Troy Ohio

Plans Underway to Dispatch First Responders More Quickly

By Nancy Bowman

The Miami County Communication Center is developing a plan to upgrade the dispatching of fire services to, among other benefits, have responders on their way more quickly.

Jeff Busch, communication center director, discussed the exploration of options Jan. 3 with the county commissioners. Among other benefits of systems being examined would be freeing up time for telecommunicators - or dispatchers - to handle calls and give emergency medical instruction, if needed.

The station alerting systems available would allow staff to type in an address, call type and recommended response and the information would be sent either to a station to get the call response started. The telecommunicator would then obtain additional required information and/or provide emergency medical instructions as needed.

"I think it would be very beneficial to the citizens for those seconds that we would save," Busch said.

Several demonstrations have been held with some of the fire departments from across the county and a meeting held with Huber Heights fire officials about the system used by that department.

Two systems have gotten the closest look so far including one that uses a human voice versus an electronically generated voice. The systems examined also would allow for automatic dispatch of all departments that respond to situations instead of individual contact with partner agencies.

As an example, Busch pointed to the area of Interstate 75 between Tipp City and Vandalia where both communities are called to help when needed. Today, if there is a vehicle wreck, Miami County would call Vandalia to also respond along with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

"We would be able to save some time," Busch said.

Also being explored is a possible switch to 800 megahertz paging versus the current VHF systems. The 800 MHz systems allow for broader coverage of paging. The system would be through the MARCS system now in use in the county.