Consolidating emergency management
One thing is clear: consolidation does not affect the number of calls for service, but it may affect how they are dispatched, and it also may have an impact on the associated costs.
Several types of consolidation are discussed below, and each has the potential to meet the needs of city, county and state agencies the dispatch center serves.
A consolidated center offers many advantages: Several technical issues that must be addressed with a full consolidation: 911 equipment, administrative telephones, Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), Records Management System (RMS), and recording equipment.
Throughout this article we use the term “dispatch center” to refer to the communication centers that perform dispatch operations and serve as a primary or secondary Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for their communities.
After completing dozens of consolidation studies and working with numerous county, city and state agencies on emergency communications issues, we have observed cycles of embracing and fearing the consolidated dispatch center.
This single CAD must be able to upload into the various records management systems and be sophisticated enough to handle the call volume and dispatch functions.
A consolidated center requires a single recording system capable of handling the consolidated load.