Here’s the latest 411 on fire 911


Heart attack. Overdose. Traffic collision.

The 30-inch, flat-screen monitor hovering over Gary Gionet’s desk reveals a real-time litany of medical emergencies —a ticker-tape of trauma.

He glances up and sees 15 calls that, during a typical 24-hour period, will total 275-300.

Gionet is manager of Metro Cities Fire Authority, the eight-city dispatch service better known as Metro Net —one of the most technologically advanced fire communications centers in the state.

The dispatch service, which covers more than 1.2 million people, is located across the hallway from Anaheim Fire & Rescue in the 201 S. Anaheim city office building.

Cardiac arrest. Vegetation fire. Sick person.

Every call that comes into Metro Net is a true emergency in need of fire and EMS dispatch service to residents of Anaheim, Brea, ​Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Orange.

Wearing headsets and scanning several monitors, Metro Net’s 22 full-time an eight part-time dispatchers insure that help is sent where it’s needed as quickly as possible.

That job is getting easier, thanks to ever-improving technology.

“The days when we’d receive calls and then look into a book to see which fire stations were closest are long gone,”says Gionet, 57, who along with his employees work for the City of Anaheim, which manages Metro Net, a Joint Powers Authority.

More than 50 percent of all 911 calls now are wireless —which allows Metro Net to alert the right agencies quickly, although it takes a little more time to verify the exact location of the caller. Calls from land lines pull up exact address; cell phones are accurate within about 150 feet.

Some new technologies at Metro Net include:

Automatic Vehicle Location Dispatching, a software enhancement that shows where trucks, engines and ambulances are, as opposed to just brick-and-mortar fire stations.

Early Dispatch, which gives responders to medical-aid calls a head start while dispatchers still are collecting information from callers.

Automated Voice Dispatch (AVD), which will free up dispatchers to field more 911 calls.

Live Move Up Module, new software that examines historical data to predict what types of calls are likely to come in where and when.

Gionet loves the latest technology, but says the mission of Metro Net remains unchanged.

“We provide help to people when they need it most.”