Sunday, September 28, 2014

HIS EGO OR YOUR LIFE???? ---- by Larry Fillmore

Several years ago, the County Commissioners decided to do what is right by consolidating all the Dispatch Centers into one.  This was a huge undertaken and there was no money or a facility to accomplish this so the Commissioners considered consolidating the Androscoggin County Dispatch with the Lisbon Communication Center under the jurisdiction of the county.  This would be the first step and money and a facility were already available.  The consolidation would be in Lisbon.

However, the County Commissioners needed the approval of Chief Brooks and the former Town Council.  Both Chief Brooks and the former Council refused to go along with this consolidation.  Therefore it did not take place.
So let’s look at the facts and try and determine why this initiative, which could save lives, failed.  Here are the facts:

1.    All 911 calls are received by a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).
2.    Androscoggin County Dispatch is the PSAP for this area.
3.    Lisbon Communication Center is NOT a PSAP.
4.    Androscoggin County Dispatch has to relay the information to Lisbon Communication Center before Police, Fire or Medical personnel can be dispatched.
5.    This relay causes a delay in dispatching First Responders.
6.    In a life threatening situation every nanosecond can make the difference between life and death.
7.    Every person in Lisbon is being put at risk because of this situation.

I do not believe anyone can argue the facts as I have presented them.  Chief Brooks maintains there is no delay in dispatching First Responders in an emergency.  Remember a game we all played by telling one person a secret and by the time it got all to everyone it had changed so much that it was not anywhere near what was first said.  Also, try and repeat your name, address and what the emergency is and see how long it took you.  Then try typing the same information and see how long it takes.  This will provide you an indication of how long the delay is under perfect conditions.

This situation was turned into a political nightmare for the people of Lisbon.  Politics took over and is now responsible for your life.  The fact that Chief Brooks and the former Council did not put the people’s lives first is an injustice to the people.  It is a shame that our public officials do not put our lives and safety before politics and Chief Brooks’ ego.

There is no sound reason why our lives are at risk every day when there is a reliable, cost effective solution.  A solution in which when a 911 calls comes into the PSAP; the PSAP dispatches emergency personnel immediately without any delay or politics being involved.

 This would ensure that First Responders arrive as soon as possible without any delays improving your chances of survival much much better.

Larry Fillmore