February 6, 2020

State of Alabama
Press Release: Forestry Commission, Alabama

Gardendale Site of Alabama Forestry Commission’s Second Wildfire Dispatch Center

The Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) is pleased to announce a new tool that will enable them to better serve the citizens of Alabama during wildfires and other emergency situations across the state. An additional wildfire dispatch center is now operational in the Gardendale Regional office which will provide a means to more efficiently and accurately dispatch wildfire response and protection.

     “We began the design phase three years ago,” AFC’s Communications Technician Supervisor Brad Smith explained. “Montgomery Dispatch will continue to dispatch the counties in south Alabama, while the new Gardendale Dispatch will take over the responsibilities of dispatching counties in north Alabama.” He described Gardendale Dispatch as a ‘redundant center’ meaning that either Montgomery or Gardendale will now be capable of backing up the its sister center and dispatching all 67 counties in the event issues arise at either center.

     According to Smith, splitting the state into two dispatch centers will give the agency the flexibility of being able to operate as two centers, or in the event of severe weather or power outages, either center will be able to serve the entire state at virtually the flip of a switch. Having two operation centers for dispatch will allow the Forestry Commission to better serve the citizens of the state during times of high wildfire activity by being able to more accurately dispatch and provide better communications with firefighters.

     The Gardendale center will be staffed by four dispatchers working 10-hour shifts during the day. In the evenings all communications will roll back to Montgomery, unless fire volume warrants that the center be open to accommodate the situation.

     The Alabama Forestry Commission is the state agency charged with protecting Alabama’s invaluable forest assets as well as its citizens. To learn more about the services provided by the agency, contact any AFC county office or visit the agency website at www.forestry.alabama.gov

  • For more information, visit http://forestry.alabama.gov
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