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Home > Procedures > Callout Procedures

Callout Procedure

Jan Largent handles the dispatching for callouts. He will be referred to as the "dispatcher" in the description that follows. Scott Carpenter will be the alternate if Jan is unavailable.

The team uses two systems to alert people to a callout: a pager system and a computerized phone alert system. These will be discussed below.

Your obligations as a member on the active callout list are as follows.

  1. Active callout members must carry their pagers at all times with it turned on. Obviously, there will be times when you do not want a pager audibly going off. At those times, please put your pager in vibrate mode. You may not be able to respond immediately, but at least you will be aware that something is going on.
  2. Notify the dispatcher whenever you are going to be unavailable for 2 or more consecutive days. For example, perhaps you are going away for the weekend or are going on a trip somewhere out of the area or you have been injured and are physically unable to respond. Let the dispatcher know! The best way to notify the dispatcher in those cases is by email. Phone messages are also OK. Please use his cell phone number.
  3. Whenever a callout occurs, all active callout members are required to contact the dispatcher to report their availability or unavailability. In other words, every time there is a callout alert all active members must contact the dispatcher. If you can go, then let the dispatcher that you are responding. If you cannot respond, then let the dispatcher know that you are unable to respond. You can contact the dispatcher in three ways: by phone at the number indicated on your pager, by email or by responding to the polling at the end of the One Call Now telephone message (preferred method).
  4. Notify the dispatcher whenever your phone or email contact information changes.

Paging System

When you become callout qualified, contact Eric Bivona to get a pager. The service is currently donated by Central Vermont Communications of Rutland, VT. The cost for the pager is $40.00. Monthly access fees are waived courtesy of Central Vermont Communications. Members who purchase team pagers are asked to donate those pagers to the team should they decide to leave the team.

When a callout (or other team activity) occurs, the dispatcher will send out a page alerting the team. When you look at the alpha-numeric window of your pager, you will see something like

(11*6033982295)

The first number (11) is the urgency of the callout (pager codes) and the remaining numbers are the dispatcher's call back number. You can let the dispatcher know of your availability by calling this number. It is also the number to call for status checks, additional directions, etc.

The meanings of the pager codes are:

11 - immediate callout - contact dispatch officer for availability and information
12 - stand-by - check email and team's voice mail
13 - callout canceled
14 - drill
15 - pager test
16 - meeting
55 - critical information change, check your email or call in

One Call Now System

The team subscribes to a computerized phone alert system called One Call Now. When a callout occurs, the dispatcher will call the system and leave a phone message describing the subject, any pertinent information about the subject, and drive directions to the staging area. He will then initiate the broadcast of the message. The One Call Now system will call every phone number for every person on the active callout list and will continue to call the numbers until every phone has been answered by a person, voice mail or an answering machine. At the end of the message, there will be a polling choice. Usually, this will ask the person to press 1 if they can respond or press 2 if they cannot respond. Please make sure to press one number or the other. This will allow the dispatcher to know who is responding and who is not.

The caller ID on the phone message will be 603-398-2295. That will allow users to know that the call is from the UVWRT.

When you answer the phone, you will hear a brief introductory message and then after a brief pause the message will be played.

If you miss information in the phone message, you can call 877-698-3261 and listen to it again. You can also call this number to respond to the polling question rather than during the initial call.

Putting It All Together

So, here is what happens when a callout occurs.

The requesting agency (Vermont State Police, NH Fish and Game, New England K-9) will call Scott and give him information about the subject, search start time and directions to the staging area. Scott will then call the dispatcher and relay that information.

The dispatcher will then:

  1. Put out an email with subject information, drive directions and any other pertinent information. Included in the email will be a map showing the approximate area of the staging area and the approximate driving time from Hanover, NH.
  2. Put out a page on the team's paging system giving the call urgency and the callback number should you need to contact him.
  3. Initiate the One Call Now system.
  4. Monitor the One Call Now website, the callback number, and his email to see who is responding. Scott will make periodic contact with the dispatcher to find out who is responding.

Your obligation at this point is to let the dispatcher know if you can respond or not. It is extremely important that you do this. Search organizers will be asking Scott for how many people will be responding from the team and the only way the dispatcher will be able to give him that information is if you let him know. You can do this in three ways listed below in the order of preference.

  1. Respond to the One Call Now polling. If you personnally receive the message, please respond to the polling at that time.

    If someone else answers the phone and gives you the message, please call the One Call Now number - 1-877-698-3261 and listen to the message yourself. You can then respond to the polling at that time.

    If you receive the message yourself and are unsure as to whether or not you can respond, hang up without responding and then call the One Call Now number - 1-877-698-3261 when you know whether or not you can respond.

    Bottom line -- be sure respond to the One Call Now system at some point to let the team know whether or not you can respond.
  2. Call the dispatcher using the call back number given in the page.
  3. Send an email to the dispatcher.