Two SW MO emergency dispatch centers one step closer to consolidating
The Joplin Police Department’s dispatch center is one step closer to consolidating with the Jasper County Emergency Dispatch.
The two centers now have identical computer software and other technologies that help them better communicate with each other. Last night, Joplin’s City Council approved getting new telephone equipment for the Joplin Police Department’s dispatch center.
Workers at the Jasper County Emergency center say they’ll soon better communicate with JPD dispatchers.
“Anything that would be non-emergency. If somebody called in because they had a past incidence theft report or something like that and they just accidentally called the wrong number, that would be a situation where we could just put them on hold and then Joplin (police) could pick up the call,” says Tiffany Swanigan with the Jasper County Emergency Dispatch.
Right now, dispatchers tell callers to hang up then dial the other dispatch center.
Workers at the Jasper County Emergency Dispatch also say the same computer software allows them and Joplin dispatchers to more efficiently dispatch METS ambulance.
“We have a shared radio frequency that they (JPD) would dispatch the medical call over the radio. How we used to have to do it, is we would have to enter the information into CAD (computer software), type everything they (JPD) gave us over the radio, and then dispatch out the METS truck. Now they can go ahead and process that information, put it into CAD, and before they even get it over the radio, we can dispatch an ambulance,” says Swanigan.
“In this field, we always have a turnover. We don’t tend to keep people as long as what we need to. And we normally lose them in training. Once we get them hired and they get on the console, they normally stay, they love the job. But it’s getting them through training. So this would help alleviate some of the staffing issues that we have,” says Swanigan.
The two dispatch centers plan to eventually consolidate into one building.