I Love when people want to spend money they don't really tell everything to every one.
"The biggest issue with New Canaan's existing dispatch system is where the dispatchers are located. New Canaan's fire dispatch center is the Southwest Regional Communications Center, also known as CMED, which is on the roof of Bridgeport Hospital and is largely focused on emergency medical service calls."
Um they Dispatch The New Canaan FD, Trumbull FD & Monroe FD, Fairfield County Haz-Mat and more non EMS stuff. So much for "largely focused on emergency medical service calls"
"CMED's facility and equipment is very basic, and offers little current technology in hardware or software," CMED Has a brand new IP based console, Westports is almost 10 years old and not IP based.
"In addition to call overload, CMED does not offer computer-aided dispatch or mobile data terminal infrastructure," CMED has a state of the art CAD system that offers computer added dispatch and MDT capability, The current CAD at CMED fills in information for Fire & EMS reporting software and many of the services take advantage of that.
If you want to change just change, Don't make all kinds of crap up to get the money, Stay with the staffing issue, that's the only true part, But Westport is still only going to have 1 dispatcher over nights, So Westport gets a big fire, Guess what New Canaan, your going to get the same service you get now or less.
Some good points. (Some Very Good) Having worked at SW C-med for almost 10 years full time and now almost as much part time, I can tell you there is always more to the story that no one will hear.
The best point you make is that they are leaving because of staffing; But Westport will only have 1 dispatcher on overnight. That 1 person is going to be just as hard pressed to handle a train derailment in Westport and a house fire in New Cannan at the same time as C-med would have. After 30 years in Fire/Ems and 911 I have come to accept that when something like this happens, its 1 of 2 things, Politics or Personal, Very rarely does anyone do anything for the right reason in emergency services, LOL
Best of Luck to New Canaan on their new adventure!
It's actually more involved than that guys. The State Bureau of Telecomms wants less PSAPs in the state, to entice that, once you become a "regional" dispatch center and dispatch 911 for more than one town, you qualify for grant money from the state. I've been involved in EMS since before there were CMEDs and we used HEAR radios to call hospitals, and watched the CMEDs come to life, and this is not a knock on the people/CMED dispatchers, but for the most part, CMED centers are tertiary comm centers. A few dispatch a town or two, but when you consider the cost sharing formulas used for CMEDs services, it's very hard to keep that equitable when Town A just does 10 patches a month, City C does 3000 a month, and Town B requires all sorts of phone lines and radio bases to remotely dispatch the VFD from 30 miles away. That's the basic formula that is currently administering SCCMED it's lethal dose. The CMED radio system works fairly well still, but its old technology,and getting overwhelmed at times. The next step coming is that the new ePCR systems are being set up to 'transmit' patient patch information DIRECTLY into the ER Status boards. I'll predict that by 5 years from now, there will be no use for CMED patches.
Also, considering actual numbers, CMED is indeed "largely focused" on EMS calls. Some quick research shows that the Town of Trumbull does about 1000 fire calls, Monroe does about 900, and New Canaan logged 1059 in 2012. So, 3000 total fire calls. I cannot find the numbers, but I'd bet that SWCMED handles at least 50,000 patches for ambulances a year (probably more). From a 'statistical' perspective, they do handle "EMS calls" primarily. If you want to look at crazy numbers, Troop G PSAP handled almost 250,000 9-1-1 calls last year.. Now that's nuts.
I can remember in the early days being told by the "SWCMED" dispatcher that they were "too busy" with a fire in Norwalk, to put through my patch to Bridgeport.. So historically, that sort of thing can happen.. What happens now with the regional centers like NWCMED or LCD, is that when the sh*t hits the fan, the individual towns man their own radio desk in a fire station, like during hurricanes etc...