- Written by Administrator
- Published: 06 February 2013
The plan to move the communications center had been in the works for a year due to the need for a better working environment and improvement in efficiency with call handling. A new state of the art communications structure was built above the emergency operations center and a new radio system was installed as part of the fire station renovation project.
In July, the state mandated all calls for EMS be handled by a trained person that could give pre-arrival EMS instruction, so the placement of the communications center was a good fit, Nord said. The new communication center is staffed by two trained telecommunicators.
“Our dedicated public safety dispatchers are proficient with police, fire and EMS protocols,” Nord said. “They must take sometimes confusing information quickly, make sense of it via 911 and dispatch the proper units.”
Nord said that while the fire and police departments are often grouped together, their missions are vastly different, which presents the public safety dispatchers with a “unique set of challenges.” Nord said the fire department typically has less call volume than police departments, but require dispatching a larger number of units to respond to each incident.
“A degree of complexity occurs when off duty personnel need to be summoned or mutual aid is required involving other towns,” Nord said. “All this information needs to be tracked, managed and documented.”
During the time the service was off line, Kingston took the 911 calls and relayed information to the DECC, where it was dispatched. Fire Chief Kevin Nord said calls for emergencies and services were not interrupted or delayed during the move.
“In fact, it was by all means a seamless transfer,” Nord said. “If you had an emergency, you would not have noticed.”