Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Paying for Dispatch

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Paying for Dispatch

    Curious how 911 Dispatch is handled in your area.

    Does your department pay an annual fee, a per call fee, or nothing at all for emergency dispatch. Also if your department does pay a fee are you a Volunteer or paid department?

    This question has come up in our small town. Our 911 dispatch center is located in the Sheriff's dept and they are looking to make some money.

    They want to start charging our local Volunteer Fire departments a per call fee. Most of our volunteer departments are so broke that they can barely keep fuel in the trucks, we actually have some departments where the volunteers have used their own credit cards to fuel up a truck and our County wants these departments to pay for dispatch.

  • #2
    I dont even know if that would be legal...I'm not a lawyer, but something tells me it would NOT be legal.

    A municipality, whethere it be a big city, or a small rural community, are usually legally mandated to provide emergency services of some sort. Many of course "contract" with Fire Companies, that just happen to be an incorporation seperate from the Municipality. Now the Municipality wants to charge the very contractor (that they are legally obligated to provide) money to tell them when to go to an emergency????

    I know you guys dont have any money, but you better tap the piggy bank on this one and take it to your attorney.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

    Comment


    • #3
      So what if you don't pay? They won't dispatch you?
      Career Firefighter
      Volunteer Captain

      -Professional in Either Role-

      Originally posted by Rescue101
      I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

      Comment


      • #4
        lol, someone isnt thinking straight.

        Comment


        • #5
          When our county switched to a single PSAP/dispatcher center a Communication board was established. One of the tasks was to determine how to fund the region comm center. The formula of funding is based on community valuation and a recent rehash determined that the formula was nearly the same as compared to using a per call basis. I doubt that any one entity can be forced to provide a service for which it is not duly compensated for. This is to say that the county probably can either ask for a fee to be paid or raise it's tax assessment to all county communities regardless of the service provided, a far less fair option for the others.

          Comment


          • #6
            Berks County PA charges each fire company for dispatch and then charges each phone number for 911 services.

            There are a few of us that moved from Montgomery County and were surprised to hear of the charge.
            Steve Dragon
            FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
            Volunteers are never "off duty".
            http://www.bufd7.org

            Comment


            • #7
              With regionalization being the current buzz word and consolidation of many single town dispatch centers here in Maine, We belong to a countywide regional communications center. We [ the town ] are billed an annual contract price that works out to be about $5.10 per capita for PSAP services and dispatch for our three fire/rescue departments. This is how the state is going , with only a few big cities/ towns maintaining their own PSAP & dispatch center.

              There is a surcharge on the phone bills to help with the cost of running these large regional centers.

              Comment


              • #8
                Not sure what happens if we don't pay, I don't think they understand their job is to help the public and not just to dispatch us.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Islandfire03: are your three depts volly or paid?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by afd365 View Post
                    Not sure what happens if we don't pay, I don't think they understand their job is to help the public and not just to dispatch us.
                    "Their Job"? You may need to look into how dispatching came about and look into charters, laws and rulemaking to determine who is actually responsible for what services. The economy is forcing many agencies to look at what services they provide and cut where there's a financial drain, without a legal obligation to provide the service, I'd say they can give notice that you're SOL. Now does having a Sheriffs Dept that has it's own dispatchers provide the service make sense? Sure, but someone has to pay for it. Increased workloads cause increased staffing needs, training and expenses, one can hardly expect that the service must be free.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RFDACM02 View Post
                      "Their Job"? You may need to look into how dispatching came about and look into charters, laws and rulemaking to determine who is actually responsible for what services. The economy is forcing many agencies to look at what services they provide and cut where there's a financial drain, without a legal obligation to provide the service, I'd say they can give notice that you're SOL. Now does having a Sheriffs Dept that has it's own dispatchers provide the service make sense? Sure, but someone has to pay for it. Increased workloads cause increased staffing needs, training and expenses, one can hardly expect that the service must be free.

                      Yes it is THEIR JOB. If you accept the responsibilty to dispatch 911 services and sign a contract with the state and accept the money, then yes it is your job. It is just entirely too convenient to hide behind the "it's not my job" routine when times get tough.

                      One can hardly expect the service to be free??? Really, your are actually trying to make that argument. So in your mind it is okay for them to charge VOLUNTEER departments for dispatch service. We volunteer our service but we should have to pay for the privilege of doing it.. That doesn't make one bit of sense at all..

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by afd365 View Post
                        Yes it is THEIR JOB. If you accept the responsibilty to dispatch 911 services and sign a contract with the state and accept the money, then yes it is your job. It is just entirely too convenient to hide behind the "it's not my job" routine when times get tough.

                        One can hardly expect the service to be free??? Really, your are actually trying to make that argument. So in your mind it is okay for them to charge VOLUNTEER departments for dispatch service. We volunteer our service but we should have to pay for the privilege of doing it.. That doesn't make one bit of sense at all..
                        Well - he is right on several parts. The real question is who has the legal obligation - if any (think Tennessee and the pay to spray bit). Now - think of who is providing said service and what if any obligation they have and to which areas.

                        Where I am at - its a county dispatch system which serves the county townships. If a cost sharing measure were to come up - its not the depts would foot the bill but the townships required to provide said service.

                        If you were a contracted agency to provide fire protection (read non-municpality) - you turn to the contract to determine who is responisble for dispatch and handling of call requests. If its muddy - seek an attorney.

                        They very well might be in the right to ask other governmental entities to pony up the cash to support something that the other agencies have a legal obligation to provide (end the free ride so to speak). Without details and I mean very specific details - its difficult to form an opinion on who is right and wrong here.

                        All I can hope is the entities work through the cost issues with accountants and let the dispatchers keep dispatching calls as needed in the interum.
                        Last edited by The nots so new FNG; 01-28-2011, 09:48 PM. Reason: clarify poorly worded sentence

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          To the best of my knowledge, departments and municipalities are not charged a fee to be dispatched by our County 911 system. The funding comes from a surcharge on all phone lines in the county.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks - The not so new FNG - I was really not trying to get into a debate about the legality of what they are trying to do (I should have left it alone, I know), but really trying to get a feel for what is happening in other areas for a comparison.. Thank you for your input though.

                            Thanks Firemedic049

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by afd365 View Post
                              Islandfire03: are your three depts volly or paid?
                              Ours are volunteer, but there are also Combo and career departments being dispatched from the same PSAP/dispatch center along with the county sheriffs dept. and a couple of federal agencies local offices.
                              All together they dispatch for [I think] 22 departments now in a very large county.

                              As Adam said someone needs to pay for the infrastructure and the manpower to run these centers. Shouldn't be your individual depts, instead it should be the town/ townships paying their share based either on per capita or call volume fees.

                              Comment

                              300x600 Ad Unit (In-View)

                              Collapse

                              Upper 300x250

                              Collapse

                              Taboola

                              Collapse

                              Leader

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X