Metropolitan Fire Communications, often referred to as “MFC” or “Metro,” is the Los Angeles Fire Department’s central processing hub for 911 and non-emergency fire department calls. MFC is the nerve center from which all LAFD emergency-related resources are dispatched.
Established in 2012, MFC is one of the most technologically advanced dispatch centers in the nation. MFC members work around the clock from this state-of-the-art command center to ensure L.A.’s emergency calls are handled efficiently, and with the highest degree of professionalism and compassion.
The dispatchers assigned to MFC are either Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technicians or Firefighter/Paramedics, who all have served previously in the field. Their primary responsibilities are to quickly deduce the nature of the caller’s emergency and help mobilize the appropriate LAFD resources. Without a doubt, it is one of the most complex and challenging roles within the Department.
Lives are literally on the line when dispatchers answer a call. MFC processes more than 2,800 emergency calls each day, and an individual dispatcher may handle as many as 100 calls per shift.
At the height of the pandemic, dispatchers helped guide anxious 911 callers through the fear and uncertainty of coping with medical emergencies. Dispatchers had the delicate task of triaging non-life- threatening calls in the hopes of decreasing ambulance dispatches to low-acuity patients. By identifying callers who could safely self-monitor and treat themselves at home with telehealth guidance, dispatchers helped reduce the exposure of firefighters and medical personnel to potential COVID-19 patients.
The 2021 Division of the Year award is presented to the 127 dispatchers, dozens of support personnel, and team leaders at MFC for the outstanding service they deliver to the citizens of Los Angeles and for their unwavering resolve under the pressures of the pandemic.