 4 and 1/2 years. When i started there were two TVs for the whole the share and there were no issues. I also worked there after the remodel when every position got their own TV, still no issues. You said it yourself; you've never toured the center. Go tour it. They gladly give tours to the public and to groups. Maybe then you'll see what really happens and how this is really a non-issue.

If you really want to complain about the 911 center; seriously take a look in the post made by Anonymous at July 17, 2017 at 11:52 PM. I don't know if that is current or another former employee but they are spot on. Every word in that post is true. I was there to see those. There were some much bigger issues at the center. I haven't worked there for a littler while now, so maybe things are better; but from what I hear; not really.


"The dispatchers in Northampton County screw up more than realized. How many times is a fire call given out to the police on the police channel yet the fire dispatch for the same town is delayed on the fire dispatch channel. And when is somebody going to address the volunteer fire departments, some of which are failing due to a lack of volunteers.. Listen during the daytime and it can be scary. Some fire companies are going to automatic mutual aid on the first alarm due to a lack of personnel. Im not knocking the volunteers as the ones that are still active are putting in a lot of volunteer time but some government officials know they don't have adequate coverage but just keep silent."
I don't think this person really has a clue either, just going off what they hear on the scanner. There is a fire desk and four PD desks (South PD, North Pd, East PD, City PD). The police desk might not have anything going on at all and the fire desk might be swamped, so PD gets advised of the call first. Calls are given out as they come in and by priority. Does it really matter if Police get advised before Fire/EMS on some calls? If the desk fire is busy and can't get the call out immediately; do you want the police dispatcher to stare the the call in the CAD and not do anything with it, just so Fire/EMS gets to hear it first?

Anonymous said...

The problem with the world today is that anyone can create a "blog" and write about anything they want. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but when they spread propaganda that is 100% false then there is an issue. That is exactly what this article is false. You have no idea about how the building looks inside nor could you have any clue of how to do the job. I can speak with 100% accuracy that you would not last 1 month trying to navigate multitasking. From what I hear it is hard for you to walk and talk at the same time (Mouth Breather). If you want to stick to spreading FAKE NEWS then by all mean but at least put it in the post.

Anonymous said...

Most likely it's the known traffic nazi of the north, who runs with a part-time department (not named). OR the one who when they go home at the end of the shift, the mood on the floor lightens. Oh, yea.... they're the same one. Let's call a spade a spade here- he's had it out for the comm center for a while now- and Bernie, I believe he is friends with you.

Anonymous said...

Well said! You can't learn about what goes on behind the scenes unless you go behind the scenes.

You learn nothing from merely listening to a scanner.

Do you readers know that often dispatchers are givinf CPR instructions while dispatching on their radio? It's a job that requires high level multi tasking. Most people have no idea how many things dispatchers are doing simultaneously.

It also doesn't help when police use 911 call takers to take phone request for them. So while a 911 call taker is taking this phone call request, they are unable to answer 911 calls. Same thing when people call in to ask what time fireworks and parades are...this also ties up 911 callers. Or people calling in to request controlled burns. So while a 911 caller is taken down this information they are unavailable for emergency calls. And more non emergency calls like this

Anonymous said...

And, as this rumor masked as journalism shows, this is one such fake news sites

Bernie O'Hare said...

The numerous comments here are an admission that I hit the nail on the head. The numerous personal attacks at me and others indicate there is no defense to this practice.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have no problem with a dispatcher watching TV during down time, i.e, when on break. But not on duty.

Anonymous said...

Not quite. You just hit a gas line trying to dig for gold. And it's actively blowing up, in your face.

As multiple people have said... do alittle bit of research. A quick phone call to the administrative staff to do a tour, could have solved the original question to your thread "Should NorCo 911 Dispatchers Be Watching TV?" Before posting an uninformed rash of garbage.

Now, if you tried to go in, in sure every single one of those employees would hate to even be in the same room as you after degrading them. EACH. AND. EVERY. ONE. OF. THEM.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, your 08:09 comment is indicative of when when someone who's lost the debate and is merely looking for a means to save face and gracefully exit.

