Saturday, February 6, 2016

LISBON COMMUNICATION CENTER IS NOT A PSAP!!!


What exactly does that mean for residents of Durham, Sabattus and Lisbon?  What this means is that in an emergency only the PSAP can legally obtain additional information to assist EMT personnel on the treatment of victim.  You see an E-9-1-1 operator (Emergency Medical Dispatcher) gathers additional information (medical history) called an EMD Code which is passed on to the Lisbon Communication Center prior to dispatching First Responders.  According to the current agreement, Lisbon Communication Center can ONLY dispatch First Responders in an emergency.  How stupid is that?  The EMD code has to be transferred first to the Lisbon Communication Center and then transferred to the EMT.  The EMD code contains the additional information on the victim similar to a medical history.  This EMD information ensures the EMT has the right supplies in order to treat the patient.

Instead of wasting time, the E-9-1-1 operator receiving a 911 call for emergency services should be the one dispatching First Responders.  This procedure saves valuable time in an emergency.  There is no valid reason for transferring information when the E-9-1-1 can dispatch First Responders and save critical time.  Under the contract for dispatching with Durham, it reads under Attachment ‘A’, Specifications of Service to Be Performed, paragraph B, and I quote “Provide call answering, which shall include but not be limited to all emergency and non-emergency calls for service.  This does not include PSAP Services.”  What this is saying is that residents should be calling Lisbon Communication Center for all emergency and non-emergency service.  It is my understanding that this is illegal because all emergency call for service are required to go through the state of Maine E-9-1-1 system which means residents should be calling 911 for emergency services. 

The fact that the Town of Lisbon is promoting the Lisbon Communication Center instead of 911 in emergency situations is a violation of the State of Maine 911:  Emergency Service Communication Bureau.  The residents of Durham, Sabattus and Lisbon need to know the proper procedure when calling for emergency services and that is dial 911.  This is especially crucial when reporting emergency medical situations.   Lisbon should have an automatic message on its lines that says “If this is an emergency, hang up and dial 911.”

The County Commissioners need to be doing more for the residents of Androscoggin County by demanding that all residents are serviced by a PSAP and not individual towns.  The lives of all residents should be the highest priority for everyone concerned.  The logistics are there and I am sure these Commissioners can find the funds to pay for the consolidation.  All lives Matter!

Expediting First Responders to the scene with all available information, should be the number one priority.  This will save lives.

Larry Fillmore


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

MUIS DISCUSSION

During last night’s Town Council meeting, The Town Manager and the Finance Director talked about changing over from the current TRIO system to MUIS.  There were several reasons for this request but the primary reason was the lack of technical support in a timely manner.  According to the Town Manager, there are 17 requests dating back to 2010 that are not yet resolved.  According to the Finance Director, TRIO makes it very difficult to control the cash flow, and other accounting items.  The people have known this for years but Stephen Eldridge, former Town Manager, switched from Northern Data to TRIO.  I believe it was because it was easier to hide money.

The Finance Director talked for nearly an hour about how TRIO does not do the job it needs to and how MUNIS will solve most of those problems.  Prior to TRIO, the employees of the town were more than satisfied with Northern Data.  Anytime you migrate to a new system, it is always a nightmare.  According to the Finance Director, the town wants to keep two TRIO – Assessing and Vehicle.  This means the town is going to pay for two systems at the same time.  This is always a bad idea to split technical support contracts.  Think about how much money the people are going to have to pay for two systems.  Generally, if you try and use 2 modules from one company they are going to jack up the price for these two modules and you will get no technical support.  If the town has 17 open technical support request dating back to 2010, how much technical support can you expect on these two modules.

These two modules may have better bells and whistles right now but what about in the future.  Trying to keep these two modules updated will cost two to three times more than converting all modules over to Munis and working with fewer bells and whistles.  This will enable one technical support contract and will make it easier to negotiate a better contract.  Any time a company knows you are interested in switching to their system, they will promise you the world in order to get your business.  This would be a perfect opportunity to try in get both the assessing and vehicle modules in Munis up to the way the town thinks it should work.

