Following the 1999 Columbine High School shootings and the wild land fires of 2000, the demand on the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Communications Center had members seeking a solution to the problem of overloading a communications center during major incidents. Their answer was to develop a critical incident dispatch team (CIDT). The Jefferson County CIDT was formed in 2002.
The team is comprised of dispatchers from the nine 9-1-1 communications centers in Jefferson County. The main purpose of the CIDT is to alleviate some of the strain placed on a dispatch center during a large scale incident. They do this by taking over the main communications for the incident at the on-scene command post. In some incidents, their assistance is needed at the agency’s communications center where they can assist the dispatchers working there.
Members of the CIDT participate in quarterly training classes. Training includes handling critical police incidents, such as shootings, hostage situations, and SWAT dispatching. They are also trained on wild land fire dispatching. Additionally, each dispatcher must be trained in the incident command system.
Since its establishment, the CIDT has been activated for three major incidents in Jefferson County. The Snaking Fire, Hayman Fire and Blue Mountain Fire, all occurring in 2002, called for the members of the CIDT to handle communications for the incident.
Golden CIDT Members
As a 9-1-1 communications center in Jefferson County, the Golden Police and Fire Dispatch Center currently has one dispatcher on the CIDT. The current members joined the CIDT in 2008 and has been committed to the CIDT for the last year.
Along with their commitment to their own agency, members of the CIDT are dedicated to helping the dispatchers of other communications centers. They must be willing to train and be called out to respond during their off-duty hours. A call out, or activation of the CIDT, can require a member to work at a command post for a 12 hour shift. Upon the completion of their two years, the center will open the positions up for other interested dispatchers. Because knowledge and experience are required of CIDT members, dispatchers must have at least two years of experience with the agency before that can apply to for a position on the team.
9-1-1 Agency Members
Arvada Fire Protection District
Evergreen Fire Department
Golden Police and Fire Dispatch
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
Lakewood Police Department
West Metro Fire Rescue
Westminster Police and Fire Dispatch
Wheat Ridge Police and Fire Dispatch