110 South Main Street
Springville, UT 84663
Emergency - Dial 911
Once upon a time, when someone needed help from the town marshal, he would send someone to ‘fetch the marshal’ in person. Eventually the telephone made ‘fetching the marshal’ a whole lot easier.
When telephone service first came to Springville, our citizens would crank a handle on the phone to ring the operator. Once the operator was on the line, the caller would tell her what was needed, and she would flip a light switch nearby. The switch would turn on a bright light on top of a telephone pole, which in turn would alert the local police that help was needed. Hopefully if it was an emergency, the policeman wasn’t too far away to notice the bright light was on!
If it was a fire, someone would run out to the old fire bell and ring it loudly. As the City was divided into four sections by Center Street and Main Street, one ring would send the volunteers running to “area one,” two rings meant “area two,” three was “area three” and so forth.
Eventually more people had access to telephone, and the police finally got radios in their “black and whites.” So the operator was replaced by an officer worker in the daytime or a janitor at night, and when the phone rang they’d answer.
By the 1970’s when someone called in to report a fire, the dispatchers (who now were dispatching mostly, and doing janitorial duties on the side) would pick up a bright red telephone, which would then begin making calls to the thirty-five volunteer firemen. Each time a volunteer would answer the phone, the dispatcher would repeat the nature of the call… a process that was time consuming to say the least! There was also a loud siren that would sound for each fire called in… as well as at noon each day.
Today our dispatch center has around-the-clock coverage and the latest in technology. Our dispatchers are trained as EMD’s or Emergency Medical Dispatchers. As such they are able to give life-saving instructions over the telephone, and have been credited with helping family members save the lives of a number of young children and adults. Connected by radio, cellular telephone and pager systems to police, fire and medical response personnel, our Dispatch Center handles thousands of calls each week.
Every year our dispatchers handle more than twenty-five thousand CAD calls, forty to sixty thousand phone calls and between eight and eleven thousand emergency 911 calls each year… and those numbers seem to be growing!
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