An article in The Doings Hinsdale talks about the need for a change in emergency dispatch centers for Hinsdale.
Hinsdale officials are seeking less expensive and what they say will be more reliable service for emergency calls to 911.
The village board approved withdrawing from its emergency dispatch center as of the end of April. The village switched from doing its own dispatch for its police and fire departments to joining Southwest Central Dispatch in 2010. The regional dispatch center charged Hinsdale less than two-thirds what it cost the village to operate a dispatch system in-house.
But [as] that cost could go up, combined with the fact that the village is no longer a satisfied customer, officials are looking elsewhere for its dispatch services. Southwest Central does not receive the same fees from Hinsdale as it does from its Cook County members.
Hinsdale residents see a 50-cent fee for a landline and a 73-cent fee for wireless service on their monthly phone bills. That money goes to DuPage County’s Emergency Telephone System Board. Cook County towns that are members of Southwest Central Dispatch forward the surcharge fee to Southwest. But DuPage County’s ETSB has refused to forward Hinsdale’s surcharge fees to Southwest.
To compensate Southwest in part, Hinsdale pays nearly $34,000 a year for its residents with landlines, Police Chief Bradley Bloom said. That is in addition to the $23,000 monthly subscriber fee Hinsdale pays. But Hinsdale officials fear Southwest will soon try to collect a surcharge from the village for its wireless customers. That could amount to as much as $150,000 a year, village officials said.
… Southwest, which is located in Palos Heights, also is planning to build a new facility. If Hinsdale does not withdraw from Southwest this year, it would be obligated to pay a share of the long-term debt Southwest could incur to pay for a new center.
Hinsdale officials have concerns about the reliability of Southwest’s equipment and backup of its emergency systems, according to a memo to the Village Board from Bloom, the fire chief, the village manager and the finance director.
The village is considering switching to DuPage Public Safety Communications. The agency, known as DuComm, has a “more robust system and more up-to-date technology,” Bloom said. Plus, village residents are already paying for those and other DuComm programs through the 911 surcharge on their phone bills, Bloom said.