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New dispatch system comes under fire from residents PDF Print E-mail
Written by JOE POIRIER   
Wednesday, 14 June 2017 17:23

Citizens express concern over response times and implementation

    Grafton residents voiced concerns about longer emergency response times and the fact police aren’t the first to be called to the scene of an emergency as the Public Safety Committee on Tuesday looked at the performance of the Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) system.
    “How is Priority Dispatch improving the efficiency of our dispatchers, police and fire personnel?” Public Works Chairman Sue Meinecke asked the committee.
    There is also other unresolved issues involving the implementation of the program as the village moves toward finalizing its certification of the system.
    In December of 2015, the Grafton Village Board entered into a partnership with Aurora Health Care and Priority Dispatch – an emergency medical software company – to adopt, purchase and implement the EMD system. Earlier this year, Priority Dispatch conducted an on-site review and concerns arose over the efficiency of the dispatch service.
    “Both parties realized there were some outstanding issues or concerns that needed to be addressed,” Village Administrator Jesse Thyes said Tuesday. “Everybody agreed that a reboot of the implementation was in everyone’s best interest.”
    The concerns Thyes is referring to involve a lack of communication between the EMD system users and a contracted medical director from Aurora during the transition, and the training of dispatchers to use the system. Thyes said the concerns are being addressed, but residents don’t consider the village’s effort is adequate enough.
    “There is great value in a formal EMD program, but this specific implementation process needs to be tailored to meet the needs of the village,” Meinecke said. “This failed EMD implementation process is a thinly veiled effort to breakdown our emergency response system, force Grafton to outsource dispatch to the county and increase the burden on taxpayers.”
    Resident Cindy Schacht said she doesn’t understand why the EMD implementation needs to undergo a reboot.
    “In a sense we’re starting over,” Thyes said, noting they need to address concerns about efficiency and response times. “We have the program in place and the dispatchers are trained, but we’re starting over following what should have been done in the first place. We don’t believe we’re in a good place to go after accreditation or look to achieve accreditation at this point. Therefore, we’re starting over to address these issues while still maintaining the high quality of service that we do.”
    Police Capt. Emmett Grissom, who is the designated representative for the implementation process, said the new training is not going to be offered until September or October.
    Residents were also concerned about police no longer responding first to emergency calls, which used to be standard.
    “Pre-EMD, as soon as the dispatcher had the information, police and emergency services were dispatched at the same time,” Grissom said.
    But Police Chief Charles Wenten added that not all calls need a police response immediately.
    “Patient care is the issue,” Fire Chief William Rice said. “We’re not going to fight over who goes first.”
    The Public Safety Committee said it wants to meet in the next couple of weeks to further discuss the EMD implementation process.

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