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Tulsa Area Fire Departments Looking Into More Aid Agreements, Regional Dispatch Center

Broken Arrow Fire Department

Nine Tulsa-area fire chiefs are asking INCOG to look at whether it’s feasible to enter into automatic aid agreements to cover their bordering areas and establish a regional dispatch center to handle those calls.

A review says such an arrangement could mean thousands more addresses are reachable within national response time standards. A combined, regional dispatch center would cost $3.8 million in its first year.

David Branch of Matrix Consulting Group says about one-third of that would go toward technology needs to get nine agencies on the same page. 

"Getting each of the fire agencies on a common [computer-aided dispatch] system, working out the network capacity needs for 911 call taking and data, and then also station alerting, common station alerting system for each of the agencies that would participate," Branch said.

Broken Arrow Fire Chief Jeremy Moore said the plan would take time to accomplish.

"I think a disclaimer would say 18 months would be a minimum required to do this if we had, quite frankly, all of the money and all of the politics already going in one direction that this was the right steps," Moore said.

Lower response times and more addresses reached could mean higher ratings for fire departments and lower insurance rates for residents and businesses.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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