There is none. You got caught spreading rumors without doing due diligence about a place which you know nothing about.

You've lost credibility here. Your blog has all the integrity of click bait.

Shame on you for spreading false rumors about hardworking people in a very tough job that often goes unappreciated.




Anonymous said...

Blogger Bernie O'Hare said...

"I have no problem with a dispatcher watching TV during down time, i.e, when on break. But not on duty. "

Break time? This is emergency services, there is no designated break times. 'Break' is if there is an available person to cover a radio position so that person can go to the bathroom, smoke, or heat up dinner. 'Down Time' is exactly when the TVs are used. 'Down Time' is the time between phone calls, processing calls, talking on the radio, dispatching. You're trying to make it seem as dispatchers are ignoring their duties to sit back and watch TV. You couldn't be any more off base.

Bernie O'Hare said...

9:16, It has been completely confirmed that dispatchers are watching TV while being paid by the taxpayers of this county. That is no rumor. The large number of comments attempting to justify this inappropriate activity makes very clear what is going on. I have also confirmed this with two dispatchers, one current and one former. I have also heard complaints about it from several (not one) police officer. I am very comfortable with what I've written.

To be sure, I forwarded this blog and asked for comment from the 911 managers. I did so bright and early Monday morning. Not one of them has responded. If I were off base, one of them would have corrected me.

I sometimes do make mistakes when I make my observations. When I do, it is incumbent on me to acknowledge them. This is not one of those cases. My observations were correct. I stand by them.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Break time? This is emergency services, there is no designated break times"

Then stop watching TV on the job.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"As multiple people have said... do alittle bit of research."

I have. Other counties like Carbon do NOT permit 911 dispatchers to watch TV. They may listen to a radio. That is all.

Anonymous said...

Yeah! What about what that guy said? What about firefighters watching TV when nothing's happening? How is that different from dispatchers watching TV or reading when nothing's happening?

Bernie O'Hare said...

It's a completely different dynamic.

Anonymous said...

Don't hold your breath waiting to hear back from them. You expect a government agency to be prompt in getting back to you? lol
And, you are off base. No one is questioning your observations that there are TVs in the comm center. People questioning your rationale in trying to make an issue out of nothing.

This is the same grip that is always said about emergency services. Firefighters, EMTs, and the 911 centers are reactionary forces. They're paid to stand by until needed. They have to wait for the phone to ring or for an officer to call on radio. That time in between is down time.

Bernie, I understand you don't agree, and there is no changing your mind; and that's fine. My only question to you is; what would you like dispatchers to do in between calls? Norco 911 works two 8 hr shifts and two 12 hour shifts per week. Each dispatcher is there for 40 hrs a week. They're on duty the entire time they are there. There is no clocking out for a break, or lunch. What would you suggest they do in the middle of a graveyard shift when the phone hasn't rang for two hours? Sit and stare at each other?

Anonymous said...

How is it different??? Please do explain. We can't wait to hear the crap that flows from your mouth in this one.

Anonymous said...


It's a completely different dynamic.

July 18, 2017 at 9:47 PM

Please explain... Both civil servants funded by tax dollars. Both on duty. Both Waiting to be needed.

One can watch TV while nothing is going on and the other can't?

Please explain the different dynamic, because I was a dispatcher and am currently a firefighter.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm sure you've noticed the different dynamic. As a firefighter, you receive far fewer calls than you did as a dispatcher. My view is that a dispatcher needs to be in the zone at every second. A firefighter need to be in that zone once he gets called.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"what would you like dispatchers to do in between calls? Norco 911 works two 8 hr shifts and two 12 hour shifts per week"

I would suggest that if people are sitting around with nothing to do, the first question should be whether there are too many dispatchers. Assuming that we have the right number for the expected call volume, I think it would be ideal to have dispatchers monitoring remote cameras set up throughout the county. That system exists in Bethlehem, and has helped Bethlehem officers solve crime in real time. This concept should be pursued countywide, not ESPN. I do think this is more than the molehill you claim it is.

Anonymous said...

Lol....this is too hilarious for words. Since when does a disbarred attorney earn any right to critique else's code of professional conduct? Seems we're a few years too late for that.

