Enhanced response time for fire departments in South Dundas

Your house is on fire and you’ve just called 911. How would you feel knowing that the dispatcher failed to “page out the call” to the fire department? This is just one of the issues with the current South Dundas township’s dispatch system.

At the October 4th meeting of the South Dundas council, South Dundas Fire Chief Chris McDonough reported on the state of the township’s dispatch system and recommended a solution to council.

According to McDonough, the fire department is “currently being dispatched by Christie Walther also know as Canpage Communications.” He provided a list of issues with the dispatch company that impacted the safety of South Dundas residents, including outdated equipment, unreliable personnel, and failure to follow procedures.

For these reasons, he did “joint research with South Glengarry and South Stormont” and it has been concluded that the city of Brockville is the answer.

He told council that the “cost is a little higher, but service is far better.”

McDonough explained that “the expedient and accurate handling of fire calls is a significant factor in the successful outcome of an incident.”

It was reported that “the Brockville Fire Department currently renovated their dispatch centre and purchased a new Crisys Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD).”

According to Crisys Limited, they were “created for the sole purpose of developing the most advanced decision-support systems possible for responding to urgent requests for assistance.”

McDonough recommended that the township “enter into a five year agreement with the City of Brockville to provide a 24/7 Professional Fire Dispatch system, including voice paging system, 2-way radio communications, computer automated dispatch and the Crisys electronic reporting system.”

The recommended system will cost $42,596.54 the first year, which includes $18,163.54 for dispatch, $13,333 for the wireless internet link, and $11,100 for the Crisys reporting system.

The wireless internet link, which costs a total of $40,000 per year, is being divided among the three townships of South Dundas, South Stormont, and South Glengarry for a total of $13,333 each.

The cost for the second year will be $36,236.54 with a 5 per cent increase for each of the following three years left in the contract.

Councillor Archie Mellan was impressed with how the new system would “greatly enhance response time.”

Councillor Evonne Delegarde commented that it seems like a “far superior system” and that it makes sense to “spend the extra money to have a better system.”

The chief agreed, adding that “they’re on top of everything” and “we’ll be able to predict our boundaries a lot sharper – right to the longitude and latitude – very specific.” 

Mayor Steven Byvelds remarked that “the thing this demonstrates is the cooperation of the municipalities.”

The council agreed with Chief McDonough’s recommendation and the current provider will be given a 90 day notice.

McDonough predicts that the “GPS and fire department data will be entered and the equipment installed and tested by December 1, 2011” and that “the system will go live January 2012.”

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