Friday, May 6, 2016

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Computer-aided dispatch not yet in place

Brian Wilson, deputy fire chief, shows one of the
new computers in one of the fire trucks at the
South Hill Fire Station on May 6, 2016.
Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald
By Lisa Goudy

It’s been nine months since the city reorganized the fire department, but the full computer-aided dispatch system isn’t available yet.
“We’re a little frustrated with that,” said Gord Hewitt, president of the Moose Jaw Firefighters Association. “We knew it wasn’t ready, the new system wasn’t in place …. They came out and said, ‘We’re doing this to provide a more efficient service’ and the technology was never in place.”
On July 17, five members of the local call centre dispatch were laid off. On Aug. 10, 2015, council approved changes to occur within the Moose Jaw Fire Department, including computer-aided dispatch (CAD) licensing. Now 911 calls go to Prince Albert and it’s dispatched over the system.
“We were supposed to have this system in our trucks because people up there have no idea the area around Moose Jaw. They just don’t know,” said Hewitt. “On more than a few occasions, there’s been some confusion with the dispatchers.”

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