Wheeling to consolidate 911 services with one dispatch center starting in 2025

squad_22

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1/17/2023 5:00 AM

Starting in January 2025, emergency calls for Wheeling's fire and police departments will be handled by the Northwest Central Dispatch System in Arlington Heights.
Calls for emergency police and fire department assistance in Wheeling will be routed through the same suburban dispatch center starting in 2025.
The village board on Monday voted to stop using the Northbrook-based Regional Emergency Dispatch Center for fire department-related calls effective Dec. 31, 2024. It will join the Northwest Central Dispatch System, an Arlington Heights-based organization.
The Wheeling Police Department has its own dispatch center. Starting in 2025, Northwest Central Dispatch will handle Wheeling's police 911 calls, too.
Some are the 19 people who work in the police dispatch center are set to retire before the 2025 changeover, Village Manager Jon Sfondilis said. Two will remain village employees and staff the front desk at the police station. The others will be tested and given priority consideration if Northwest Central expands its staff once Wheeling joins, he said. The Regional Emergency Dispatch Center provided dispatch services for Wheeling from 1995 to 2002 and then again since 2007. Its members include more than a dozen fire departments in the North and Northwest suburbs, including those serving Deerfield, Des Plaines, Long Grove and Prospect Heights.
Northwest Central Dispatch serves 12 member communities -- including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Rolling Meadows and Schaumburg -- and two independent fire protection districts. It handles about 400,000 calls annually, according to its website.
Northwest Central also dispatches calls for the fire-related Mutual Aid Box Alarm System and two police-related crisis teams: the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System and the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System.
"It makes all the sense in the world to join our neighboring communities and provide the top-level service that only joint consolidation can offer," Sfondilis said.
RED Center membership has cost Wheeling about $400,000 annually, Sfondilis said. The number has fluctuated based on call volume.
A cost estimate for Northwest Central membership wasn't available, but a financial savings is expected with both police and fire calls beng handled by the same agency, Sfondilis said.

In a related move, the board on Monday also renewed its annual subscription to the Northwest Central's Joint Emergency Management System, an effort designed to standardize emergency response protocols and training. It will cost Wheeling about $26,713 this year.
Both measures were approved without discussion as part of the board's consent agenda for routine matters.
 

N9JIG

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For now, not much.

After the switch in 2025 you will need a digital Phase 2 scanner to hear the FD since they will switch to StarCom21 for fire. Police is already on SC21, the only difference is that they will switch talkgroups and operate on the NWCD/N. Cook site instead of the County site. They are already encrypted for police and would remain so at NWCD.
 

raymondjtoth

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ok i see under chicago il rich that in rr data base that Northwest Central Dispatch Fire Dispatch: North (STARCOM21 back-up) is fm as of now with star com as backup is this true?
 

N9JIG

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Actually the other way around. NWCD Fire is StarCom21, but if that fails they can revert to VHF FM.
 

N9JIG

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how did Wheeling get around the consolidation of 911 dispatch law?
It only applies to communities less than 25,000 people with an ETSB. If you have no ETSB (i.e: 9-1-1 Surcharge) or are more than 25,000 people you do not need to consolidate.
 

Chicago2210

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It only applies to communities less than 25,000 people with an ETSB. If you have no ETSB (i.e: 9-1-1 Surcharge) or are more than 25,000 people you do not need to consolidate.
I noticed yesterday some digital buzz on the north repeater for RED center. Wil check later to see if it's still there. Also when did NWCD start dispatching fire I'm phase II? Thanks.
 

N9JIG

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I noticed yesterday some digital buzz on the north repeater for RED center. Wil check later to see if it's still there. Also when did NWCD start dispatching fire I'm phase II? Thanks.
NWCD has been dispatching fire on the TRS as long as they have been on StarCom21. Before that they were on a Motorola P16 system, police were digital and fire was analog.

As for Phase 2, NWCD has been Phase 2 for several years for both police and fire.
 

p25man123

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Rumor to be heard, but North Maine is planning on joining DU-COMM or ACDC. This hasn't been confirmed yet as this came in from a close source of mines.

There is a possibility of RED Center will shut down being entirely breaking up all members into different areas. If it does happen, there will be a chance of Park Ridge switching to NORCOMM. Long Grove and Deerfield to Vernon Hills Dispatch. Prospect Heights to Northwest Central (IF they allow it.). I don't know where the rest will be but Niles, Northbrook, Northfield, Morton Grove, Winnetka, and Wilmette could go Glenview unless Morton Grove switches over to Skokie Dispatch.

I don't believe Glenview would be capable of managing 12 Fire Agencies since they are small and cannot afford a lot to expand their coverage. To me, it sounds impossible.
 

Awesomeman92

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As for Phase 2, NWCD has been Phase 2 for several years for both police and fire.
Yes and no. When site 149 first came online and 115 (the original Cook North) was separate, 100% of traffic on 149 - which was all NWCDS - was Phase 2. After NWCDS switched full time onto 149 and shut off their 3 other trunked systems there were a lot of complaints about audio quality (particularly among those agencies that came from analog trunking) and they tested a few different things to improve it, including not using encryption and switching back to Phase 1. They ended up switching the 5 PD dispatch and 3 FD dispatch talkgroups back to Phase 1 and it quelled the angry mob at the time. All the fireground, tac, public works, etc. groups have always been Phase 2 with extremely rare exceptions. The dispatch talkgroups switch back and forth still (and have for a few years now) but lately they've been Phase 2 more often than Phase 1.

