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  • #16
    We are dispatched by a county wide center. It falls under the control of the county government. There is a 911 over site committee that is made up of fire, police, and ambulance mangers in the county.

    They dispatch the county wide ambulance, the sheriff's department, all but one of the local PD's and all but one of the FD's (same city that has their own dispatch center).

    The dispatch center is funded from a 911 tax that is attached to your phone bill for land line only, there is talk about adding cell phones as well. Each agency also gets billed for the number of calls that they get toned out to. I can't tell you how much it is because that is well above my pay grade.

    The center is dispatching all volunteer to combo to all paid fire departments. On the fire side there is one paid and one combo the rest are volunteer (I think 5 or 6 all volunteer).

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    • #17
      We are dispatched by a regional center that serves most of two counties. They dispatch for Volunteer, Comb and Full Time departments. Everyone gets charged the same amount per call, about $35. The law enforcement agencies also get charged per call, but it is significantly less because they handle so many more "calls." Our 911 phone surcharges go to cover part of the cost, but not all of it.

      Before this situation, we were dispatched for free by our county center. With the economy being the way it is the county decided to close it. In the end we are happy. We get much better service than we used to. You get what you pay for I guess.

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      • #18
        It really would help to know where the OP is from. Everyone who is chiming in on how wrong this, or whose responsibility it is, should step back a moment and think that maybe it is different in his state or locality than it is elsewhere.

        The comment about funds from the state for 911 - in many states there are no such funds.

        The comments about the county or locality has a legal obligation to provide emergency services, not in many states also.

        The comment about the dispatch center doing their job and not billing - is it really their job to not bill?

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        • #19
          I think part of the problem here is recognizing that in this economy, sheriffs departments and state police agencies that have traditionally provided dispatch services are needing additional revenue to keep the doors open..
          Many of us have been paying for this out of county or state taxes in the past without knowing it.

          Our town has contracted our dispatch services out for over twenty years rather than having to operate our own dispatch. much less cost per capita.
          One of the benefits of consolidation is we are getting Licensed EMD certified dispatchers who have to maintain a level of training and recert annually.

          We [ out town] also have a contract with the County sheriffs department to provide dedicated law enforcement deputies assigned to our town, versus having the patrol deputy make one tour a day through our town. We are located on the far end of the county & isolated from the majority of the county.

          It's a brave new world out there and pay per use is becoming much more common in practice.

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          • #20
            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.
            This is some revealing info you'd not let us in on before. I suspect they do have a responsibility if they took state money with a contract.
            Originally posted by afd365 View Post
            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..
            Ah yes! You expect to get free service just because you're volunteers? Did they give you a free fire truck and free fuel for it? Hows the free electricity at the fire house? Well heck I didn't realize we all had to do everything for you volunteers for free. Let me buy you some cheese to go with your whine!

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            • #21
              In the jurisdiction where I work full time, the primary 911 PSAP & dispatch center is part of the PD. It's funded by local property taxes along with the rest of local government.

              In my town of residence, dispatch is a regional service that charges an annual fee to the municipalities it dispatches for. (Presumably they all raise those funds from property taxes as well.) This sometimes engenders some gripes from the municipalities since they have little or no say in the dispatch center's policies or budget. (The dispatch center is governed by a board composed of members of the departments it dispatches -- many/most of them are independant of municipal government.)
              "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
              sigpic
              The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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              • #22
                No free lunch.
                ?

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                • #23
                  In one adjoining county - the SO, who is also the 911 PSAP, will NOT dispatch fire departments. They have one department that is dispatched by the city it is in, one that uses a "firehouse patch" (a radio phone patch that sends out two tone paging when it recieves a call) one dispatched by a local private company that runs a 24/7 ambulance dispatch, and a couple that use phone bars.

                  The SO will not due it, because they have one jailer/dispatcher on shift, who may be dealing with an inmate etc.

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                  • #24
                    We also get dispatched out of the sheriffs dept. But because we are a small volunteer dept. we average $300 per and often have problems with our beebers not going off or not receiving voice so we don't know if we have a fire or ems call till we arrive at the station. Don't see any changes in the future, we just have to suck it up.
                    Ed

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                    • #25
                      were are POC doing 800 runs a year........we pay I want to say 40K /yr to our center ......and they mostly SUCK.
                      IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
                      Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
                      ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
                      RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
                      LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
                      I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
                      "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
                      http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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                      • #26
                        911 Dispatching

                        Since 911 is a governmental function and it usually has the authority under state statute(s) to levy a tax and/or fees to fund the service, your FD attorney should research any applicable state statute(s).

                        Some questions the attorney could ask are:
                        1. How is the 911 service funded? Does statute allow taxation, fee(s) or other taxpayer
                        funds to operate the service?
                        2. Is 911 obligated to dispatch fire service agencies in its jurisdiction?
                        3. Who has the ultimate responsibility to operate the 911 system in your jurisdiction? Is it
                        the county council, etc.. It is important to know who legally is responsible, so if there is
                        a problem, you know who to approach with the problem.
                        4. Does the 911 system have legal authority to require a user fee from the FD's?

