Townships in Mahoning County Ohio scrambling to find dispatching service

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jmsanders83

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For more than half dozen townships and villages in western Mahoning County, the news last week that "Med Corp Ambulance" in Ellsworth Township was leaving the area took local officials completely by surprise.

"Med Corp" now provides dispatching for most of the fire departments in the western half of the county. Harold Maynard is both a Milton Township Trustee, and the assistant fire chief there. He says local departments turned to Mahoning County's 911 system as their best option.

But after meeting with the County's Administrator and Prosecutor last night, the fire chiefs were told the county can't afford to take on the added dispatching load at this time.

One roadblock: the potential price tag. The county administrator says adding dispatchers to handle the extra call volume could cost about a quarter million dollars. Officials instead say they're trying to obtain services, at least temporarily, from neighboring communities that already dispatch their own departments. Prosecutor Paul Gains says "the fact of the matter is the county is concerned," adding officials are working "to do everything in their power."

But Maynard and others aren't so sure, saying county officials left them feeling "they have bigger fish to fry."

A meeting is planned this Wednesday evening between trustees, fire chiefs, commissioners and others to try and find that temporary solution. Prosecutor Gains tells us his main goal is to ensure service continues for those effected communities.

Meantime,trustee Maynard and several of the fire chiefs we spoke with today say they're hoping this situation serves as a wake-up call of sorts to take steps toward a unified dispatching service for the entire county.

Source:

http://www.wkbn.com/news/local/24529839.html
 
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DaveNF2G

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This is why establishing a nationwide first responder network with a commercial operator in the driver's seat is such a bad idea.
 

SLWilson

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Agree !

This is why establishing a nationwide first responder network with a commercial operator in the driver's seat is such a bad idea.
I agree 100% with that thought. I wonder how much time they've given the FD's to find other dispatching means?

Med Corp seems to moved their company almost entirely to the MARCS system. We hear them dispatching transport squads (non emergency) here in Gallia County to scenes in the Cleveland area....

Steve/KB8FAR :(
 

riccom

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Wow, how sad, i think a way to fix that is have a dispatch, that is fire fighter dispatched for each department, the smaller areas(from whats i remember ) in klamath county oregon, had a single fire fighter that answerd the phone used a portable and dispatched them out with a dtmf to activate a repeater and it would tone them out.
 

chrismol1

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Wow, how sad, i think a way to fix that is have a dispatch, that is fire fighter dispatched for each department, the smaller areas(from whats i remember ) in klamath county oregon, had a single fire fighter that answerd the phone used a portable and dispatched them out with a dtmf to activate a repeater and it would tone them out.

need a 24 hr call center, maybe in a small town but not a county
 

N4DES

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They can send it overseas. I'm sure someone in India would do it cheap.
 

hoser147

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Sounds to me that at some point someone sold out to Medcorp, its common in my area of the state for the SO to have the dispatch 911 center and do all the dispatch for all the smaller villages and the cities do their own either the FD or the PD dispatcher. When it comes down to it, these private companies are coming in and trying to take over EMS and its hurting the communities that have provided these services thru either a FD based EMS or a Volunteer EMS service. I hear these private EMS services take Nursing home patients that are a BLS run and start IVs and other things to bump up the billing to Medicare/Medicaid services when it wouldn't even be necessary. Sure its expensive to run an EMS service for local government, due to slow or no pay by people using the service, but you are often getting a Paramedic response and treatment by Professionals. With alot of these private companies your getting some part time( which is 90% of their employees) with a certification that is enuff to be able to put them in the rig, with out things as a good background check and a high turnover of employees, responding to an emergency. Same with the dispatcher for these outfits, Im sure its just a body that can talk on the radio and phone, instead of a professional dispatcher. I see these private companies moving into rural area's and promising the world that they can handle the calls and they can station 2 or 3 squads in a town, but once they are there, 2 or the 3 squads and personnel maybe across the state on a transport while no one is covering the home area as promised and agreed to. The private companies are going after Nursing home contracts and doing the same thing, instead of your loved ones being served by a squad that is minutes away, they often have to wait for a private squad that may be running hot for 20 minutes to get there. Why do the commissioners think that it would cost Quarter million to put an extra dispatcher on in a mostly rural area?............Hoser
 
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n8emr

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Leave it to the county to not pay them enough to actually keep the service alive, and then act shocked when it collapses. Idiots.
Why wants there are contract clause that provided for 30-60 days notification of termination of services.
As for pay, if they negotiated a contract they shouldnt have signed it if it wasnt enough money.
 

n8emr

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In our you call the non-911 line for the police and it rings at the police stations and on the nextel phones of the on duty officers. I called one day and didnt even get the phone back on the handset before I saw the car pull into the drive.
 
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Huh? What is the differrence?

