Oak Creek Police & Fire Dispatch Preparing to Expand Responsibilities while Becoming more Efficient

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Walk through the dispatch center in the Oak Creek Police Department and things look a lot different than just a year ago. Walls that once partitioned office space are missing and work stations that once numbered just four have doubled to eight. Beginning in early 2015, many of these new ergonomically designed workstations will be buzzing with life as the Oak Creek Police Department police dispatch center will be dispatching police and fire services for both Oak Creek and St. Francis.

Earlier this year, the Cities of Oak Creek and St. Francis entered into a 10-year joint dispatch agreement aimed at saving each municipality monies over the life of the contract by achieving efficiencies in personnel and technology costs.

By sharing dispatch services, better coverage will be achieved. According to Dispatch Manager Jason Bauknecht, in the event of high call volume in one municipality, dispatchers who were once assigned to their municipality will now be able to assist in handling the increased call volume in the other. This benefit during busy times should alleviate the need to regularly call in off duty dispatchers to cover the heavier volume.

Soon, the City of St. Francis dispatchers will become City of Oak Creek employees. In order to offset the increased cost of employing additional dispatchers, the City of St. Francis has agreed to pay a yearly fee to the City of Oak Creek. Once becoming City of Oak Creek employees, they will be emergency medical dispatch (EMD) trained and able to provide pre-arrival medical instructions for CPR, choking, bleeding, seizures, and pregnancy. This enhanced training allows call takers to quickly narrow down the caller's type of medical or trauma situation and provide this quality instruction to the caller before first responders arrive.

Cost savings will also be achieved through the sharing of computer hardware, software, radios and 911 equipment. Once a network link between the Oak Creek Police Department and the St. Francis Police Department is established, the integration of phone, paging, SOP and computer systems will begin.