I noticed on the city web site that the Westbrook Dispatch Center also dispatches for Falmouth and Yarmouth. How is the accomplished ? Is there some sort of radio link between Westbrook and the out lying towns?
I'm not sure how they specifically do it but I know some departments (depending on the equipment and budget) will use an IP based dispatch console, others will use an actual radio with a desk microphone or just a console wired to a radio somewhere in the center with an antenna leading outside.
You might ask to get a tour and see the setup, I got a tour of one cities setup and they were more than willing to show me and were actually excited somebody had an interest in it. Others, not so much. Hopefully someone can come up with a definite answer for you.
Yep, RF links, wireline (phone company) links, or IP links. All are options.
RF links can be via microwave link, an out of band RF link, just simply having a base radio to connect to the system.
Wireline links are simply a pair or two of wires, often leased from the telephone company, that link the dispatch center to the repeater. They can also multiplex multiple wireline links on to a T-1 circuit.
IP links are just that, internet protocol links between the dispatch center and the radio system. May be a private link or via a local IP carrier.
Westbrook uses Zetron MAX consoles tied to multiple radio systems. Some are wireline, some are RF link and I believe at least one is microwave linked.
With any dispatch system, you can run multiple systems through various means. Many systems use direct wireline or tone remote control links to local radios, whereas others use tone control, DC control, RF link, microwave link and VOIP control to control remote radios. As a backup, many centers have actual radios set up and available to talk directly to the system users as opposed to remote access.
I'm not in Maine, but a fire department that I'm a member of is dispatched by the dispatch of another county. It's done via an IP link tied into our repeater system. Works well and is totally transparent to us.