Understanding NYC addresses

mack

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Don't forget "Courts" which are often accessible by sidewalk only. Sheepshead Bay, for example.
 

mack

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Another NYC address challenge for emergencies - addresses which use a subway station, a bridge, a river, a measured distance (e.g. feet) or something other than an intersection for an incident location
 

mack

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Washington DC correct location incident: Many years back, I was driving on I395 from VA heading to NY and crossing a bridge across the Potomac into DC. I witnessed a serious multi-car accident and called 911 while in the traffic jam. I gave the DC 911 operator the details and location noting where it was on the bridge. The operator then asked for a "cross street" several times and told me she would not dispatch assistance until I gave her the nearest intersection. After several frustrating explanations explaining it was on the well-known bridge and there were no cross streets, DCFD finally interupted the call and announced they were going to respond. A conclusion to this incident was 30 minutes later when I was in Baltimore when another DC 911 operator called me back and asked if I was still at the bridge accident because they needed to close out the call. They still needed the nearest crosss treet. I was glad someone in the DCFD monitored 911 calls.
 

entropychaser

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Washington DC correct location incident: Many years back, I was driving on I395 from VA heading to NY and crossing a bridge across the Potomac into DC. I witnessed a serious multi-car accident and called 911 while in the traffic jam. I gave the DC 911 operator the details and location noting where it was on the bridge. The operator then asked for a "cross street" several times and told me she would not dispatch assistance until I gave her the nearest intersection. After several frustrating explanations explaining it was on the well-known bridge and there were no cross streets, DCFD finally interupted the call and announced they were going to respond. A conclusion to this incident was 30 minutes later when I was in Baltimore when another DC 911 operator called me back and asked if I was still at the bridge accident because they needed to close out the call. They still needed the nearest crosss treet. I was glad someone in the DCFD monitored 911 calls.
That had to be a recurrent performance problem. Where was that woman's supervisor?
 

entropychaser

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The stupidity goes up the chain of command sometimes too. I knew a guy that worked in HFD Fire Alarm (after years of territory tests as the E/O at Engine 25) noted to the uniformed Assistant Chief in charge of Fire Alarm (a politically promoted District Chief) that as a back-up they ought to have a dedicated cell phone in the office. The Chief immediately sees the logic and tells him he'll get one right away. Several days later he proudly shows up with the new phone; ......a cordless phone!
 

EdMc

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A few more NYC direction challenges:

Most cities simply use numbered interstate and highway signs. NYC like names. I have always had to give a warning about highway signage - like what "BQE" means.

NYC has parkways (whch restrict trucks and commercial vehicles) and highways.

NYC has countless one-way streets.

NYC renames parks and squares and bridges which can confuse traditional directions.

NYC has countless bus lanes.

NYC has or had "Fire Lanes" which became ignored by most drivers when apparatus responds.

NYC has expensive toll bridges and tunnels and free bridges.
Talk about renaming stuff where did da TriBoro Bridge go???????????

Lets also remember streets that sound very much alike such as Crotona Ave and Katonah Ave in da Bronx.
 

mack

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That had to be a recurrent performance problem. Where was that woman's supervisor?
It was her supervisor who called back and it apparently happened before. It was a training problem. Apparently, DCFD had ability to monitor calls.
 

FDNYSTATENISLAND

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It was her supervisor who called back and it apparently happened before. It was a training problem. Apparently, DCFD had ability to monitor calls.
Also seems like it can be an issue of experience (or lack of) by the dispatchers. They might have been following the book’s SOP if they were new. An experienced dispatcher might have threw the book out the window and not have asked for a cross street when there was literally none on a bridge.
 

memorymaster

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Back in the day, the boro dispatchers knew their boro inside out, backwards, forwards and upside down without all this computer stuff. They could practically tell you where the nearest hydrant was at the location.
 
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entropychaser

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On the lighter side

Before the City 911 Center opened, the Fire Alarm Office was next to Station 1 on Bagby Street. The Police Dispatch was a couple blocks away in Headquarters on Reasoner Street. One of my friends was Charlie W., a well known character down at Fire Alarm. He has one of those "Official" voices. When the mood came upon him, he would answer the police ring-down phone with "Dallas Fire Department!" From the other end there would be a silence, then "Sorry, wrong number". It never got old.
 

grumpy grizzly

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As advised by many, use a GPS and Google Maps. Addresses are not simple.
Years ago a woman died in a high rise fire @ 3AM, she was part of a cleaning crew. She called and said she was in * Illinois Center but for some reason that address did not come up at the dispatch center. The correct address was *** Street. After this incident Chicago did away with vanity addresses.
 

jking7

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Many moons ago before Enhanced 911 our communications center received a call for a house fire but the street name was barely audible due to a language barrier. The tones were sent citywide with a quick explanation of a single engine going to Bright St, Dwight St, White St. & Wright Ave. Engine 11 filled out the box on White St for a working fire. Quick thinking on the dispatchers!
 

Signal73

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Many moons ago before Enhanced 911 our communications center received a call for a house fire but the street name was barely audible due to a language barrier. The tones were sent citywide with a quick explanation of a single engine going to Bright St, Dwight St, White St. & Wright Ave. Engine 11 filled out the box on White St for a working fire. Quick thinking on the dispatchers!
They don't make them in the Elm City like they use to Chief. At times its even hard to understand the dispatchers
 

entropychaser

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Years ago a woman died in a high rise fire @ 3AM, she was part of a cleaning crew. She called and said she was in * Illinois Center but for some reason that address did not come up at the dispatch center. The correct address was *** Street. After this incident Chicago did away with vanity addresses.
Is this the incident where the woman called a radio station and they put her on the air? It would have been One Illinois Center on East Wacker Drive (and is on all the architecture tours in Chicago). I thought CFD was already in the building and she couldn't explain where she was trapped.
 

entropychaser

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Many moons ago before Enhanced 911 our communications center received a call for a house fire but the street name was barely audible due to a language barrier. The tones were sent citywide with a quick explanation of a single engine going to Bright St, Dwight St, White St. & Wright Ave. Engine 11 filled out the box on White St for a working fire. Quick thinking on the dispatchers!
In the book "Bama Burning" published in the 1970's, a similar incident happened. In Birmingham (I believe) one night the dispatcher got only a street name but no numbers or cross street before the caller lost consciousness. Luckily, they had an open phone line. They had an engine drive up the street blowing their siren. When the noise over the phone peaked, the engine was stopped and told to start knocking on doors. When the dispatcher heard the banging on the front door, the search was over.
Then, there's the Blue Angel Night Club on East 54th Street. It caught fire early on the morning of December 18th, 1975. A club patron had just connected, but not spoken, to the Manhattan CO when the fire took off. The phone dropped to the floor and for the next few minutes all that was heard on 79th Street over the open line was screaming and yelling- somewhere in Manhattan. There were seven fatalities.
 
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