Dispatcher's Guide for the
Action Notification Network
This guide is designed to compliment the Dispatching Guide that is sent
to new dispatchers. Please follow these guidelines to improve
Many subscribers utilize text pagers and digital cellular phones for
receiving dispatches from the Action Notification Network. These
devices, unlike regular email, are often limited to about 150
characters. For this reason it is important to keep messages short
and to the point. Depending on the category you are dispatching, the
message includes from 35 to 75 characters that contains subject, category,
group, dispatch time and dispatcher ID. Take this into consideration
when calculating the total characters. New,
a character counter has been added to the form to help you gauge the
length of your messages.
It is possible that more than one dispatcher may try to send the same
alert. There are several steps you can follow to reduce duplicate
- Check the Dispatch Log.
The last three pages recorded to the log are displayed on the Dispatch
- Before you hit "Send"
check your email or pager to be certain an alert has not yet been
- Consult other Dispatchers. Many
of our dispatchers use the AOL Instant Messenger Service, or AIM.
A list of AIM users is included in your introduction email and is
The Action Notification Network's subscribers only want to be notified of
events that would be considered newsworthy. Subscribers carefully
select the type of events and the times they want to be alerted for, but
it is up to you to dispatch only events that would be of interest.
It is tempting to dispatch that a car accident with injuries has just
occurred. However, dozens of such calls are made to the police,
fire and EMS everyday. Most are not newsworthy. However, if
an accident with injuries is reported and the car has rolled over or is
on fire, then perhaps this might be considered a "Major
Accident" that should be dispatched.
Message Categories to Dispatch
Although it is possible for you to dispatch any category, there are many
notification events that you are not to utilize. Please review the Notification
Service Dispatchers Only:
|Flash Flood Warning|
|Flash Flood Watch|
As a general rule ANN Action dispatchers do not make follow-up
dispatches. Special Service and Lead Dispatchers may make follow-up
dispatches in their categories as they feel necessary.
It is possible that a situation may change so that a dispatch in a
different category is warranted. For example, if a "Fire"
is dispatched, it may be necessary to later dispatch "Fire, Multi
Alarm" if on-scene firefighters request more man power and apparatus
to help battle a blaze.
Many pager and cellular phone companies limit the number of pages that
a customer can receive without being billed an over-the-limit fee.
This is one reason why it's important to moderate the number of pages that