Decision-Makers' Guide to
for Essex, VT
and other Chittenden County Communities
Who You Gonna Call?
... You smell smoke,
... Your partner has chest pains, or
... You see an apparent theft in progress.
The answer is not as obvious as 9-1-1.
By direct-dialing local dispatch, for example --
instead of 911 -- you can expect faster dispatch
of first responders in many cases.*
How come? Each 911 call now gets answered by someone who,
in turn, dials our Police Dept's Dispatch function and waits for an answer.
As a local Dispatcher picks up and obtains your info, he or she deploys
appropriate Emergency Responders to your location.
Clock is Ticking!
The 2-stage process -- 1) 911 to Dispatch, then 2) Dispatch to Responders -- takes time.
🚨 This 2-stage call-transfer process is typical but not necessary. 🚨
When seconds count, why wait for help to be deployed?
You Have Options!
Decrease Dispatch Delays
Just as emergency personnel use horns, sirens, and flashing lights to minimize response times when someone is injured, a fire is raging, etc. ...
We also have ways to minimize current delays in dispatching emergency personnel.
To reduce dispatch delays, voters / taxpayers should understand our options:
911 -- 2-stage response
Local Dispatch -- 1-stage response
Proposed Additional Options
Regional Dispatch -- 2-stage response
Regional Dispatch as 911 hub / PSAP -- 1-stage response
What are pros and cons of each option?
What are the costs involved?
What angles might the press and public servants have missed?
This website was created to assist our conversation as a community about this critical issue, by providing a simple overview of dispatch delays and how to remedy them, as well as introducing the concept of Regional Dispatch as discussed in Chittenden County during 2016-18. Your feedback is welcome.
*Disclaimer: Every situation is different. (For example, in Shelburne only, many 911 calls are answered and dispatched through their 911 hub, known as a PSAP. No other CC town has a PSAP.)
The advice provided here is generally applicable. Your situation may vary.
Use your best judgment according to your unique circumstances.
Thank You for Stopping By...
Please visit the following pages for more info:
The last frontier of EMS ... Dispatch.
It's not a matter of fixing a bad system in most cases (but) to make good dispatch systems even better.
That is the challenge!
-- Jim Page,
the father of modern EMS
JANUARY 24, 2018
Just-passed deadline to warn a vote to join Regional Dispatch effort. Seven towns have done so. (The Essex Selectboard chose on Dec. 18 to not warn a vote.)
MARCH 6, 2018
Citizens may vote at the polls to Regionalize Dispatch, or not -- that is, to add the Proposed Options (see box on the left) to the Current Options -- in Burlington, Colchester, Milton, Shelburne, South Burlington, Williston, or Winooski.
APR - JUNE, 2018
Hire employees, configure test systems with a July 1 start date for at least one member town. Tweak financing model and prepare for fall funding votes.
Hire Regional Dispatch director, begin operations.
MARCH 6, 2018
Gail Callahan's VT Digger article: "Shelburne alone in rejecting regional dispatch center"
DECEMBER 18, 2017
Jess Aloe's BFP article: "Burlington adds regional dispatch ... to March ballot"
MARCH 30, 2017
Elizabeth Murray's BFP article: "Burlington, Essex, others consider regionalizing dispatch"