Dispatch records

If any of you have ever done this I would like to know what the process was.

If you’re looking for when the Feds declined air support to knock this thing down when it was a half acre: MMU Midpines Incident. As AA was leaving the Midpines, saw the smoke of what is now the Washburn. They were denied permission to help. I listened to it live. If you need the audio, and tone with Broadcastify membership can pull up the archive.


I’ve already been through those archives and no one had YNP frequencies on any of the local feeds.

Your two main ways to do this are Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests (for federal agencies) and Public Record Act (PRA) requests (for state and local government agencies) and both processes are similar. The government is typically required to reply in a timely manner to your FOIA and PRA requests.

You’ll likely need to make individual requests to each relevant agency, and the agency will make a determination as to the releasability and redaction, if any, that is needed for each record. Aviation records can be housed by numerous agencies, so you can (and probably should) make requests through various entities like the FAA, USFS, NPS to get what you need.

Specificity is your friend. If you don’t ask specifically for a given record, the stock response is often that no responsive records are available.

In this scenario call logs and call recordings are separate records, for example, so even though it may seem redundant or ridiculous, you’ll need to clearly spell out EXACTLY what you want.

I’d specify dates and times of what you want. Specify what audio you want (911 and recorded phone calls are not the same records as radio recordings) and frequencies of radio traffic, in both actual frequency and commonly used channel name, if at all possible.

Specify how you want to receive the records (physical or electronic copies) and the format preference (you’ll want PDFs and MP3s, for example)

Many of these requests are routed through standard bureaucratic red tape by people that may have no knowledge of terminology specific to public safety operations, so keep it worded simply and very specifically.

If you get denied, there’s generally a clear appeal process. Be prepared to pay ‘reasonable’ fees for production of what you’re looking for. Request a fee waiver.

There are hoops, for sure, so bring yer jumpin’ shoes, but it’s not a difficult process.

Which is not to say it’s not an aggravating process, and while it’s often smooth there are no guarantees that it will be.


Thanks for that.

1 Like

aircraft weren’t denied tankers were denied, but requested. By the time AA seen it SNF and YNP had already dispatched it and YNP 551 was already working the incident (by no means is that meant to accuse you of anything or go at you, its just a little more info)

1 Like