Monthly Archives: August 2017
On the morning of June 14th tragedy struck our City. A senseless act of gun violence stole three people from their families and our community. We all have some connection with the women and men of UPS who have become part of our everyday lives while dutifully delivering packages in their trademark brown uniforms. This tragedy has left us all mourning the loss of San Francicos’ UPS delivery drivers Wayne Chan, Benson Louie, and Michael Lefti. Yet, we find comfort that further tragedy was prevented by the prompt and professional actions of our public safety community.
Today, Mayor Ed Lee recognized those who responded to the UPS shooting, including two DEM employees: Anastacia (Staci) Byrne, the DEM Public Safety Dispatcher who received the initial 9-1-1 call; and Tom Chin, the DEM Emergency Services Coordinator who immediately activated the Emergency Operations Center to support the overall emergency response. Although not on-scene, Staci and Tom made sure those ‘on the ground’ had the situational awareness and resources needed to effectively respond to this dire and dangerous situation while fulfilling the following vital emergency response roles:
It was Anastacia (Staci) Byrne who received the initial emergency call from frightened UPS employees reporting an active shooter in the UPS facility on San Bruno Avenue. The employees were huddled in a conference room and unsure of what to do. Staci quickly told them to barricade themselves in the conference room. As she remained on the phone—all the while providing instruction and updates— the UPS employees and Staci became a team. The employees shared information about the building’s layout that helped police and fire responders navigate on-scene. Staci stayed on the line until police units were able to safely evacuate the employees from the building.
Tom Chin immediately activated San Francisco’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) within minutes of receiving notice of an active shooter event. The EOC’s role was to provide support to first responders and services to people affected by the active shooter incident. As a result of his efforts, San Francisco was able to coordinate efforts to track shooting victims, provide family and mental health resources, and disseminate safety alerts to the public. In the days following the event, Tom coordinated and facilitated daily incident management calls to ensure UPS employees received the assistance they needed to recover from this tragedy.
More about Anastacia (Staci) Byrne:
Staci has been a Public Safety Dispatcher with the Department of Emergency Management for 12 years. She moved to San Francisco as a small child, was raised Visitacion Valley, and graduated from Mercy High School. Her father is a retired Army Officer who dedicated his life to serving his country, so it comes as no surprise that Staci has chosen to serve the citizens, visitors, and public safety partners of San Francisco. Staci was a chef before becoming a Public Safety Dispatcher (experience that really enhances DEM pot lucks!). She was encouraged to become a police officer, but chose to be a 9-1-1 Dispatcher instead.
More about Thomas Chin:
Tom has been an Emergency Services Coordinator with the Department of Emergency Management for four years. In his current role, he manages the development of emergency plans and also staffs the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during planned and unplanned events. Prior to joining the department, Tom worked for Santa Clara County Public Health providing emergency preparedness and public health education services. Tom earned his Bachelor of Sciences in Public Health from San Francisco State University. Tom and his family have deep roots in San Francisco’s Excelsior neighborhood. He is a lifelong Bay Area sports fan and actively cheers on the Giants, Warriors, and 49ers. Tom and his wife, Raine, reside in San José.
When someone dials 9-1-1 it’s for a medical or fire emergency, or a crime in progress. These are very serious and scary situations, and our City’s 9-1-1 dispatchers are experts at sending the right kind of help to the right location–fast.
But sometimes people call 9-1-1 for things that are not emergencies, like reporting stolen property or someone loitering. Although these types of situations are serious and should be reported, calling 9-1-1 for non-life and non-property threatening situations ties up our 9-1-1 phone lines and makes it harder for real emergency calls to get through. So, if you need Police assistance but are not experiencing a crime in progress, please call the San Francisco Police Department’s non-emergency phone line: 415-553-0123. Please note that this line is answered as quickly as possible—after calls to 9-1-1. If your call is not answered immediately, it’s because our 9-1-1 dispatchers are handling priority emergency medical, fire, or criminal activity calls that can result in lives being saved and crimes being stopped.
From time to time our City’s 9-1-1 dispatchers also receive calls for things that are not emergencies like reporting a blocked driveway or how to access a City service. For these circumstances, it’s best to dial 3-1-1 where expert staff can provide information on a variety of non-emergency City services, both over the phone and on the 311 app. And just like 9-1-1 and 415-553-0123, they are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Before you dial 9-1-1 keep in mind the nature of your call. Is it an emergency that requires immediate medical, fire, or police response? If so, or even if you’re not sure, dial 9-1-1. Is it something that should be reported to the Police but is not a crime in progress? Then please call the San Francisco Police Department non-emergency line at 415-553-0123. And if you have general questions or need to report a situation needing city services, call 3-1-1. You could be saving someone’s life by making the right call when it comes to dialing 9-1-1.
The San Francisco 9-1-1 Dispatch Center is a division within the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, which leads the City in planning, preparedness, communication, response, and recovery for daily emergencies, large-scale citywide events, and major disasters. To learn more about the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management visit http://www.sfdem.org.