It does make sense. Most rural areas in NH and Maine already have regional dispatch with the Sheriff's office running the operation. A drawback is people are sometimes confused when they go to their local police department in the evening hours or weekends and find nobody in the office.
The towns are Hingham, Hull, Cohasset and Norwell. The main dispatch center for police and fire will be out of the Hingham Police dept. All 911 in these four towns will go to hingham. All radio will be out of Hingham Police. They are rumors that all the towns will go to one frequincy for Police and a sperate one for Fire. But as it stands now they will all be ontheir own frequincies for each town. We will see. They are planning to be in operation in January 2010.
Hingham, Cohasset, Norwell and Hull are considering a centralized 911 call center
Officials in 4 towns think shared facility sounds like a good idea
By Allison Manning The Patriot Ledger
Posted Dec 06, 2008 @ 02:00 AM
In an emergency, 911 callers expect to find help on the line. But in small towns, a major accident can overwhelm the police station's sole dispatcher.
Officials in Hingham, Cohasset, Norwell and Hull are talking about creating a centralized 911 call center for all four towns. The center would be in Hingham, which has a bigger call volume than the other three towns.
In small towns like Cohasset, where a big accident on Route 3A can trigger a deluge of cell-phone calls from witnesses, only one dispatcher is on duty at a time.
The proposed system would dramatically increase the capacity for handling an incident, Cohasset Town Manager William Griffin said.
All four towns' police and fire chiefs and town administrators or managers back the proposal, and the four boards of selectmen have given the go-ahead for seeking grants to pay for construction and equipment. Each board must still approve participation in the regional call center.
Although the project is still in the analysis phase, Griffin said the aim is to have the center - which would be built to serve up to six towns - running by July 1, 2010.
"We're doing it primarily because we think it'll be a better system for citizens of the four communities," Griffin said.
More dispatchers on duty would allow a dispatcher guides a callers with medical emergencies through an incident, staying on the phone with until authorities arrive, Griffin said.
With more dispatchers on duty, a dispatcher would be able to stay on the phone with a caller until emergency personnel arrive, Griffin said.
"In Cohasset, we only have one dispatcher on duty," he said. "That person can't be giving that kind of detailed advice and be taking another call."
The state is also pushing regionalization, which would reduce the number of 911 centers.
Blake Haskell, a consultant working on the project, said the cost savings would be a large plus but were not an objective.
"Operationally and technologically, this was doable and made sense," he said.
Because a central call center could reduce the total number of dispatchers needed by the participating towns - a concern of current dispatchers - labor savings are also likely. The number of dispatchers that would be needed at the envisioned center in Hingham has not been decided.