So what is the differrence between this and regionalization. Muncipalities used to have their own departments. Now with costs going sky high they are looking to REGIONALIZE. Think about it. You once had your own FD and Rescue Squad and now it has to come from the next town or two towns over!
 
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DaveNF2G

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You once had your own FD and Rescue Squad and now it has to come from the next town or two towns over!
That is a spurious anti-consolidation argument that gets trotted out all the time in order to scare the ignorant public.

What is "lost" in consolidation is redundant levels of command. The true reason for resistance to consolidating public services is that there will no longer be as many people in charge. Nobody wants to lose their perks or power.
 

rcfarm

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This is the reason that you do NOT want to consolidate. As one of the agencies that may dispatch for one of these departments when you consolidate you lose all of your personal service to the people that are paying the taxes. A local dispatch can tell you that you're going to the blue house next to the old factory where as a regionalized system doesn't have a clue.
 

HM1529

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This is the reason that you do NOT want to consolidate. As one of the agencies that may dispatch for one of these departments when you consolidate you lose all of your personal service to the people that are paying the taxes. A local dispatch can tell you that you're going to the blue house next to the old factory where as a regionalized system doesn't have a clue.

In my area, all fire and ems call taking and dispatching is handled by the county 911 center.
Since everything is addressed with street numbers, we don't really run in to the "turn left 1/4 mile past farmers Bob's silo" type issues.

Police dispatching is handled mostly by the county with some holdout municipalities operating their own dispatch centers. I can tell you for a fact, that plenty of the dispatchers working in the local dispatch offices don't live in the local municipality where they work. How is that any better than having all the police dispatchers in the county sitting in the same room? At least if you have six other people sitting next to you, there's a good chance one or more of them will know something about where a call is taking place (if you don't).

Local dispatching is duplicative and wastes a lot of money. Living in a commonwealth, I see waste at the local level all the time with the endless duplication of police, public works, and administrative functions. As was already mentioned in a previous post, this is directly related to people in power not wanting to lose their kingdom. I have no idea why a little square mile borough surrounded by a much bigger 20 square mile township must have all the exact same services as their neighbor. If there was some sharing of services, it would benefit both parties.
 
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DaveNF2G

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Consolidation always runs through just about the same sequence of events.

Consolidation is proposed, local tin gods object and hold things up for a long time by scaring the public, money gets too tight to maintain fiefdoms, consolidation occurs, eventually everybody (except the "losers") is satisfied.

Consolidation will happen when the economic situation trumps the political arguments.
 

richardc63

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This is the reason that you do NOT want to consolidate. As one of the agencies that may dispatch for one of these departments when you consolidate you lose all of your personal service to the people that are paying the taxes. A local dispatch can tell you that you're going to the blue house next to the old factory where as a regionalized system doesn't have a clue.
I'm sorry but I'm starting to picture you looking at the outside world as the Big Bad Wolf & you & your fellow Mayberryites as Little Red Riding Hood...

That isn't reality!

"Consolidation" needs to be approached on a more rational basis. Why should a small community have to pay for a group of civic minded guys (and girls) to sit by a phone or a radio 24hrs a day for, maybe, 1-2 calls a month? Give these people their lives back- take the dispatch away & give it to a group (and I do not support a profit based dispatcher...) for which that is their reason for existence. Let well trained, well resourced dispatchers do their job, and let your local firefighters, rescue etc do what they enjoy doing- and that shouldn't mean sitting by a silent pager or radio for endless hours.

I'll also give you a first hand example of the "Mayberry Complex". Some years ago I was commissioning a state wide radio system and I had to cut-over a small town, population around 1500-2000, with a fire station that had virtually operated independent to the rest of the world for decades. I arranged to meet them at the station (or fire house in US speak!)- no one showed. I then rang their home/work/mobiles- not one in town! I was then given permission by dispatch to set off their turn-out system- no one showed up! Now if I was a local property owner I would be VERY concerned. Now these firefighters don't believe there is a problem... just leave us alone... and they wonder why "consolidation" is taking place?

The "blue house" argument... Do you really think in a city the size of Sydney (which is where I am), population 4Million and rising fast, that ANY despatcher will ever know the location of every "blue house"? Of course they don't- that is the local fire station's role. By introducing central dispatch you haven't lobotomised the firies- they still carry their local knowledge & they still use it. CAD, mobile data, trunking, and any other form of technology exists to complement this knowledge, and not to make it redundant.

I'm also curious about what guaranteed response times some of these small communities receive. Ours have a guaranteed 8 minute response from time of call to arrival on scene... and they very rarely fail to meet that. I wonder how many US towns have a guaranteed response time? And centralised dispatch has brought down response times over here...

No offence meant re Mayberry... I loved Andy Griffith... but this is 2008 & not the early 1960s.

Cheers,


Richard
 
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