III. Signing In and Signing Out

The Logbook

What to Write

Each time you begin and end a shift, you are responsible for noting the time in our logbook. As a dispatcher, you are responsible for keeping the logbook accurate. The logbook is a legal document and can be requested for reference in a court of law. Because of this, please be careful with how you write in it.

The following information should be recorded in the logbook:

  • Opening/closing the office
  • Signing in/out
  • Hospital statuses
  • Calls
  • All 10-codes given over the air by the crew chief or driver
  • Problems with the ambulance
  • Equipment taken home by an executive officer
  • Something nonfunctional in the office (e.g., broken equipment)

Make sure that you know what you are doing before you write in the logbook; if necessary, write on a piece of scrap paper first and let your dispatcher check it. If you do make a mistake, do not black out the error. Instead, simply put a single line through the mistake and place your initials above the line. Only use black or blue ink and write legibly.

Since the logbook is so important, everything that goes into it must be in chronological order. Note the time in the left margin using military time. For example, 1:00 p.m. would be written as "13:00." Also, for times with only one digit (e.g., 9:00), use a zero in front: "09:00." If something wasn't logged, write "late entry" or "L.E." in the margin and then put the time and the event that occurred. Late entries should be kept to an absolute minimum.

How to Write Names

When you sign in yourself or anyone else, use only the first initial and the last name. Then write "in as" followed by the person's position. For signing out, do the same thing using "out as." The abbreviations for the various positions are:

  • Dispatcher trainee: "disp. (t)"
  • Dispatcher: "disp."
  • Attendant trainee: "att. (t)"
  • Attendant: "att."
  • Driver trainee: "BC-2"
  • Driver: "BC-1"
  • Crew chief trainee: "Med-2"
  • Crew chief: "Med-1"

If more than one person is signing in or out at the same time, you can write the time once and place a comma between the people's information. Below are a couple of examples:

  • 09:31 Y. Abraham in as disp., J. Krivoruk in as Med- l, S. Zacaraev in as att.
  • 13:06 E. Walsher out as disp., M. Hahn in as BC-l

As a dispatcher trainee, you will be asked to sign crewmembers in or out. Do not sign them in unless they are wearing their uniform shirts.

On a full crew, there would be a crew chief (Med-1), a crew chief trainee (Med-2), a driver (BC1) and a driver trainee (BC-2); up to three attendants or attendant trainees (BC Unit 1, BC Unit 2 and BC Unit 3); a dispatcher and up to two dispatcher trainees. This situation will rarely occur, but there will usually be a crew chief, a driver, at least one attendant and a dispatcher. During a call, the crew chief is in charge and all questions and issues should be directed to him or her. When there is no call in progress, the dispatcher is responsible for the office.

When someone signs on or off shift make sure to write/erase their name on the board above the dispatcher's desk and to note their radio number and the channel they are on if they have taken a radio.