Some local communities have already consolidated, thereby saving money and increasing efficiencies. How much savings does consolidation really provide? What other benefits or drawbacks should be considered?
Particularly over the last several months, you need only to glance at a newspaper to see that dispatch consolidation is a hot topic.
They offer the following advice for communities considering dispatch consolidation.
“If you treat fire departments as a little brother and pat them on the head, it’s never going to work,” says Todd.
“They must be full-stake partners in the process.” This may seem obvious, but when it comes to consolidation, fire departments often feel like they get the short shrift, particularly when it comes to CAD (computer-aided dispatch) and RMS (records management system).
Fire departments often find that the CAD/RMS systems are oriented towards police operations and don’t properly support their reporting needs and therefore fire department personnel can resent having these solutions thrust upon them.
So can fire and police consolidate and maintain separate CAD/RMS systems?
“It’s possible, but it would be extremely inefficient and ineffective,” says Rogers.
“Having two different CAD/RMS systems is like speaking two different languages.
Even if dispatchers are trained in both systems, which would require a highly sophisticated skill set, it still takes valuable time to jump from one system to the next.” The answer?
Take the time to research various systems to arrive at the one that best fits your community’s needs.