I have had extensive experience in converting over to numerous systems and I can tell you that it is imperative that you make sure before you start that you back-up the old system and make sure you have a solid back-up copy before you start.  Also, every day, week month, depending on volume of data entered, the system you have not converted the town needs to back-up and verify a good copy until everything is converted and verified.  Before you begin a conversion make sure the conversion table is correct so that the data goes into the right position, such as date goes in as month, day, year into the same or you will have month, day, year on one system going into day, month, year on the other.  There should be a lot of time spend on the preparation to ensure a smooth conversion.  It is critical to keep a copy of the back-up off-site even after the conversion is completed just in case of an unidentified problem comes up later.

None of this information was brought up during the discussion.  Which do you think is going to be easier to receive:  technical support from TRIO on these two modules or having the programmers tailor the modules to how the town wants it to work in Minus?

This is a prime example as to how ridiculous the concept of only allowing the audience to speak during Audience Participation.  The residents have no idea what is going on until the Sponsor explains the reason for the change and the Councilors have their discussion.  There are residents that have experience in many areas and can contribute to the process BEFORE a vote is taken.  This will enable the Councilors to have many more facts in order to make a reasonable decision.  This is why I have argued against the Council Working Rules.  

Larry Fillmore

Recap Town Council Meeting --- Feb 2nd ---by Larry Fillmore

At last night’s Town Council meeting, the following is a summary of what took place:

Under Consent agenda – The minutes of January 19, 2016 were tabled.  Council Kolbe pointed out errors in the minutes.

Council Orders, Resolutions & Ordinances:

 Tax Acquired Redemption Letters – There are five properties involved and the Council approved the Town Manager to start the foreclosure process by a vote of 7-0.

Solicit Bids for Town Insurance – The Council approved for the Town Manager to go out for bids on the town’s insurance requirement by a vote of 7-0.

Purchasing Policy Amendment – The Council approved a new amendment to the Purchasing Policy by a vote of 7-0.

Munis Software – The Council approved permission for the Town Manager and the Town Finance Director to proceed into purchasing the Munis software package for the town by a vote of 6-1.  Council Kolbe was opposed.

Schedule Joint Workshop with School Committee for Audit Review – The Council approved a tentative date of February 23, 2016 pending if the School Committee is free that date by a vote of 7-0.

Standard Offer Electricity Contract – The Council approved for the Town Manager to negotiate and approve an electrical power contract by a vote of 7-0.

Reschedule Public Hearing to Change Voting Locations – The Council approved a date of February 16, 2016 by a vote of 7-0.

Library Microscope and Telescope Borrowing Agreement – The Council approved this agreement by a vote of 7-0.  The Library Governing Board recommended approval.

Library Stained Glass Art Memorial – The Council approved the stain glass art memorial by a vote of 7-0.

Dollar General Summer Reading Grant – The Council gave its approval of the Library to apply for this $3,000.00 grant by a vote of 7-0.

Durham Dispatch Contract – The Town Manager briefed the Council that the town of Durham wanted to extend the current contract for a period of three months, so they can review other options.  The Council had no objections.

Under Appointments:

The Council approved the resignation of Mr. Keith Anoe as the Lisbon EMA Director by a vote of 7-0.

The Council approved the recommendation by the Town Manager to appoint Mrs. Lisa Ward as EMA Director by a vote of 7-0.

The following appointments were made:

Administration/Library Councilors Albert & Kolbe
Public Safety         Councilors Brunelle & Crafts
Public Works/Parks & Recreations Councilors Metivier & Kolbe & Ward
School Facility Committee Councilors Metivier & Brunelle
School Committee Councilors Albert & Kolbe & Ward
Water Commissions Councilors Bickford & Metivier
County Commissions Councilor Ward
RLF Committee Councilor Albert
Planning Board Councilor Bickford

Larry Fillmore