Burlington Fire Department

Emergency Communications Center

On January 1, 1990, formal fire and rescue dispatching responsibilities were handed over from Firefighters assigned to the Alarm Room (Able) to civilian dispatchers at the Police Department, now called Emergency Communication Specialists. The original alarm room was located at Central Fire Station, 136 South Winooski Avenue.

When Emergency Communication Specialists took over dispatch, it was relocated to the dispatch center in the basement of the Burlington Police Department, then at 82 South Winooski Avenue.  The Communications Center made the move with the Police Department to 1 North Avenue in October of 2004, where it remains today.

The communications center, still referred to as "Able," is staffed with 4 full-time Fire Desk ECS personnel, supplemented by off-duty firefighters, and up to 11 full-time Police ECSs.  The Center handles both 911 lines and regular 10-digit business lines for police, fire, and EMS services.

Please note that both the Police and Fire Desks are often only staffed with 1 ECS for each at any given time.  If your call is not urgent in nature, you may be placed on hold to facilitate the call-taking and dispatching of an emergency. Please also be aware, and bear with the dispatcher, as they ask questions during your call.  They are trained to obtain key information needed to get the quickest help you need. 

If you have work done to your home or business, please call Fire Dispatch at 802-864-5311 to report construction at that location. 

The information they will need:

  • Whether the alarm system is "local" meaning not tied to the City's Master Radio Call Box (MCRB), or if the property has an MCRB, the 4-digit box number and specific zones to be taken offline
  • The address and/or building name
  • What type of work is being completed
  • The name of the person responsible for the property at the time, i.e., the contractor completing work, and which company they represent
  • The phone number for the person responsible 

Please remember to have the person responsible call dispatch back when they finish work for the day to place the alarm back online so that the property does not go unmonitored overnight.

If any alarms go off caused by work or maintenance being completed, you will ultimately be held responsible for the false alarm.

Regional Dispatch

The Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission is currently conducting a study pertaining to a Regional Dispatch Model; for more information about the Project and its findings; please visit:  http://www.ccrpcvt.org/our-work/emergency-management/regional-dispatch/