A followup article on the Lemont FIre Protection’s decision to go forward with outsourcing emergency dispatch services:

Lemont’s emergency fire and medical dispatchers last week received notice that their services might be contracted out to an outside provider. The district’s board of trustees Thursday decided to move forward with outsourcing. Lemont’s emergency fire and medical calls will soon be routed through [the] Orland Central call center, as the Fire Protection District Board of Trustees Thursday unanimously approved outsourcing the services.

The positions of the district’s 9 dispatchers—3 full-time and 6 part-time—will be eliminated when the change goes into effect, tentatively by April 1.
“We didn’t take this lightly,” said Fire Chief George Rimbo during the meeting. “We truly believe we’re giving you the recommendation that’s going to set us on the path of the right thing to do.”

The shift is to compensate for funds lacking in the district, following a court decision dictating that the fire district could no longer monitor fire alarms in businesses. Funds allocated for that service previously covered the cost of keeping dispatch in-house, Rimbo said.  Without the funds, it’s not feasible for the district to cover the cost of dispatch operating from within the district, Rimbo said.

At a cost of roughly $116 per call with in-house services, contracting the work through Orland Central could reduce the cost to $39 per call—an estimated annual savings of roughly $235,000, said Rimbo.

Current dispatchers route vehicles based on proximity to one of the district’s four fire stations. Advanced real-time tracking technology used by Orland Central locates ambulances and fire trucks, and reroutes the nearest vehicle to an emergency, Rimbo said.  High-end technology—such as a $1 million computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system—offered by Orland Central is a significant improvement over Lemont’s current $60,000 hardware, Rimbo said.

Orland Central is one of two fire/EMS/rescue dispatch centers in the state, and serves as back-up to the primary statewide MABAS Communication System operated out of Red Center in Northbrook. In 2012, the center’s 11 full-time and 8 part-time staff fielded 19,000 calls across the Orland Fire Protection District and the two additional contracted communities of Oak Forest and Calumet City.  Lemont dispatchers field approximately 3,000 calls per year.

thanks Dan

Our previous post is HERE.