The CAL FIRE/San Luis Obispo County Fire Department’s Emergency Command Center (ECC) is located at the CAL FIRE/San Luis Obispo County Fire Department Administrative Headquarters in the City of San Luis Obispo. It is one of the largest regional fire service organizations in California and is dedicated to Integrated, Cooperative, Regional Fire Protection, and Emergency Services. The San Luis Obispo ECC is part of CAL FIRE’s three-level command and control structure utilized for the day-to-day operations of the department and for dealing with emergency incidents. The purpose of the ECC is to receive reports of emergencies from a variety of sources, allocate resources based on pre-planned response criteria, coordinate interagency incident activities, support the incident as needed, provide internal/external information, and document the activity. The Emergency Command Center (ECC) located at CAL FIRE Headquarters is directly linked to field operations. A Battalion Chief supervises six fire captains, eight communications operators, and two Information Technology employees. The ECC dispatches over 20,000 incidents annually for CAL FIRE and seven other agencies.
A great advantage for the county and all of the contract cities is that they are part of CAL FIRE/San Luis Obispo County Fire Department’s cooperative fire protection philosophy and are dispatched and coordinated as a single fire department. It is automatic-aid at its best, providing effective, cost efficient customer service.
Reverse 9-1-1 and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)
San Luis Obispo County officials are able to inform the public of an emergency by utilizing an emergency telephone notification system, known as Reverse 911. Emergency officials can notify residents and businesses in a designated area of an emergency and actions they may need to take.
The Reverse 911 system is managed by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office and can be used county wide. Although the system is used primarily for disasters which require the public to act, it may be used in other emergency such as high-risk missing persons.
How to Register
This system utilizes the 9-1-1 telephone database and therefore can contact listed and unlisted land line telephones. If you have a Voice over IP (VoIP) or cellular telephone that you would like to be notified on, you must self-register those telephone numbers the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.
If you are unable to complete the online registration via the Sheriff’s Office, you may print and fill out a hard copy of the form here and return it to our office.
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency alert messages like text messages that are sent to WEA-enabled cell phones in the vicinity of an emergency that requires the public to act. The alerts include a unique sound and vibration.
What is WEA?
Wireless Emergency Alerts are one of the public alert and notification systems that San Luis Obispo County officials can use to alert the public of an emergency. WEA is part of a nationwide system that not only allows local officials to provide emergency alerts, but also enables certain state and federal officials the ability to activate the system. Currently the system can be activated by local emergency officials, the National Weather Service for severe weather events, the CHP for AMBER alerts, and the President of the United States for times of national crisis.
Who Can Receive WEA?
WEA provides alert messages to every cellphone within a designated area. Although the system is very effective at reaching large areas of the public in a rapid manner, there are some downsides. Currently, although messages can be directed to a certain geographic area of the county, the margin of error with these designations is quite large. The system is reliant on the cooperation and technology of cell providers. Although there are differences provider to provider, all cellphones within the coverage area of a designated cell tower will receive the alert. Based on which cell towers are in the affected area identified, cell phones may receive alerts far outside the designated area.
You do not have to register your phone to receive WEA. Most major carriers and cell phones are currently able to receive WEA messages, but you should verify in your cell phone settings that the option is turned on. If you are unsure if your mobile device is able to receive WEA, contact your mobile device carrier or visit the CTIA The Wireless Association.
Can You Opt Out?
Although emergency officials urge you not to, consumers may opt out of receiving Imminent Threat and Amber Alert messages. Per the WARN Act of 1996, Congress said that no consumer could opt out of Presidential Alerts. The directions for opting out of Imminent Threat and Amber Alerts varies by service provider. Please see the below links to your service provider for specific instructions, However, be aware that if you opt out you will not receive emergency messages via WEA.