Anne Arundel Commission on Excellence-Police & Fire

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ThePhotoGuy

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Anne Arundel County conducted an 8 month study called the Commission on Excellence on all departments in the county. The results were released yesterday.

One of the interesting recommendations is to combine both fire and police dispatch and communications centers into one joint communications center.

Thoughts?

I actually think it would be a good idea to combine the fire and police dispatch centers into a joint communications center. I have toured the fire dispatch center and it is very small and I am not sure how big the police communications center is, so they might have to build a whole new center if they actually decide to combine them. This would be probably years into the future and also depends on the election next year.
 

troymail

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In some places, they actually merged the entire departments (police and fire) under one organization and leadership....

As far as 911 calls and CAD systems, etc. I think I've been told that the Fire Department is considered a "second class citizen" and the police department makes the decisions - fire just get what the police buy.

Maybe this could improve the chances the fire department would actually get a CAD system that works and does what they need....
 

emtLarmy15

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Anne Arundel Commission on Excellence-Police & Fire

It has pluses and minus' (have no idea which was correct ES or ')... When combining them, while I believe everyone should be crossed trained to do each, I believe having "police" dispatchers and "fire" dispatchers is the best way to do that. A master of one as opposed to a jack of all...


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ThePhotoGuy

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As far as 911 calls and CAD systems, etc. I think I've been told that the Fire Department is considered a "second class citizen" and the police department makes the decisions - fire just get what the police buy.

Maybe this could improve the chances the fire department would actually get a CAD system that works and does what they need....
Agree. The report actually states that in so many words "Organizationally, the Fire Department was found to be top heavy, disconnected from the rest of county government, and averse to data-driven decision making."

The report also stated concerning police "Work with the Office of Information Technology on crafting a comprehensive IT Plan for the department.""

With the CAD situation, they really need to bring every department (Police, Sheriff, Fire, etc.) to the table and find something that will benefit all departments.



It has pluses and minus' (have no idea which was correct ES or ')... When combining them, while I believe everyone should be crossed trained to do each, I believe having "police" dispatchers and "fire" dispatchers is the best way to do that. A master of one as opposed to a jack of all...


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Agree. I think it would be easier to have everyone in the same room/area instead of having to pick up the hotline every time either department needs time sensitive information concerning a call.
 

ThePhotoGuy

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Since we are talking about communications centers, does anyone know if Annapolis City pays the county to handle and dispatch their fire calls? Annapolis PD has their own dispatch center at their headquarters.
 

dpcain

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This combined dispatching center is how OC operates on the eastern shore, and it works beautifully. Both sides are also on Sungard OSSI's CAD software, which works beautifully for both and allows cross-sending of messages, calls, and other data as necessary between fire and PD. I think combinations like that are definitely the cost effective and efficient way to go... if done right.
 

ResQguy

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At the very least, it would be nice if AAFD and AAPD were in the same building. Fire alarm shouldn't have to make a phone call to radio to find out where a police car is when they can look out the window at each other across the parking lot.
 

sc8

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I think maybe having both in the same building would be the way to go. A big problem I see with a total merger is that one side is going to lose out. For example if everything was merged into the police department, there would be a good chance that fire dispatch would be relegated to a corner (literally and figuratively) and the lions share of the training/in service/technology would go to the police side of the house. Vis Versa if it was merged into FD
 

dpm797

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Yes, there are pluses and minuses to having them in the same room.......however the best plan would be to have one set of call takers and separate radio operators.....keep fire personnel on fire radios. I assure you, if handed over to only the police department Fire/EMS communications would suffer significantly! FIRE/EMS would be second class citizens more so than they are today.
 

dpcain

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The way to do that is to 'pop out' your comm center people and create a small separated Emergency Communications division or department. ECOM is then independent from the administrative thumb of one or other department, but is required to interface fully with both. Same case as in my last post, that's what physically makes it work.
 

sc8

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That seems like a good idea. Just if you make a separate department, be careful that there is still accountability. The county I live in currently has a separate emergency communications department, and it is pretty universally panned by field responders, as they are not accountable to anyone, because they are an independent comm center. For example, there have been police dispatchers who can't follow basic officer safety procedures, then when the agency complains, the complaints go in the round file and no corrective action is ever taken.
 
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