Perrysburg Twp. proposes joint dispatch


LIME CITY – Perrysburg Township is proposing a partnership with the City of Northwood for dispatching services.

At their Feb. 21 meeting, trustees heard fire Chief Tom Brice present his draft proposal and approved further discussions.

Finding dispatchers has always been a struggle, Brice said.

“Our personnel do a great job, but it’s really hard to find them,” he said. “It’s a hard job. I wouldn’t want to do it. I don’t know if I could do.”

There is no school for training; training starts upon hiring, he said.

Brice said he would like to have two dispatchers on duty 24/7 year-round, but that comes at a cost.

There has been interest from multiple agencies around us for a joint dispatch, he said.

Finding good dispatchers has been problematic for all the local agencies and as everything gets more expensive, we have to look at ways to save money, he said.

Dispatch will be moved into the township’s new administration building and will require the purchase of new equipment.

The cost for three consoles is $60,000 each and additional items would be needed to manage additional frequencies, Brice said.

A joint venture will help us defray some of those costs, he said.

The joint venture would start with the hiring of a dispatch supervisor.

Perrysburg Township currently has six dispatchers while Northwood has five.

Based on the proposal, the cost to the township would be $724,000 a year; the first year would cost Northwood a little bit more, at $747,000.

The cost for the township is predicted to be $673,000 in the second year as there would be no equipment purchase with the cost of Northwood estimated at $678,000.

“There are a lot of things still to be worked out,” Brice said. “We don’t even know for sure if this is palatable to (Northwood).”

“A great deal of work went into this,” said Administrator Jon Eckel. “This is definitely based on very sound math.”

Brice added it has been his hope for many years to start a 911 emergency medical dispatch program.

“This joint effort would move us closer to being able to do that,” he said.

Emergency medical dispatch requires special training, he said.

Trustee Gary Britten asked if the township will be in trouble if a dispatcher offers CPR instruction over the phone.

Potentially, Brice responded.

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