Another Slice

This is a follow up (or maybe an “addendum” would be more accurate description) to a previous post titled
Thirty Five Minutes  (click through if you have the time).

The request for assistance arrived just as I expected.  Our PSAP was being hailed by another PSAP on a commonly used “Talk Group” (i.e. “radio channel”) intended for use between the various METropolitan 911 centers for quick and easy COMmunication.  The difference this time was that I was pretty certain I knew what they were calling about.  I had already fielded a number of 9-1-1 calls, and was in the process of entering a call for service into the CAD when the radio request arrived.

“We need the assistance of your Fire Department for a vehicle fire, northbound Highway 169 at Pioneer Trail”

Once the CAD incident was created, and the fire station was toned out, I (once again) turned to the magic of the MnDot’s freeway cameras for a up close look at the incident I was dispatching.  I had hoped that sending some images of the fire scene out to the mobile data terminals in the responding fire apparatus, they would have a slight advantage when they rolled up (as opposed to rolling up blind). 

Here is what I saw…

C320 C320a

Yup.  That’s a vehicle fire all right. 

A few minutes later the engine arrives and the firefighters begin preparing to fight the fire.  You can also see our squad car pulled up behind the fire engine to help aid in traffic control / direction.   

C320b C320c C320d C320e

Soon, the firefighters start doin’ what they do best! 

This is evident by the changeover from the back (smoke) to the white (steam).  What follows is a twenty image “slide show” of the fire scene. 

C320f C320g C320h C320i C320j C320k C320l C320m C320n C320o C320p C320q C320r C320s C320t C320u C320v C320w C320x C320y

And, in the very last photo of the series, you can see that the Minnesota State Patrol has also arrived.  Their squad is pulled up behind our “black and white” city squad.  The freeway is their jurisdiction. 

Time for a little overhaul and clean up.

C320z0 C320z1

And at about this time, my (city) squad hands the matter over fully to the Minnesota State patrol, and clears the scene.  (No “black and white” squad behind the fire truck.)  

In a odd twist of fate, it is learned that this vehicle was being hauled by tow truck / vehicle hauler when it caught fire.  (You can see it in the first photo of this post.)  So, the tow truck returned to re-claim the vehicle. 

Because of the condition of the burned vehicle, it took a little shuffling and juggling of the cars to find the right placement.  (The burned vehicle could no longer be “towed”.)   

C320z2 C320z3 C320z4 C320z6 C320z7 C320z8 C320z9 C320z10

Once the truck safely clears the scene,  the State Patrol remains to complete their paperwork. 

C320z11 C320z12

Sixty-five minutes after the initial call came in and all that’s left is the charred spot on the side of the highway and a traffic jam.


There was some other “good news” to come out of all of this.  See, the vehicle was already non-functioning, and it was being hauled to the scrap yard when it caught fire. 

Thankfully, no one was hurt – and there was no “significant” property value loss!

So, there you have it.  Another slice of life as a police / fire dispatcher. 


  1. That'sa really cool insight, I didn't realise that the dispatchers could see things as they happen. cheers man.

    1. Well Dan - we don't usually get to see what is going on. It just so happened that this car fire (and the one I previously posted about) happened right under one of our freeway traffic cameras.

      I don't have any control of the cameras - but can observe the feed being transmitted via the web. That's what makes it fun to do one of these posts when I get the chance!


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