DENVER (KDVR) — On Tuesday, several agencies launched Colorado’s first regional 911 dispatching hub, integrating the computer-aided dispatch systems of Thornton Emergency Communication Center and Adams County Communications Center.
“In the past, what would have happened is the dispatch center would have to contact the other agency, whether by phone or over the radio and say, ‘Hey, is this unit available? Can they respond?’ Then they’ll check, and if they’re available then they’ll dispatch them,” said Rob Morris, battalion chief with North Metro Fire.
As a result of the newly integrated dispatching hub, response times for neighboring departments are expected to be reduced by over two minutes. North Metro spokespeople said being able to instantly dispatch the closest emergency units, regardless of jurisdiction, is a huge benefit to the region and will have a great impact on critical medical calls and major incidents.
“Outcomes are always better the quicker we get there,” said Joel Estes, executive director of Adams County Communications Center.
“Especially in high acuity call situations, CPR, childbirths, structure fires, big injury accidents, this just takes a lot of that stress off of the dispatcher to make sure we’re making the right decisions to get people there on time,” said Jackie Reynolds with Adams County Communications Center.
Just a few hours after going live, three agencies, North Metro Fire, Thornton Fire, and South Adams County Fire, were simultaneously called to a townhome fire where the new hub worked seamlessly.
Despite the call being in North Metro Fire’s eastern boundary, Thornton Fire had the closest fire engines and arrived on the scene first and was able to quickly extinguish the fire before it spread to nearby townhomes.
“They got there so quickly. It said it saved two minutes off of that response time, and they were able to save a dog that was in that building that was on fire. Fortunately, there was nobody else there at the time. But because they got there so quickly, that’s just one example of how the system is so important to us,” said Estes.
The first phase of this project is now active, which connects Adcom 911, Adams County Fire Rescue, Brighton Fire Rescue, North Metro Fire Rescue District, South Adams County Fire Department and City of Thornton Fire Department.
In the near future, Westminster Fire Department and the Broomfield Public Safety Communication Center will be connected, with hopes to bring on Federal Heights and other agencies in the coming year.