UNION COUNTY – The Union County Communications Center has begun providing emergency dispatch services for more municipalities, under a shared services initiative. The new arrangement is designed to help first responders in the Union County area continue to operate efficiently and effectively within the context of tight local budgets.
“This shared services program brings Union County’s state of the art technology and experienced personnel to municipalities that would find it difficult if not impossible to marshal these resources on their own,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “The Freeholder Board is very pleased that more residents will be served by the Communications Center.”
The initiative began in 2010, when Fanwood entered into a shared services agreement with Union County to have its police, fire and emergency medical service (EMS) calls routed through the Union County Communications Center.
Earlier this year, Roselle, Springfield, and Hillside entered similar agreements to have their fire and EMS calls routed to the Communications Center, and the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad contracted with the county for emergency medical dispatch services.
Recently, the County Communication’s Center assumed dispatch responsibilities for two paramedic units operated by Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Rahway, along with Roselle Park’s Fire Department and EMS. In addition, the county will be providing emergency medical dispatch to the Township of South Orange.
Some of these new clients previously had their emergency calls routed through the CENCOM dispatch center at Overlook Medical Center in Summit. CENCOM is in the process of transferring its services to a dispatch center located in southern New Jersey.
“We offered an alternative and we found that, aside from any bottom line savings, our local officials appreciate the peace of mind that comes from having a dispatch facility located right here in Union County,” said Mirabella.
“The Union County area is a very complex, challenging environment for emergency response, and we believe that dispatchers who are focused primarily on our local conditions will achieve the best possible outcomes,” said Andrew Moran, director of the Union County Department of Public Safety.
The Union County Communications Center is located in the Ralph J. Froehlich Public Safety Building, at 300 North Avenue East in Westfield.
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