Thursday, January 28, 2016

Local National Forest Dispatch Center Name Change

The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest's Medford Interagency Communications Center (MICC) will officially change its name to the Rogue Valley Interagency Communications Center (RVICC) on April 1, 2016. This date was picked in order to provide adequate time to network the name change prior to fire season.

The objective of the name change is to reduce the likelihood of a serious accident for responding firefighting resources.

The MICC dispatch center, which is staffed by Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management employees, is a federal dispatch center located within the Rogue Valley in the city of Medford. The radio call sign has been “Medford Interagency Dispatch” since 2008.

The Oregon Department of Forestry also has a dispatch center located in the adjacent city of Central Point and uses a similar call sign, “Medford Dispatch.” The nearly identical radio call signs of the two centers have been a source of confusion during emergency response, particularly for aircraft. This has resulted in several “near misses” which is basically when a serious accident is narrowly avoided.

In an effort to minimize the chances of a serious accident occurring, the new call sign will be changed to “Rogue Dispatch” to provide a clear distinction between the state and federal dispatch centers.

“Every year after fire season, we hold what is called an “After Action Review” to discuss improvements that we can make to keep our firefighters safe. This change was at the top of our list,” said Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Fire & Aviation Staff Officer Eric Hensel.