| Mar 02, 2006


Feature Article - March 2, 2006

Feature Article

March 2, 2006

Kingston has big plans for emergency dispatchby Jeff Green

Kingston has big plans for emergency dispatch, but it will cost more for Frontenac townships.

Greg Robinson, the Chief of Fire and Emergency Planning for the City of Kingston , trekked up to Plevna last week to promote a new dispatch service being offered by his department.

Kingston Dispatch has recently undergone a technological transformation. Greg Robinson told North Frontenac Council that the service had fallen behind the times in regards to its use of ever more sophisticated digital technology, but that this situation has been changed with the development of a new, modern communications centre in the past couple of years.

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As well as servicing the City of Kingston Fire Department , Kingston Dispatch is presently used by all townships in Frontenac County to route 911 calls to local fire departments.

In the city of Kingston , the new dispatch system will provide complete information about the location of all fire equipment in the department through digital mapping. This will provide the speediest, most applicable response to fire and emergency calls within the city. The system is so advanced it will enable dispatchers to start up the appropriate vehicle, open garage doors, and provide directions through computer monitors in fire trucks.

In the rural areas, this kind of service is not as developed, but Kingston Dispatch is envisioning direct benefits to rural fire departments coming from the new dispatch system. Under the current service, which is provided to North Frontenac Township for $3,300 per year, Kingston Dispatch receives emergency calls, dispatches them to the appropriate stations, and monitors radio communications until someone can take over at the local station.

If North Frontenac is willing to pay more (and Greg Robinson indicated that the total cost is still up for negotiation), Kingston Dispatch will augment their service in various ways. This could include identifying the appropriate apparatus for each incident in accordance with a detailed response plan to be prepared by the local department, relaying information such as the location of the nearest water supply, keeping an electronic log of all communications, and more.

A new wireless system is being developed, and “one of the new towers will be located at MacAdoo’s Lane, which will allow us to dispatch calls to Central and North Frontenac without using the telephone,” Greg Robinson told North Frontenac Council.

The cost of delivering augmented communication service to North Frontenac has been slated at $13,499, a sharp increase from the $3,300 currently charged to the township.

However, that figure is not set in stone.

“We really want everyone to come on board with this,” Robinson said, “so for the first year if North Frontenac is willing to pay something more than $3,300 to try the system out, and then we can negotiate an annual rate, that would be enough for us.”

The matter was left for council to consider.

Greg Robinson has not yet approached Central or South Frontenac.

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