Regional Emergency Dispatch (RED) Center

Emergency dispatching of the Wheeling Fire Department is provided by a joint FIRE/ EMS Dispatch Center in Northbrook, Illinois known as the "Regional Emergency Dispatch (RED) Center.  RED Center was started in the 1970's and has continued to be a recognized leader in cutting-edge emergency dispatch capablities.

Service Volume & Area

RED Center handles approximately 53,000 emergency calls per year and is responsible for a geographical area of approximately 125 square miles and more than 500,000 residents. RED Center provides dispatching services for several cities, villages, and fire districts.  In addition to serving member agencies, RED Center also serves as the regional dispatch center for the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) Division 3 during major or large scale emergency incidents, as well as the main communication center in the State of Illinois for state-wide disasters.. 
A dispatcher works at a desk and views information on a computer
RED Dispatch Room 2


  • Des Plaines
  • Park Ridge

Fire Protection Districts:

  • Deerfield-Bannockburn
  • Lincolnshire-Riverwoods
  • Long Grove
  • North Maine
  • Prospect Heights


  • Morton Grove
  • Niles
  • Northbrook
  • Northfield
  • Wheeling
  • Wilmette
  • Winnetka
RED logo

Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD):

The Dispatch Center is certified by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to provide Emergency Medical Dispatch (E.M.D.), a system of providing pre-fire department arrival life-saving emergency medical instructions to citizens over the telephone.

911 Transfer Process:

911 calls (land lines and wireless) are received by the Wheeling Police Department Communications Center. In the event that the emergency call is for Fire Department service (ex. fire, emergency medical, crash, explosion, etc.), the emergency call is immediately transferred to the Regional Emergency Dispatch (RED) Center. Approximately 80% of all emergency calls are received from wireless 911. This transfer time between dispatch centers for transferring 911 calls takes approximately 4 seconds.  Once the transfer is complete, dispatchers from both RED Center and the Wheeling Police Communications Center can simultaneously speak to the caller.