Hermann will keep doing its own dispatching

Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:24 pm

DispatchersBy staff writer

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The Hermann Board of Aldermen voted unanimously Monday night to stay with its own dispatching, saying local dispatchers are better able to handle the needs of the city.
That decision came after a discussion with local first responders, and several members from the Gasconade County Central 911 board. A full house was present to give their views.
Hermann officials recently met with the county 911 to see what it could offer the city in the way of dispatching.
“We have a good system that’s doing a good job for the community, and it would not help the fire department and ambulance if we changed things,” said Ron VanBooven, Ward 1 alderman.
Mayor Dolores Grannemann said there is something to be said for a smaller dispatch center in that it offers a one-on-one service.
“We looked at a lot of numbers and this addresses a lot of issues that are out there,” said Brian Chorley, Ward 2 alderman.
City Administrator Frank Tennant the city also monitors a SCADA system with its own dispatchers, who keep an eye on the operations of the electric, gas and sewer and water departments. “They (dispatchers) don’t just sit back and wait for the phone to ring,” said Tennant. “We have incorporated their duties and job descriptions to take care of the clerk positions.”
He said every night when the city hall closes, the phones switch over to the local dispatchers who answer the calls. A quick response about a year ago averted serious problems when an 8-inch water main busted, and city crews were able to get on it quickly to make repairs.
Doug Clark, director of the Hermann Area Ambulance, said everybody has 911 service and Hermann will always be able to dial into 911 for their emergencies. “911 is just somebody taking a call and forwarding it to other agencies,” he said.
Betty Estes of Rosebud, a member of the county would have to add personnel to handle the extra load with doing Hermann’s dispatching. She also said, “There are definitely positives with having a smaller service, and being able to do your own.”
Harold Englert of Berger, former mayor and member of the fire department board, said Hermann “has something that works and doesn’t need to be fixed.”

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