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Dispatchers

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NEWS
January 20, 1988 | By Maureen Graham, Special to The Inquirer
It's nice to have friends in high places. Just ask Westville police dispatchers Rose Smith and Sue Sampson. On Jan. 11, Smith and Sampson watched from a window at the Police Department as five burly Teamsters picketed the Westville Municipal Building on their behalf. The next day the borough mayor and council were put on notice by a Teamsters business agent and attorney. And soon, every entrance and exit to Westville may be blocked by pickets - a move that could halt deliveries to all businesses in the 1-square-mile borough.
NEWS
March 7, 1991 | By Michael Peck, Special to The Inquirer
At 2:32 a.m. on a Saturday night last month, Diane Bedwell, a Gloucester Township police dispatcher, heard an abrupt radio call. "Get us some help," the voice said. Though the speaker gave neither his identity nor his location, Bedwell instantly recognized the voice as that of patrolman Sal Costa. She also knew that Costa had stopped a speeding car on Sicklerville Road just inside Winslow Township. Bedwell called in backup units to help Costa and a Winslow police officer subdue a drunken driver.
NEWS
January 10, 1993 | By Claire Furia, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
After months of riding through the streets and alleys of Phoenixville and studying borough maps, Chester County police dispatchers are now handling Phoenixville's emergency calls. That means that at any given hour, there is an additional police officer patrolling the borough, now that they are free from dispatching duty. "It's real, real nice," said Cpl. Georgeann Jordan, about the extra street coverage. The switch was made on New Year's Day, four months after the borough's four police dispatchers were laid off to help reduce the borough's deficit.
NEWS
January 13, 1988 | By Maureen Graham, Special to The Inquirer
Representatives of Teamsters Local 676 told Westville's council members last night that the union had filed a labor grievance with the state's employment commission on behalf of the borough's four police dispatchers. The teamsters have picketed the borough hall since Monday after efforts to meet with borough officials failed, they said. Walter J. Bednarczyk, a business agent for the Teamsters, and attorney David A. Fox told council members they had filed a grievance Monday with the state's Public Employment Relations Commission alleging that the borough had failed to negotiate with the dispatchers.
NEWS
February 3, 2000 | by Nicole Weisensee, Daily News Staff Writer
Thomas Crawley isn't the only Philadelphian to torment 911 dispatchers. The beleaguered workers deal with a steady stream of pranksters while performing their daily duties. They each handle about 180 calls per eight-hour shift. Some are calling in fake crimes, like Crawley is accused of doing. Others try to use the emergency line as if it's a private delivery service. Deputy Police Commissioner Charles Brennan still recalls the woman who kept calling 911 during the blizzard several years ago. "She demanded that we send a cop out to buy her cigarettes," he said, laughing.
NEWS
February 12, 1993 | By Edward Engel, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
The township will lay off two of its three dispatchers to cut costs when it switches to the Camden County emergency dispatching service in May, Police Chief Charles Gooley Jr. confirmed yesterday. "Economics and liability pretty much forced us into it. . . . It's a service that the county was already doing," Gooley said. "County tax dollars were already providing for that. " Gooley said the switch would save the township more than $44,000 - $22,000 each for the two dispatchers' salaries, plus savings from not providing their benefits.
NEWS
May 24, 1992 | By Michael Lear-Olimpi, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
A union will appeal the layoffs of seven police dispatchers in Winslow Township, a union official said. The May 5 decision by the township committee will be appealed to the New Jersey Department of Personnel, said Richard M. Riggs, president of Camden County Council 10 of the New Jersey Civil Service Association. "We will appeal the good-faith aspects of the layoffs, whether they are doing this to save money," Riggs said. Michele McAdams, a dispatcher, was happy to hear of the appeal.
NEWS
November 20, 1988 | By Rich Henson, Inquirer Staff Writer
Police officers in Chester County have been placed in compromising and sometimes life-threatening situations because some of Chester County's police radio dispatchers routinely mishandle calls, officials of the county Fraternal Order of Police charged last week. FOP president John R. Bailey, a Tredyffrin Township detective, said that during the last two years many police departments throughout the county have complained to the Department of Emergency Services, which operates the countywide police radio network, but have seen no improvement in the way calls are being handled.
NEWS
May 11, 2012 | By Darran Simon, Inquirer Staff Writer
The communications center, on Egg Harbor Road, handles requests for firefighters and EMS services for 37 county towns and police services for 32 towns, Keashen said. Other employees remained in the center and dispatchers returned to the building in about an hour, he said. The electrical problem in the server room occurred shortly before 1 p.m. and did not cause a fire, Keashen said. Employees went through a drill in March that simulated a similar scenario, he said. Contact Darran Simon at 856-779-3829 or dsimon@phillynews.com.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
September 5, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
A HOT-BLOODED punk took major offense to a harmless accident, shooting another man several times outside a West Philly corner store Friday. Now, that victim - who police sources say is the husband of a department radio dispatcher - is fighting for his life at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Edward Lynn, 49, was shot six times outside A&A Deli, on Haverford Avenue near Farson, according to sources. Medics took him to the hospital, where he remained last night in critical but stable condition.
