Hoppah did a fantastic job with the LAFD mod for EM4, but it still seems a little out of place. The problem is with the narrator at the beginning of each mission. Instead of a narration on how to complete the mission, what about an actual fire department dispatch, like the ones on every episode of Emergency!
It took me a while, but I have recorded and put together twenty separate dispatches for every mission in EM4. Just download the file and unzip it, then read the ReadMe text for instructions on installing the files, which is super easy. (I still can’t figure out how to add dispatches for Hoppah’s 10 custom missions; if anyone knows how, let me know and I’ll make some more)
Just like in Emergency!, I used the original LA County Fire Department SCU tones from the 1970s for every station dispatch. I know what you’re thinking. Hoppah made the LAFD mod, not the LACoFD mod. In fact at this point, an LACoFD mod does not exist. Yes, I know, but I figured it was close enough. I’m a die hard fan of the series, and besides, I’m familiar with the dispatches from the county, not the city. (If Code Red ever goes to DVD, then I’ll be more familiar with the city dispatches) Also, using LACo gave me more flexibility in determining the locations for each mission.
I did my best to utilize real world locations in LA County and the fire stations in those areas.
Please keep in mind that I have zero dispatching experience; I did this based on guesswork, examples of dispatches archived on YouTube, and what I’ve seen on TV. Any faults with procedure in these dispatches are my own. Also, I realize that I do not have the quality of voice that Sam Lanier had, but I did my best. If anyone out there thinks they can do better than I did, by all means please contribute.
The files were created with the following resources:
Audacity, for recording my voice, reducing noise, and running the recordings through a high pass filter to get that microphone sound.
The LACoFD website, with addresses and apparatus info for each station.
Special thanks to www.policeinterceptor.com for archiving the LACoFD SCU tones. All the tones you hear in these dispatches are for the actual stations named.
Special thanks to voodoocat and that1fail on YouTube for their mission play throughs, giving me an idea for what kind of units are needed for each mission.
www.batchgeo.com allowed me to create a map of all LACo fire stations from an Excel file I made. Entering the station name, address, and apparatus info into Excel, I was then able to load it into Batchgeo and get a map of all the county stations. (I know there are iPad apps that can also give me a map, but I only discovered them afterward)
A few years ago, the Army sent me to Fort Huachua, Arizona, for a training class. One evening I was driving on post and noticed that two cars had met in the middle of an intersection. It was a light collision and both drivers were fine. They were both on their cell phones, but neither had called EMS yet. Ironically, the collision took place right in front of a fire station. I parked my truck in the station parking lot, walked around to the front door and pressed the buzzer. As it turns out, it was the dispatch center for all of Fort Huachuca, overseeing two stations. Nobody at the station knew that there was a vehicle accident on their doorstep, but they got into motion once I told them. While the firefighters were getting ready, the dispatcher called it in. I swear, it felt as if I was in an episode of Emergency!
A few notes about the missions:
I took the liberty of using station 51 for this mission, basically because I couldn’t resist. In real life, station 36 and possibly 127 would get the call. (Nowadays, there really is a station 51 on the backlot of Universal Studios, specifically named in honor of the series)
Southern California is nowhere near the Arctic Circle. In this case, I found a fire station in Anchorage, Alaska, that has a HAZMAT unit. The dispatch tells HAZMAT to go to an actual airfield for an emergency airlift to the polar station. I have no idea what dispatch tones that station uses, so I just picked a generic warble.
There is no oil rig located outside of Marina del Ray. In reality, oil rigs are usually located several miles from shore so that nobody can see them from the beach. But for the sake of the scenario, I had to put the oil rig somewhere, and Marina del Ray is where the only two boats in the LACoFD are located. They are not equipped to fight big fires like this one though, so the dispatch also mentions fire boats from the LAFD. I do not know if Marina del Ray is actually where the LAFD boats are located. It’s just a game.
Anyone who has driven on the 14 freeway past Santa Clarita has seen the open pit mine I describe in the dispatch.
While looking for a tunnel in Southern California to use for this mission, I found out that the Newhall tunnel actually had a major vehicle accident and fire a few years ago, resulting in three fatalities. I decided to use that tunnel for this dispatch.
Believe it or not, I could not find a YouTube example of a dispatch immediately following an earthquake, so I made my best guess. The tone you hear is a group call for all stations in LACo.
Heavy Rescue 103:
You will probably notice that Heavy Rescue 103 gets used an awful lot. That is because Heavy Rescue 103 is the only Heavy Rescue in the LACoFD. My apologies if it gets a little old after a few missions.