DRAYTON – The City of Guelph is now responsible for dispatch services for Mapleton Fire Rescue.
Fire Chief Rick Richardson made a presentation to Mapleton council on Jan. 28 explaining the local communication towers have been corrected and transmission will be possible throughout all corners of the township.
Firefighters have tested all the problem areas, including in Drayton and around Conestogo Lake.
“We’ve found full communication from portables, from the mobiles, from the base, no problem,” Richardson said.
Guelph has been providing 24-hour dispatch for about two years and it has been available to county fire departments. However, because of patchy signals, Mapleton did not want to go with the remote service in Guelph and continued using two part-time dispatchers – one in Moorefield and one in Drayton.
One of the dispatchers has moved to London and a firefighter would be required to stay back if no dispatcher is available.
However, now that the towers are fixed, Guelph will take over the dispatching service and will track sent pages, monitor calls, track when the firefighters are on scene, when the fire is out, how many people were rescued, how many vehicles were involved in an accident, how many victims, etc. and send report at the end of a call with required benchmarks the fire department must record.
“We have had to access those audios in the past for different reasons, for training or for just explaining some of the things we did and so we have the opportunity to go on full dispatch now,” Richardson said.
Mayor Gregg Davidson pointed out there isn’t much of a cost difference between using Guelph’s services and local dispatchers.
Richardson also pointed out there is an opportunity to keep a local dispatcher for walk-ins and things that happen in the local area.