The following are FACTS concerning the Lisbon Communication Center:
a. Androscoggin County Dispatch receives all 911 (emergency phone calls) and has to call 353-2500 (Lisbon Communication Center) to have First Responders dispatched. If 353-2500 is busy (which 911 operators have told me happened several times) delays the response time for First Responders to get to the scene.
b. There are absolutely no dispatchers at the Lisbon Communication Center that are currently qualified as Emergency Medical Dispatchers. This means that there is no one qualified to determine an Emergency Medical Code. This code is critical for Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) to alert them as to what equipment and medical supplies are going to be needed. This is yet another reason why not to use 353-2500 for emergency situations.
c. At Candidate Night a sitting Councilor (Chris Brunelle) announced that for local 911 call 353-2500. This is so incredible wrong. All emergency situations should go through the Maine State 911 system. 353-2500 is the NON-emergency phone number to reach Lisbon Police Department. 353-2500 should never be used for emergency situations because the dispatchers are not qualified to handle emergency situations. This shows the level of incompetence of our Councilors. The worst part is that only one Councilor has investigated and got the facts on the Lisbon Communication Center and that is Councilor Klobe. Every time she tried to bring this up; Roger Bickford and Eric Metivier refused to discuss this issue and changed the subject.
d. By not having the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) dispatching our First Responder and having to wait for unqualified personnel to answer 353-2500; creates a delay in responding to emergency situation which in turn puts every resident of Lisbon’s life a risk. This is a Public Safety issue and needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
So what is the problem and how do we correct the situation: First and foremost the Town Council needs to get educated as to how to improve the quality of life for its residents. I recommended to the new Chief Hagen, Town Manager Barnes and Councilors Ward, Albert and Klobe that a joint workshop be held with
Androscoggin County Dispatch (Sheriff Samson and Director Fournier) and the Town Council to resolve any issues remain unanswered. So far Chief Hagen and Town Manager Barnes said they cannot get involved until the Town Council asked them. Councilors Ward and Albert keep stalling and Councilor Klobe has always been in favor. Androscoggin County is willing to participate. The Lisbon Communication Center has always been a political issue instead of a Public Safety issue.
The Town Council and Town Manager want to wait until after the election. As you well know, I do not think Erick Metivier and Chris Brunelle should be reelected because they have cost this community a great deal of tax dollars and have failed to tackle this Public Safety issue. In fact, these two are part of the group that created this mess.
The people need to elect leaders and not followers. We need to elect people that will take politics out of the situation and vote for what is best for the community. Right now former Town Councils have put everyone in this community’s lives at risk because there was no follow-up by the next Council on this issue. The solution is very simple and that is to hire a PSAP to dispatch our First Responder upon receipt of an emergency situation. There are two PSAP’s in Androscoggin County (L/A 911 and Androscoggin County Dispatch). It does not make any difference which one we use and long as we eliminate having to contact the Lisbon Communication Center prior to dispatching our First Responder.
The need to start now is because whichever PSAP is selected it is going to take approximately six month for the transition.