The Amherst Central Fire Alarm Office dispatches fire, rescue and emergency medical first responder units for 16 volunteer fire departments covering over 150 square miles of territory over the northern portion of Erie County in the Towns of Amherst, Clarence, Newstead and the Villages of Williamsville and Akron. Over 15,000 emergency requests for assistance are dispatched each year and the office processes over 100,000 incoming and outgoing telephone calls.
Supervising Fire Dispatcher Stephen W. Matisz manages the alarm office, which is staffed by 11 full-time Certified Emergency Medical Dispatchers. All dispatchers have an extensive background in the EMS field and ten of the fire dispatchers currently serve as active firefighters, or have in the past. They have over 300 years of combined fire service experience, and five have served as the fire chief in a local fire department.
The dispatchers are recognized as emergency service professionals who play a key role on the fire/rescue team. They are the first and most important link in the CHAIN OF SURVIVAL and provide important and potentially life saving instructions to assist those in peril even before the arrival of other first responders. Often called the first first responders, they work as a team with one dispatcher immediately dispatching the emergency units while the other dispatcher remains on the line with the caller relaying emergency medical care directions, fire safety and survival information and gathering critical information to relay to responding units. They often stay on the line with those in need until emergency units arrive on scene. The dispatchers at the Amherst Central Fire Alarm Office are trained to deal with a variety of emergency situations and to interact, assist and coordinate resources with the firefighters on the scene at various emergency scenes. They regularly attend training schools to keep abreast of the ever changing fields of the fire service.
Since 1962, Amherst Fire Control has continued to modify and enhance their operation to stay on top of the ever changing technology and provide the very best service to not just those in need, but the firefighters and other first responders as well. Currently, plans are in place to upgrade the radio system, 9-1-1 phone lines and computer dispatch software which will greatly aid the operations of the central alarm office and ensure it remains a modern, progressive, and professional fire rescue communication center.
For information on how to obtain a copy of a fire, emergency medical report or arrange for a tour of the office, contact Amherst Fire Control on their administrative line at 689.1212.
Amherst Chiefs Assocation
President: 1st Assistant Chief Brandon Peters - Eggertsville
Vice-President: 2nd Assistant Chief Zachary Hallac - Swormville
Secretary/Treasurer: 1st Assistant Chief Timothy Oliver - Snyder
Clarence/Newstead Chiefs Association
President: Chief Brett Hanford - Clarence
Vice-President: Chief Scott Will - Swormville