We will now cue the"I'm Rubber and You're Glue Response..."

Anonymous said...

In reference to July 18, 2017 at 10:14 PM... No it's the same. I've worked them both for some time. Once again, both are reactionary occupations; downtime until called upon. I only need to be in the zone when called upon and when responding to bloggers :-)

And in reference to July 18, 2017 at 10:14 PM...You have a certain number of personnel needed to staff the different radio desks. Sometimes they're all busy, sometimes no one is busy, sometimes a few are busy and a few are not. It really is a molehill. I worked there for 4 1/2 years.

About your 'research', what other comm centers did you call? Northampton, Lehigh, City of Bethlehem, City of Allentown, Berks, Bucks, Monroe, Carbon, Warren, Schuykill, PSP Bethlehem, PSP Belfast, and LVIA all are local and have 24/7 dispatchers on duty. Did you only call Carbon, or did you only mention them because they don't allow TVs? If they don't allow TVs, does that make them correct and everyone that does allow TVs wrong?

How much research could you really have done if you write this investigative article without even visiting the subject first? I

Anonymous said...

I guess he only called carbon County. Because Monroe County 911 has televisions for their dispatchers to watch.

Bernie O'Hare said...

10:29, Look, I was asked whether I did any research, and the answer is Yes. I found out about Carbon. I made no claim to have done an exhaustive study. I also contacted the three people in charge of the NorCo comm center and heard nothing, not even an acknowledgement. I talked to one current and one former dispatcher. I talked to three officers. There is absolutely no need to visit the center and sit on people's laps.

The first question is whether dispatchers watch TV and the answer is Yes.

The second question is whether this is a distraction. I say it is, and others say it is not. A 911 operator needs to be in the zone when he is on duty for calls that may or may not come. A firefighter like you needs to be in the zone only once a call is received or when responding to a disreputable blogger.

I believe it is a matter of common sense that the distraction of television makes a dispatcher less efficient. If I am incorrect about this conclusion, I will admit it, but I would have to be convinced. Instead of trying to convince me, people have thrown insults. All that does is weaken their argument.

Anonymous said...

For over 15 years, the 911 center has had televisions for dispatchers to watch. It has never caused any deaths.

Interesting timing, Bernie, that, all of a sudden, you put this on your blog at a time when a couple of misogynistic police officers whom had flings with female dispatchers go badly and are angry and sexually frustrated, egos bruised, actively seek means to get back at these poor women

That's why they came to you, to be their ventriloquist dummy instead of going through proper and professional channels like good cops do.

And I'm pretty sure that at least one of your police officer sources is the one with a history of domestic abuse and conduct unbecoming an officer. You know, they cop who threatened to put his girlfriend's head through a wall during an argument.


Anonymous said...

Hmm, wouldn't you see meditating is quite distracting?

"During a Shift

In between calls, it may seem like there is not enough time to take stress-reducing measures – but think again! Deep breathing exercises, talking a walk outside during your lunch break, or meditation can all be great options to center yourself and prepare for the next incoming call. In general, increasing the oxygen in the brains helps to lower the heart rate and reduce muscle tension, all clear signs of stress. If you start to experience any of these signs of stress during your shift, take a few, slow breaths or meditate while at your desk. After a particularly difficult call, it may be worth it to take a break outside with some fresh air. "


http://www.kovacorp.com/3-tips-dealing-stress-911-dispatching/

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have told you repeatedly not to get into personal attacks. All that does is weaken your argument and open up 911 dispatchers to similar attacks. None of this has anything to do with the question whether 911 workers should be watching television on the job. From this point, I will be deleting these ad hominems. Grow up.

Bernie O'Hare said...

11:25, I actually suggested something similar to this earlier. But not tv

Anonymous said...

To suggest that the center is overstaffed when activity is low shows how little you know. It's not a job where you are supposed to stare at the phone or radio console waiting for something to do. If it was, there would be fewer doing the job.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It could very well be that staffing is at the right level. But if you are spending your work shift watching movies and sports and get downright nasty when someone suggests you should not, I have to wonder if you get just as nasty when you are called by the public or an officer. I'd say it's time for a study.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing ridiculous about insisting that dispatchers have no distractions like TV shows or movies while they are doing their job. When I record a deed, I would be very offended if the employees in there were watching TV. And nobody dies if I have to wait. Fora 911 operator,seconds matter. The TV watching has to stop.

