Daytona Beach News Journal
Dispatch center readies for Oct. 1 startup
By JOHN WISNIEWSKI (firstname.lastname@example.org)
PORT ORANGE -- A new three-city joint emergency dispatch system is set to begin operations Oct. 1., handling the emergency calls for Port Orange, New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater.
Emergency dispatch of police and fire/rescue units in the three cities will come from the new Regional Public Safety Communications Center housed at the Port Orange Police Department.
Firefighter/EMT Jeff Lariscy of the Edgewater Fire Department said emergency staff members are looking forward to the three-city effort. He is one of 23 Port Orange, New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater dispatchers about to become "telecommunicators" for the CIA, the Communications Interlocal Agency, formed by the three cities.
They are putting in 16-hour days -- eight hours as dispatchers in the their cities and eight hours in training -- preparing for the transition.
Only six of 29 existing dispatchers declined offers to give up their city employment in order to accept employment by the agency, director Bill Cade said.
"What we did in making the offers was to work hard to provide salary and benefits in line with the best being offered among the three cities," he said. If a need is shown once the system begins operating, the initial staff of 23 will be expanded.
The CIA, with the mayors of the three cities serving as its board of directors, was formed earlier this year with a $1 million startup budget being shared based on population and call average.
The group's mission statement in April noted the effort "did not begin as a cost saving or employee reduction program," but to instead provide "the best possible service through sharing resources, expenses, personnel and technology."
About $975,000 has been spent to date, according to John Shelley, Port Orange finance director. Cade said that puts the project "at or under budget."
Cade said the system would be fully tested a week ahead of Oct. 1, as the center begins handling calls for the Port Orange Police and Fire departments from the center.
"Come Oct. 1, sufficient personnel and equipment will be available in the current dispatch centers in the three cities, just in case," he said.
Cade was chosen by the agency to oversee the joint dispatch system based on his experience directing a 20-department system in southwest Missouri.
He said the new system could be expanded to accommodate more cities.
"We're positioning ourselves to be a truly regional dispatch system," he said.
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09-24-2002, 08:34 AM #1
Florida--3 Cities combine Emergency Dispatch Center09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
"Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.
09-24-2002, 08:06 PM #2
I think that it is a really good idea that they are combining some of the services together. It shows their willingness to work together. Also, if all the services are together, it will allow them to work as a team.Firefighters are beneficial to every community with the wealth of information they have!
They don't get enough praise, for the information and skills they know! It could save your life one day!!!!!
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