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Waterford, East Lyme Looking To Share Dispatch

First Selectman: Move Would Save Money For Both Towns

In September, would be his top priority if elected to a fourth term.

Three months into his fourth term, it appears he is keeping his promise.

Tuesday night, the Board of Selectmen approved an agreement with East Lyme to regionalize The deal, which still needs to be approved by the East Lyme Board of Selectmen and Waterford’s Representative Town Meeting, was worked out between Steward and East Lyme First Selectman Paul Formica.

“We think it is a benefit to both communities,” Steward said.

The deal would bring four East Lyme dispatchers to Waterford’s according to Steward. The dispatchers would cover all fire and emergency calls for East Lyme, although not police calls, Steward said.

Why It Could Save Money

This agreement makes dispatch more efficient for both towns, and the state will give both Waterford and East Lyme money to do it, Steward said. East Lyme will save money because it saves on overhead for four dispatchers, and Waterford will save money from overtime, he said.

Waterford has nine full-time dispatchers, which is enough to have two people on at all times, which is required, Steward said. The problem is, when people take sick time or vacation or whatever else, the town has to pay overtime to fill that slot, he said.

Now, East Lyme will bring in four more full-time dispatchers, so three people will be on most of the time, Steward said. Then, if somebody calls out or goes on vacation, two people will still be on so overtime won't be necessary, he said.

Additionally, the state is offering incentives to communities to regionalize its dispatch centers. So, Waterford will receive roughly $100,000 annually from the state if this agreement is approved, Steward said.

The Board of Selectmen approved the agreement unanimously. Finance Director Rudie Beers and Board of Finance member J.W. “Bill” Sheehan, who were both at the meeting, both said it was a good idea.

“I think this is great,” Sheehan said.

New London Next?

about regionalizing its dispatch as well. Steward said he hopes to talk with New London Fire Chief Ron Samul, Police Chief Margaret Ackley and Mayor Daryl Finizio to work out a deal.

The Truth February 03, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Wayne and I Know - absolutley BEAUTIFUL - you folks are right on the money!!! This entire process is a POLITICAL ENDEAVOR on King Dan's part. Yes maybe the thought of regionalization has been talked about in the past, and thats just what it was -talk only. King Dan attended a meeting filled with misinformation and now he wants to take a "knee jerk" approach to this. Issues of control will make this entire process an absolute nightmare for East Lyme. King Dan wants it his way and his way only and wants to use his minions to rule the roost. The Town of Waterford is the only one that benefits here. East Lyme should not become Waterfords patsy or doormat.
Robert Williams February 04, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Montville has a radio system similar to East Lyme's. Waterford's system is on a different radio band, which is probably at least twice the cost of the East Lyme system. Montville, also will have a new state of the art dispatch center, which uses the same computer dispatch program as East Lyme. My understanding is East Lyme is currently negotiating with Waterford Police to take over the administration of police services, and getting rid of the resident trooper program. East Lyme has the same band radios as Waterford, but both town use different brand radios. The two are not compatible, because they are all computer programmed for each brand, and they are not compatible. I have investigated this with the manufacturers. If all services are combined, EL will have to spend at least $3000 per car, $3500 per officer for a portable radio, plus replacing equipment at the towers, plus still maintain the current/new radio system for EMS and fire services. How much per year will it cost EL for the Waterford Dispatch services? Someone has to pay for the dispatchers, plus money to help maintain Waterford's system so they can dispatch EL and Waterford? No costs have been presented. Add all of the above to EL getting the grants for Waterford, because Waterford can't, and I would imagine the expense would grow. Plus, EL Fire Marshal doesn't want to give up his power either. Investigate Montville, it is a better financial alternative if it's going to happen.
The Truth February 04, 2012 at 07:32 PM
It seems like King Dan stirred up a hornets nest when he jumped the gun and took all of his LIMITED INFORMATION and rammed it through the Waterford Selectmans Meeting. East Lyme's Dispatchers had to read about it here first. That is a real shame. Are Formica and Steward really on the same wave length? If they truly were this would not have happened. And now to see that the East Lyme Dispatchers will need to re-apply for their jobs?? It goes back to the FLAWED study - the Statement Of Work specified that the vendor that did the study was to take into account personnel and labor issues - NOT DONE. It also specified that the study was to take in the 911 Calls, and the ROUTINE CALLS (which include Central Station burglar and fire alarms, along with Life Alert etc. - NOT DONE. A very small percentage of a dispatchers workload is handling 911 Calls - the study reflects NONE of these issues. East Lyme will pay dearly in the long run if this goes through. They will pay financially and will pay with having a communications center that they have no say over at all. Stick together on this East Lyme Fire & EMS - you're the people out there doing the job. Mr. Formica needs to know this is a TERRIBLE IDEA. Its only a win for Waterford.
The Truth February 04, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Just some food for thought. The 911 Consolidation Study came out on January 18th. Anyone wonder why the State of CT has been so quiet regarding the study. Nothing in the print media or the electronic media - no TV story, no BIG News on the front page of any papers. It's because they were sold an inferior study and they know it. That was made very clear to them when the results of the study were presented on Jan. 18th. The police, fire, and EMS professionals in the room ate the Kimball Group alive. They were ill prepared at best. The folks from OSET were squirming in their chairs - I'm sure they were embarassed.
Bill February 05, 2012 at 01:27 PM
As this issue rolls along. This issue is an end to its means. Mr. Formica wants to get rid of the State Police. East Lyme Police too do not want to be under State Police supervision. The only way they can do this is to go somewhere else. (Waterford) If they went to Montville they would still be under State Police supervision. Thats why Mr. Formica and the ELPD did not push in that direction, if it was about saving money like he say's this does, the town of East Lyme still would be getting there grant money by going to Montville. Mr. Formica wants (his spin) us to believe that the State is pushing for regionalization. NOT TRUE. As stated in previous blog by "The Truth" the State is not pushing because of the horrendous Kimball Report. Now for Waterfords interest. Waterford will take on the EL police services only if EL regionalizies. Ive seen the draft of the contract between the 2 towns. Long story short, EL pays for everything(dispatchers, radios, janitorial, cells, etc.) Waterford pays NOTHING. But will have use of EL services (Back up radios, Towers etc) and will not pay for them. It's unfortunate that politcians (who have no clue) on Emergency services can set policy for them. Mr Formica has drove a dagger into the EL volunteers spirit with his stance on this issue. I can tell you many are disheartened and will certainly curtail there volunteer efforts to town that doesnt care. His legacy as Selectman in the fire services eyes will be "the one who sold EL Fire to WTFD"

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