The difference being, of course, that the people in the Deeds office are not sitting idle waiting for an unknown amount of time for their next task or duty.

Anonymous said...

Shame on you for spreading false rumors about hardworking people in a very tough job that often goes unappreciated.

Although I disagree with Bernie on this, this is not a "false rumor", it's his opinion on what he believes this job requires. The supervisors I'm sure know the job and will shrug off Bernie's silly suggestion.

Anonymous said...

I'm an outsider and am failing to see how this call center is different from a firehouse waiting for a call. It seems these 911 people sit and wait for a call. Are you suggesting these operators might let the phone ring a few times extra so they can see how this scene ends in Game Of Thrones? Why would a firefighter then not to do the same?

Anonymous said...

Can we talk about the other issue touched on by the article? Why did the 911 center call presumably every household at 1:30 AM to tell them to close windows and turn off air conditioners? The first call had NO MENTION of what the issue was or where the issue was taking place. I was outside smelling for smoke and scouring news and Twitter sites looking for answers. Absolutely outrageous.

Anonymous said...

@2:59

That hasn't nothing to do with the 911 dispatchers. They don't activate the reverse 911 system. That's done by the County EMA staff.

Anonymous said...

The "personal attacks" are mentioned because a number of police officers told us that you are full of it and that you are the mouth piece for one single cop (whom they named) who has been trying to get back at his ex girlfriend, who is a female dispatcher.

Anonymous said...

That hasn't nothing to do with the 911 dispatchers. They don't activate the reverse 911 system. That's done by the County EMA staff.

Who said it did? Bernie mentioned the call in the article. No public apologies, no explanation.

Anonymous said...

Another commenter did. I just wanted to clarify this for readers.

Anonymous said...

After I got the call, I called 911 to ask about it. They said it was supposed to be for the areas surrounding Fountain Hill while they were working on a large fire producing a lot of smoke. There was a computer glitch that sent it out to too wide of an area- they apologized for the incovience- I could hear their phones ringing continuously while the dispatcher was getting my information- while they were very busy, the dispatcher still took his time talking to me and explaining the situation, also making sure I didn't have an emergency. From the sounds of it- it was just a computer error that they had to then try and fix as well. Job well done for a hectic situation!

Anonymous said...

**cough**cough** Schwab**cough**cough**

Oh, my throat feels better. There was a tickle there.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Perhaps you would like me to identify the dispatching supervisor who recently yelled "Just die!" when his EID went off.

**cough**cough** - Ren**do** - **cough**cough**

Like I said, don't play that game. I can guarantee it will end badly for you.

Anonymous said...

Supervisors don't have EID's

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad someone named him....finally. he is a vindictive, poor excuse for an officer.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It wasn't his EID, but the EID of a dispatcher.


Bernie O'Hare said...

That supervisor is a vindictive, poor excuse for a supervisor. Who yells "just die" when someone dares call 911 with an emergency?

Anonymous said...

This is just funny. Keep talking Bernie, about the center in which you have n o idea about. Hahahahaha

Bernie O'Hare said...

What don't you do what you do best and say, "Just die"?

I will be posting a second story tomorrow.Thanks for the encouragement.

Anonymous said...

Is that a proven fact it just something you've heard from your "informant "?

Anonymous said...

Dispatchers don't have EID's either.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You are correct.It was a police officer's EID. I misunderstood part of the message: "Someone's EID went off ..."

Anonymous said...

If they claim they can hear it, they are full of it because it is auto muted and it cannot be over-ridden

Anonymous said...

I hear that some emergency personnel are engaging in sexual activities while on duty..
in the cruiser at a car wash...
on the hose bed of a fire truck..,
on the litter in the back of a rig...
All distractions AND it's not a quick easy cleanup unless there's a swallow involved (I don't mean the bird)
But an instantly muted TV is the issue
PATHETIC