One of our next challenges will be to create joint dispatch services for the fire and police departments. The departments themselves will remain separate and in separate locations, but dispatch, where 911 calls are received and routed, will be combined into a single location.
In recent years, we have seen a 5% increase in call volumes year-over-year. The increase is not indicative of rising problems so much as the omnipresence of cell phones. Virtually everyone carries a phone now, so when there is a problem — a fire, report of a crime, an accident — we no longer get one call, we get several and each of those calls need to be answered.
By combining dispatch services into the same location, those teams which are now separate, will be able to back each other up. Hand-offs between the teams could be as quick and easy as walking to the next room.