Fire Alarm Center

The Fire Alarm Center (FAC) is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by firefighter/EMTS who have completed more than 1,000 hours of additional training to become certified dispatchers.

When should I call 911?

  • When you have a fire or medical emergency.
  • There is a situation that could, or does, pose a danger to life, property or both.

What should I tell the dispatcher?

Stay as calm as possible and let the firefighter/dispatcher ask the questions:

  • Let them lead the conversation and answer their questions.
  • The questions may seem unrelated or repetitive, but this is to help clarify the information.
  • Do your best to listen carefully and follow their instructions.

Every Second Counts

When you call 911, you are connected first to the primary public-safety answering point (Seattle Police Department), if your emergency is fire or medical in nature, you will be connected to the FAC where firefighter/dispatchers will ask for your address and details about the emergency.

Depending on the type of emergency, the Fire Alarm Center will dispatch the appropriate resources to provide fire suppression, Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Life Support (ALS) and technical operations.

History

On November 1, 1890, when Fire Station 1 first opened at 615 Columbia Street, it included the Central Fire Alarm Office, into which a new system of alarm boxes was tied. The new alarm boxes were placed in high value locations across the city and used the telegraph system to alert the department to problems. This was the beginning of more than 100 years of uniformed fire dispatch in the city of Seattle.