Consolidating dispatch centers
But more recent advances in modern communications have made everything from backroom centralizations to full on regional consolidations possible.“Twenty years ago, we didn’t have the technology to do that,” Messinger said. The centralization model saves money and preserves the calltaking positions at each local Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).” With the ongoing technology potential of initiatives such as Next Generation 9-1-1, those in the industry are seeing that, “For better or for worse the consolidation doors have been opened, and opened wide,” Messinger said. alone, a staggering 240 million 9-1-1 calls are received by PSAPs annually, and this volume continues to increase, according to the National Emergency Number Association (NENA).centers to cover multiple jurisdictions, counties, and regions. The FCC formed the CSRIC group to advise it on issues related to the dispatch center consolidation process.“(Consolidation) has been a clear trend over the last 20 years. The result has been greater economies of scale, more efficient use of resources, and improved interoperability,” stated the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) Working Group 1A in its October 2010 final report to the U. But that doesn’t mean that everyone is onboard with the idea.A small municipality may be able to slash a full-time director position and one or two assistant directors by integrating with another comm. “With so many agencies being tri-centers (that take medical, fire, and police calls) they typically can cover more calls with less funding,” he said.
Staff at a remote consolidated center may be less familiar with the unique geography of rural areas that local dispatchers could easily navigate for first responders.Messinger said consolidated centers are also characteristically answerable to a board of representatives comprised of participating agencies and jurisdictions that results in a heightened level of oversight and accountability.On the flip side, there are also real and/or perceived disadvantages to consolidation.you set up a Google Alert for the terms “9-1-1” or “9-1-1 dispatch,” you’ll get a daily volley of Internet links to, in large part, the most recent news reports related to the emergency dispatch industry.Of those, a weighty portion of them will be news coverage surrounding the seemingly omnipresent industry issue of 9-1-1 operations consolidation.