Fire Department

Enhanced 911 System

About the Enhanced 911 System

911 Center/Emergency Communication Center:  6055 Threadgill Ave., Suite A107 El Paso, TX 79924

The El Paso County Enhanced 911 System is a cooperative effort of the El Paso County 911 District, City of El Paso, and County of El Paso. The 911 Call-Takers, El Paso Fire Department Call-Takers/Dispatchers, El Paso County Sheriff call takers, and El Paso Police Department Dispatchers are located in this facility.  The purpose of the El Paso Fire Department Communications Division is to receive emergency calls, determine the appropriate response of emergency resources, dispatch resources, and provide updated information to the responding resources.

The El Paso County 911 District provides the 911 Center telephone switching equipment, software, Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) hardware, and assists in funding other associated projects. The City of El Paso and the County of El Paso provide the staffing for the 911 Center and all radio equipment and some software.

How it works

As soon as you dial 9-1-1:

  1. A computer at the 911 Center detects your phone number and the location of that phone.
  2. A 911 Call-taker will answer the call, by standard, in less than 30 seconds and state "911, what is your emergency?"
  3.  They will ask for your address and phone number to confirm and in case there is an interruption in the call
  4.  Your nature of your emergency will be processed into a Law, Fire, or Medical emergency into a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) computer card for the event.

Fire & Medical

If the call is for a Fire or Medical Emergency in the City or County your call is transferred to the El Paso Fire Department. 

  1. The EPFD Call-Taker will ask the nature of your emergency, reconfirm the address and phone number, and determine the type and priority of your call. But, don't hang up yet!!! 
  2. A Fire Department Dispatcher determines the appropriate resources and dispatch them.
  3. The Call-Taker will still ask many questions, but don't worry; the response units and personnel are already on their way. Additional questions are to provide more detailed information to the responding personnel, so that they can be thinking of what to look for and how to deal with your particular emergency. 
  4. The Call-Taker will also provide "Pre-Arrival Instructions".
    • For a Fire
      This might include getting out of the building, flagging down the responding units, and dealing with other occupants. If it is a medical emergency, pre-arrival instructions might include CPR instructions, unlocking the door for the responders, or how to control bleeding.
    • For Medical
      Pre-arrival instructions might include CPR instructions, unlocking the door for the responders, or how to control bleeding. These instructions are based on a nationally recognized source that has been approved by the El Paso Fire Department Medical Director.

As stated, when the Fire Department Call-taker is asking all those questions, a Fire Dispatcher is busy getting you the help you need. When the address has been verified and the call prioritized by the Fire Call-taker, the Dispatcher uses the CAD computer to recommend the closest unit(s) according to the AVL system, for that call type. They immediately tone out over a radio frequency to the Fire Stations and the units that are available by radio in the field. The Dispatch is given and repeated by giving the Fire Unit numbers, address, call type, and radio channel the incident is assigned to. When the units respond on the assigned radio channel, a separate Dispatcher monitors the reports and documents all communications regarding the incident.



A separate Police Department Dispatcher views the CAD card and will determine the appropriate response to the incident. If the call is for law enforcement for the County of El Paso, the call will be transferred to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.