Some de­part­ments leav­ing Yar­mouth fire dis­patch

Seven fire de­part­ments had given their no­ti­fi­ca­tion as of last week

Tri-County Vanguard - - FRONT PAGE - TINA COMEAU TRI­COUNTY VAN­GUARD

Yar­mouth town coun­cil was told last week that seven fire de­part­ments in the tri-coun­ties have given their for­mal no­ti­fi­ca­tion that they will be leav­ing the Yar­mouth fire dis­patch ser­vices.

In a re­port to an Oct. 24 com­mit­tee of the whole meeting, Yar­mouth Fire Chief John Ver­rall in­formed coun­cil of the de­ci­sion of the de­part­ments.

Coun­cil was told that the Bar­ring­ton/Port La­tour; Is­land/Bar­ring­ton Pas­sage and Shel­burne fire de­part­ments have in­di­cated they will be mov­ing their dis­patch ser­vices to Val­ley Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

The Meteghan, Sal­mon River and Hectanooga fire de­part­ments will be mov­ing to Digby dis­patch ser­vices, Ver­rall said.

The Mid­dle/Up­per Ohio depart­ment in Shel­burne in­tends to switch to Sco­tia Busi­ness Cen­tre dis­patch, lo­cated in Bridge­wa­ter.

“Those are the ones I know of. There might be other ones in the works that I may not know of,” said the chief. “But of­fi­cially those are the ones that I have doc­u­men­ta­tion on.”

Over­all (in­clud­ing these de­part­ments) 24 de­part­ments re­ceive dis­patch ser­vices from the Yar­mouth dis­patch cen­tre.

The fu­ture of the lo­cal dis­patch ser­vice in Yar­mouth has been up in the air since late April when the town is­sued lay­off no­tices to the four dis­patch­ers who work out of the Yar­mouth fire depart­ment, say­ing it in­tended to ex­plore other dis­patch ser­vices that would be less costly to the town.

In the months since, there have been meet­ings, a protest out­side of the town hall, lots of pub­lic dis­cus­sion on so­cial me­dia and con­tin­ued ex­plo­ration of av­enues to try and keep the lo­cal dis­patch ser­vices in place.

The town has al­ways stated it is not dis­sat­is­fied with the ser­vices in place, rather it says its tax­pay­ers have been pay­ing the bulk of the ser­vice and a more evenlyspread out fund­ing for­mula or mech­a­nism should be in place if this ser­vice re­mains.

The town has re­ceived two pro­pos­als for out­side dis­patch ser­vices but said last week it has not yet re­viewed those pro­pos­als. In­stead, it has been wait­ing to see if a pro­posal it sub­mit­ted to fire chiefs is go­ing to be ac­cepted by the de­part­ments.

The town’s pro­posal would see de­part­ments pay for six months of dis­patch ser­vices was based on a five-year av­er­age of their us­age of the ser­vice. For many fire de­part­ments the six-month bill they would have to pay through this ar­range­ment is quite costly com­pared to what they pay now for the dis­patch ser­vice. The pro­posal also sug­gested the ex­plo­ration of a one-cent area rate.

See DIS­PATCH, A2

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