NEWS
August 9, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
Soon, residents in the Pennsylvania suburbs will be able to reach 911 dispatchers by text message. Montgomery, Chester, Bucks, and Berks Counties agreed Thursday to jointly implement the new technology. Montgomery County officials, who are administering the regional effort, hope to have it up and running by early 2015. That will require new equipment and software and, more important, training dispatchers how to handle emergencies reported in 160 characters or less. "There are plenty of times when the person who needs assistance does not want to be overheard, when a telephone call is not a good idea," said Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. "Talking is better, but we don't want to alert a bad guy, if somebody is hiding or whatever.
NEWS
August 7, 2014 | By Tom Avril, Inquirer Staff Writer
When you call 911 from a mobile phone but do not know your exact location, a complex array of technologies is supposed to lend a hand, automatically transmitting a good estimate of your position to a dispatcher. But when a 14-year-old Philadelphia boy was drowning June 29 in Ocean City, N.J., an accurate electronic location showed up on dispatchers' screens for only two of the four calls seeking help, according to police data. The two callers pinpointed by the automated system were unsure where they were.
NEWS
July 22, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A FORMER Philadelphia police dispatcher and the co-owner of a Frankford auto-body shop pleaded guilty yesterday to participating in a bribery scheme involving the tow-trucking biz. Dorian Parsley, 44, the ex-dispatcher, admitted before U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno that she had taken cash bribes from tow-truck operators in exchange for giving them confidential police information about the locations of accident scenes. In a separate hearing before the judge, William Cheeseman, 43, co-owner of the K&B auto-body shop on Kinsey Street near Worth, pleaded guilty to one count of bribery.
NEWS
May 16, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
THREE OF the four defendants in an alleged bribery scam involving a police dispatcher and three tow-truck operators pleaded not guilty at their arraignments in federal court yesterday. Dorian Parsley, 44, the civilian dispatcher who has since been suspended from the Police Department with intent to dismiss, declined to speak with a reporter afterward. William Cheeseman, 42, of Delran, N.J., an owner of K&B auto-body shop, a family business in Frankford, and Chad Harris, 22, of Philadelphia, a tow-truck operator who at times worked for K&B, also pleaded not guilty yesterday.
NEWS
May 11, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
A tow-truck driver with a history and a veteran police dispatcher bent city rules to move one Northeast towing company into the fast lane in the lucrative, rough-and-tumble business of clearing Philadelphia's wrecks, federal prosecutors said Friday. Authorities allege that Dorian Parsley, a 911 dispatcher for 16 years, raked in kickbacks for tipping off favored tow truck operators to locations of fender-benders and disabled vehicles reported to the city's call center. In exchange, the drivers paid her up to $200 a week between February 2011 and December 2013 for advance notice of wrecks before official calls were placed to the next towing company up on the city's rotating list.
NEWS
March 27, 2014 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
THE PHILADELPHIA Civil Service Commission today will hear a pitch on how the Nutter administration plans to make staffing changes to ambulance runs - but not without resistance from the union that represents the city's firefighters and paramedics. Nutter is seeking approval from the Civil Service Commission to allow the Fire Department to implement a new deployment plan for 9-1-1 calls - one that replaces the two paramedics who are dispatched with one paramedic and one EMT. Paramedics receive more in-depth training than their EMT counterparts.
NEWS
March 9, 2014 | By Kate Harman, For The Inquirer
Alex Louin said the Mount St. Joseph basketball team didn't talk about it. Not a single word. But the Magic surely were thinking about it, the senior guard conceded, and they weren't going to let it happen again. The it refers to Friday night's return to the Cheltenham gym, site of a heartbreaking, one-point loss in the first round of the PIAA Class AAAA state tournament last year. Back on that court for the first round of this season's state playoffs, the Magic dominated every facet of the game against Cardinal O'Hara and defeated the Lions in impressive fashion, 68-32.
NEWS
March 4, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mary Y. Holcombe, 72, a former Philadelphia radio dispatcher and the widow of Fire Capt. David Holcombe, who died in the One Meridian Plaza fire in 1991, died Saturday, Feb. 8, of lung cancer at her home in San Rafael, Calif. In 1998, Mrs. Holcombe retired from the Philadelphia Police Department, where she had worked in the radio room for many years. Before that, she worked briefly as a pharmacy technician at a drugstore in the city. David Holcombe, commander of Engine Company 11 at Sixth and South Streets, was one of three firefighters killed Feb. 23, 1991, during the 12-alarm blaze at One Meridian Plaza.
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