It's about time for new radios for NWCDS, they're beginning that process now. That coupled with how many neighboring agencies (who are essentially always why NWCDS talkgroups switch to Phase 1 now) are switching to Phase 2 I'd guess Phase 1 with NWCDS will be a memory in a few years.
 

squad_22

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This is from the Sept 2022 minutes

OLD BUSINESS Portable Radio Subcommittee – Update John reminded the Executive Committee that there are a few remaining NWCDS member police and fire departments who need to submit their portable radio surveys to NWCDS. Once that information is compiled, another subcommittee meeting will be scheduled. So far, the subcommittee is in agreement with the following items: 1. An RFP will be created in late 2023. Consideration will be given to trading in old portable radios. 2. The RFP will be released in the summer of 2024. 3. The contract will be awarded and approved by the NWCDS/NWC911 Joint Board in September of 2024. 4. The RFP will be for both portable and mobile radios. NWCDS will budget for and purchase the portable radios. Each NWCDS member police and fire department will be provided new portables to match or exceed their current number of portables and will have the opportunity to 8 purchase its own mobile radios from the RFP.
 

FFPM571

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The APX7000's and 7500 mobiles are EOL and will no longer be supported soon.. They will have to do something.
 

Andy2712

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Yes and no. When site 149 first came online and 115 (the original Cook North) was separate, 100% of traffic on 149 - which was all NWCDS - was Phase 2. After NWCDS switched full time onto 149 and shut off their 3 other trunked systems there were a lot of complaints about audio quality (particularly among those agencies that came from analog trunking) and they tested a few different things to improve it, including not using encryption and switching back to Phase 1. They ended up switching the 5 PD dispatch and 3 FD dispatch talkgroups back to Phase 1 and it quelled the angry mob at the time. All the fireground, tac, public works, etc. groups have always been Phase 2 with extremely rare exceptions. The dispatch talkgroups switch back and forth still (and have for a few years now) but lately they've been Phase 2 more often than Phase 1.

It's about time for new radios for NWCDS, they're beginning that process now. That coupled with how many neighboring agencies (who are essentially always why NWCDS talkgroups switch to Phase 1 now) are switching to Phase 2 I'd guess Phase 1 with NWCDS will be a memory in a few years.
In the last 6 months or so (I forget when exactly) because of the agreement with Motorola/Starcom 21 all the talk groups had to go back to Phase 2 full time. No phase 1 radios will now be able to affiliate with NWCD talk groups.
 

N9JIG

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Rumor to be heard, but North Maine is planning on joining DU-COMM or ACDC. This hasn't been confirmed yet as this came in from a close source of mines.
I find this to be very unlikely. North Maine is heavily dependent on RED Center partners for auto-aid. They also are not a municipality of their own and do not have their own ETSB as their coverage area is unincorporated Cook County. They would not be able to join the DuPage ETSB without cooperation of the Cook County ETSB and then have figure out how to split the surcharge revenue. Add in the fact that they are well displaced from DuPage and there is no upside for any of the parties involved to move to a DuPage County based dispatch center. If they moved away from RED Center then Glenview or NWCD are the best options, with NorComm or West Suburban as remote possibilities. The only way I can see them going to DuComm is if Des Plaines does as well but the ETSB situation might be too convoluted to make even that work. I doubt Des Plaines would go to bat for them unless the FPD contracted with Des Plaines to replace North Maine as the fire service provider, like Glenbrook did some 20 years or so ago. (Glenview Rural FPD contracted with Glenview FD to provide fire/EMS service to replace their own personnel.)

There is a possibility of RED Center will shut down being entirely breaking up all members into different areas.
Is there a source for this or is it just speculation? RED has been investing heavily in infrastructure, personnel and operations and it is highly unlikely that there is any discussion of shutting down. Most of the agencies served are happy with the service and operations and I have never heard of any plans or rumors before of any type of breakup or shutdown, other than Wheeling and Des Plaines moving.
 

Awesomeman92

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In the last 6 months or so (I forget when exactly) because of the agreement with Motorola/Starcom 21 all the talk groups had to go back to Phase 2 full time. No phase 1 radios will now be able to affiliate with NWCD talk groups.
Not sure if you're referring to the SC21 airtime agreement, but this isn't accurate. FD3 is Phase 1 as I type this. Either way, it is OT for this thread so I'll let it be there.
 

p25man123

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A document was posted today from a recent Executive Committee Special Meeting from the 4th. Resulted with DU-COMM respectfully declining membership to Des Plaines. Reasons are due to DU-COMM has suffered poor staffing within their operations and policies that have to be enforced. If they were to be accepted and be in operation, PD would be dispatched on 7 South (Assigned to Downers Grove Police currently) and Fire West (With Bartlett and Hanover Park).

Link for the meeting details: https://www.ducomm.org/downloads/executivecommittee_1262023121725pm.pdf
 
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