Why is it always so hard to do the right thing? Our Town Council is going to discuss the Dispatch Consolidation on Tuesday’s agenda. At the workshop on this subject an individual asked why we have been discussing this very subject for the last five years. The answer is that the Town Council has NOT got it right yet.
A better question should be ‘Why is Lisbon the ONLY community, I know, that is not part of the E911 system? The E911 system is a proven system to save life and is utilized in every state in our country and overseas. So why is Lisbon not serviced by E911. It cannot be because of the cost; because the figures provided by the Androscoggin County Dispatch reflect approximately a $200,000.00 plus cost savings every year. This is a significant saving to the people. However, we all know that the Town Council will find ways to spend that money instead of returning it to the people by lowering taxes.
The current system used by Lisbon does not provide the best possible protection to the residents. This was identified in last Tuesday’s workshop. Please review the following two scenarios:
1. According to the EMT from Lisbon Emergency, when calls are received using 353-2500, and the Lisbon Communication Center dispatch them they cannot and do not provide an Emergency Medical Code EMC) which is crucial for EMTs to ensure they are prepared prior to arriving on the scene. According to the EMT, this Emergency Medical Code (EMC) greatly improves the patient’s chances of survival. Again, Lisbon Communication Center cannot provide this EMC; only the 911 operator can provide this code.
2. All 911 calls currently are received by the Androscoggin County Dispatcher as directed by the Maine State Public Safety Director. These 911 operators are mandated, by the Town of Lisbon, to relay the information to the Lisbon Communication Center to have OUR First Responders dispatched to the scene. It certainly would be more efficient and effective to have the 911 operator dispatch OUR First Responders immediately upon receiving the call thus reducing the time it takes OUR First Responders to get to the scene and provide emergency medical services. As everyone can see there is a time delay when you have to relay information and what happens when 911 operators cannot get a response from the Lisbon Communication Center right away. When I visited the Androscoggin County Dispatch, I asked the two operators on duty what their problems were with Lisbon and was told that numerous times they cannot reach anyone on 353-2500. Think about the delay at that point, and imagine you or a loved one is the patient waiting for emergency medical services.
As you can see I have eliminated a financial reason and has not only identified two problem areas with the current system but also provided a solution to resolve both problem areas. So why is it that the Town Council is dragging their feet to provide the best quality of life solution to our people? The answer is simple; this is strictly political. If you do not believe this review the workshop video and watch two previous Town Councilors argue against doing what is best for the community. These two councilors are the very reason we are still talking about this situation.
It is time to correct this ugly mess! This Town Council needs to vote to join the rest of the country by providing the best possible emergency services to the community and become a member of the Maine State E911 system. Our people deserve the best possible emergency services and they are NOT getting it under the current system.