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Washoe County Commissioners Will Hear Dispatch Plans for Fire Services

Date:

Residents in Washoe County will have their emergency fire calls answered in one of two ways after the fire services restructure between the County and the City of Reno becomes official on July 1. The Washoe County Commissioners, acting as the Board of Fire Commissioners, will hear two proposed solutions today during the regularly scheduled meeting, including the approval and extension of the interlocal agreement for Dispatch Services between the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD) and the City of Reno. In the event that the agreement is not approved by the City of Reno, Commissioners will hear about a plan from the Sheriff’s Office to support fire services dispatch after July 1.

During the Board’s last meeting in April, staff was directed to continue negotiations with the City of Reno, as well as explore other options for dispatch services. Today, the Board of Fire Commissioners will be asked to consider approving the interlocal agreement for Dispatch Services between the two entities in an amount not to exceed $517,000 for fiscal year 2012/13.

Chairman Bob Larkin says, “We remain committed to the highest quality sustainable public safety service and are hopeful that we can bring forward an extension to the current agreement for fire dispatch services with the City of Reno that ends on June 30, 2012. In the event that the City of Reno doesn’t approve the agreement, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office will take over the process to provide dispatch for the new fire district.”

The call center is responsible for answering 911 calls for police, fire and medical services. Trained emergency operators are responsible for answering, triaging and entering a call for service for response by the appropriate emergency service. The Sheriff’s Office anticipated contractual costs associated with increasing the authorized staffing by six Communication Specialists at approximately $525,000 to support fire services dispatch. The total program costs include personnel, training and equipment and will be funded by TMFPD.

Undersheriff Todd Vinger added that the Sheriff’s Office is working with both Reno and Washoe County through the complicated transition process.

“I’m very proud and thankful that members of the fire agencies, along with technical and dispatch personnel from both Washoe County and the City of Reno, are working closely together to make this a smooth, safe and responsible transition over the next 6 months in the best interest of the region as a whole,” Undersheriff Vinger said.

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