Posts Tagged State mandated consolidation of 911 dispatch centers

East Peoria Fire Department news

Excerpts from

The East Peoria public safety communications and dispatch center dispatched its final call on May 20. Since then, all 911 calls that originate in East Peoria have been handled by the dispatch center in Morton. The switch-over was the culmination of a 2015 state mandate that all Illinois counties with a population of less than 250,000 that have a single Emergency Telephone System Board and more than two dispatch centers to reduce that number by half. Tazewell County met all the criteria and that meant that four county dispatch centers would be reduced to two. East Peoria and Washington would close and move all dispatch operations for those two cities, and every smaller law enforcement department and fire protection department and district in the jurisdiction to the beefed-up center in Morton.

The space in the front of East Peoria’s Public Safety building that was occupied 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year by the 12-person, three-shift staff of dispatchers, is now home to two records clerks who work regular business hours only on weekdays. They can answer walk-up questions if they are around, but it’s not their job to be the public’s link to law enforcement.

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State mandated consolidation of 911 dispatch centers

Excerpts from the

The consolidation of 911 emergency dispatch services in Lake County continues following passage of a state law requiring it in 2015, but a separate effort involving a Lake County 911 Emergency Dispatch Task Force is also moving forward.

The task force met to go over a study they commissioned which shows the current status of dispatch services in the county and possible cost savings from consolidation.

Titled the “Complexity of Current Environment” in the report summary, the study found that there are 52 municipalities, 41 law enforcement agencies, 30 fire/EMS agencies, 21 Emergency Telephone System Boards (ETSBs) and 20 communication centers or dispatching centers in Lake County.

The state law, Public Act 99-0006, required any municipality or city with a ETSB board and no dispatch center to consolidate with another system that had a dispatch center. The law did allow governments with more than 25,000 residents to keep their ETSB if they had a dispatch center. Those larger than 25,000 in population but without a dispatch center also had to consolidate.

David Dato, a retired Wauconda fire chief, is chairman of the county task force that is looking to consolidate as many 911 emergency dispatch centers as possible. The study showed how presently there are 20 such facilities with 233.5 full time equivalent (FTE) employees, but if there were nine centers, they would only need 228 FTEs and save about $400,000. If they fully consolidated into just two facilities with 192 FTEs, there could be savings of $2.3 million, he said.

“That’s in the first year,” Dato said. “But the biggest thing is that we have a lot of 911 call transfers (among departments). A person calls and they get center A, they need police or fire at their location and they could be transferred to center B or center C.” 

Meanwhile, because of the state law, entities like Zion and Winthrop Harbor are considering consolidation.

With the county’s ETSB serving 17 communities and approximately 220,984 residents, local officials took the lead to form the task force.  McHenry County has just one ETSB, and Will County, which is very similar to Lake County, also has just one, and six of its dispatch centers were consolidated into three.

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Zion Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Gurnee has signed off on a five-year deal to provide emergency dispatching services to Zion, a move expected to be financially beneficial to both towns.

Dispatching consolidation has been occurring in several suburbs because of a 2015 state law dictating that a 911 operation cannot serve fewer than 25,000 residents. Compliance must occur by July 1.

Zion will pay Gurnee a prorated share of a first-year base fee of $875,000 starting July 1 for dispatching the city’s fire and police calls through April 30, 2018. The contact will run from May 1 through April 30 in each of the final four years and require payments to increase annually by 3.5 percent or the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less.

In addition, Zion must place roughly $160,000 it receives annually from taxpayers for emergency dispatching into a fund controlled by a new joint 911 board with Gurnee.

Zion officials said they expect six or seven of the city’s dispatchers will be hired by Gurnee.

Gurnee representatives presented their offer to the Zion 911 board in April. Officials said the village’s dispatching operation is ready to grow and take on more clients such as Zion, which acknowledged a poor financial situation and an inability to upgrade 911 operations.

Elsewhere in Lake County, Lake Zurich in April added Wauconda’s police and fire emergency calls to a 911 client roster that already had Hawthorn Woods, Island Lake, Kildeer and Tower Lakes on it.

thanks Ron

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