                        Other items of research that you or the attorney may want to know:
                        1. Obtain a current and previous year budget for the 911 system. Where is the revenue
                        coming from? How much? Where is the expenses? How much does the administration
                        of the 911 system make (salary & benefits)? Has there been any major expenses, like
                        changing to a digital system?
                        2. Ask what major expenses are coming for the 911 center? (example: Purchase of
                        expensive equipment (repeaters, etc.))
                        3. Has there been any Federal funding recieved by this 911 center? An example, could be
                        Homeland Security funding to transition to digital radio's, etc.

                        Armed with this information, you should be able to figure out how the 911 system operates, how it is funded and what statutory authority it has to require your FD a user fee for service.
                        Last edited by FIRE117; 01-30-2011, 10:44 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by LVFD301 View Post
                          In one adjoining county - the SO, who is also the 911 PSAP, will NOT dispatch fire departments. They have one department that is dispatched by the city it is in, one that uses a "firehouse patch" (a radio phone patch that sends out two tone paging when it recieves a call) one dispatched by a local private company that runs a 24/7 ambulance dispatch, and a couple that use phone bars.

                          The SO will not due it, because they have one jailer/dispatcher on shift, who may be dealing with an inmate etc.
                          If the Sheriff's Department is the designated PSAP, they should be dispatching the fire departments. Two reasons are:
                          1. In the eyes of the ISO, 911 dispatch is the preferred way to dispatch fire department's.
                          2. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that emergency services have a
                          compliant (TDD, etc.) system to recieve emergency calls. 911 is required to be
                          handicapped accessible (TDD telephone answering equipment) for the general public
                          to report emergencies.

                          I would find out if your ISO rating is hampered by not being 911 dispatched. If you could show your elected officials (city council, etc.) that the ISO rating could be improved by being 911 dispatch, you may be able to "entice" the city council to work in your behalf to get the PSAP to dispatch you.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by FIRE117 View Post
                            If the Sheriff's Department is the designated PSAP, they should be dispatching the fire departments. Two reasons are:
                            1. In the eyes of the ISO, 911 dispatch is the preferred way to dispatch fire department's.
                            2. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that emergency services have a
                            compliant (TDD, etc.) system to recieve emergency calls. 911 is required to be
                            handicapped accessible (TDD telephone answering equipment) for the general public
                            to report emergencies.

                            I would find out if your ISO rating is hampered by not being 911 dispatched. If you could show your elected officials (city council, etc.) that the ISO rating could be improved by being 911 dispatch, you may be able to "entice" the city council to work in your behalf to get the PSAP to dispatch you.
                            Chuckle...

                            Did you read what I posted? They have one dispatcher, who also handles the jail. They have no funds for anything more. To have the fire lines go into that center is a dis-service to the patrons, as well as the employees.

                            So, imagine - if the Sheriffs office is that bad off, what do you think the funding for the entire county is? Per capita income 15k. Population 10k.

                            ISO is the least of their worries.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              We are dispatched by the SO here, but we do things slightly different. We have all the county fire, EMS, LEO agencies chip into a single cooperative to share the cost of Communication equipment. The cooperative pays for all the dispatch center equipment, all the repeaters and tornado sirens as well as the upkeep of all the equipment and the FCC Licenses for all the frequencies. The SO gets a reduction in their share of the costs because the provide the dispatchers which they share with county courthouse. When the dispatchers aren't actively dispatching out resources they have to do data entry for the SO and County Courthouse. If you don't want to pay into the cooperative you don't have to but you can't use the dispatch center, repeaters or any of the county frequencies. Since every one of the agencies is able to either directly tax the residents they serve or are a branch of someone with authority to directly tax the residents, paying into the cooperative just makes since. Why pay by yourself for something you aren't going use all the time, when you can share the cost with someone else in the exact same situation as you.

                              To the previous poster we have been operating this way for over 25 years and the entire county population is just over 6k with a similar per capita income level.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by FIRE117 View Post
                                If the Sheriff's Department is the designated PSAP, they should be dispatching the fire departments. Two reasons are:
                                1. In the eyes of the ISO, 911 dispatch is the preferred way to dispatch fire department's.
                                2. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that emergency services have a
                                compliant (TDD, etc.) system to recieve emergency calls. 911 is required to be
                                handicapped accessible (TDD telephone answering equipment) for the general public
                                to report emergencies.

                                I would find out if your ISO rating is hampered by not being 911 dispatched. If you could show your elected officials (city council, etc.) that the ISO rating could be improved by being 911 dispatch, you may be able to "entice" the city council to work in your behalf to get the PSAP to dispatch you.
                                Having recently been through the ISO process with our communications office, I don't really understand your first point about Sheriff's offices and 911 dispatching.

                                And to the second point, that doesn't have anything to do with someone being a PSAP or not; its the equipment and abilities to satisfy the provisions of ADA.
                                My opinions only.

                                AGS-SGA 091101

                                Comment

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