Municipalities that contract outside emergency dispatch services have been able to maximize emergency service provider effectiveness and lower costs as they seamlessly and transparently integrate into the municipality with highly trained personnel and state-of-the-art technology.
As municipalities across the country have faced budget shortfalls over the last several years, privatization of services has become part of the discussion for many, and the best choice for a growing number of municipalities. One area where municipalities have increasingly found a private partner is with emergency dispatch services.
Whether it is a supplemental role or all encompassing, dispatch services are proving to be successful in municipalities across the country. Among the chief reasons that municipalities engage an emergency dispatch service are the real-world benefits of lower government costs, higher performance and most importantly, better outcomes for the communities that they serve.
Today’s emergency dispatch services are not only backed with the latest communication technology infrastructure, the operators are individuals that are highly trained in dealing with emergency calls. The ability to not only remain calm, but to calm a caller and control the situation are just two aspects where municipalities often see increased effectiveness.
Publicly managed emergency dispatch centers can often be understaffed due to tight budgets. The integration of an emergency dispatch service has been shown to reduce operational costs by 25 to more than 50 percent in some cases.
There are always questions and some concerns from the community’s perspective with what is essentially privatization of services. These concerns can and have been allayed as these emergency dispatch services are highly integrated into the protocols, procedure command structure and community patterns of the municipalities that they serve.
The municipalities and their emergency departments that will rely on the emergency dispatch service jointly develop the protocols, procedures and language used for every type of call that may be encountered. In many cases, the service’s underlying communication technology can be superior to that of the municipality itself and can be seamlessly integrated to provide uninterrupted and transparent service.
Transparency, accountability and the delivery of high-performance services are ensured via a detailed and binding performance-based contract. Communities that contract emergency dispatch services fill a vital role in the daily operation of emergency services as well as the lives of the communities that they serve. These relationships can further free the emergency services of the municipality to concentrate on the important work of delivering life-saving services in an efficient and professional manner.
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