Truckee Fire to move dispatch to Grass Valley
The Truckee Fire Protection District will soon move its dispatch services from the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s Grass Valley services.
The switch, which was decided upon at a January TFPD board meeting, may be finalized by April 1, said TFPD Chief Mike Terwilliger.
The fire district is currently loading their data base in Grass Valley and is about 50 percent finished. They are also converting their radios. The new dispatch provider will transfer the district onto a high-band system that will benefit the fire department, said Terwilliger.
“It puts us on a high-band frequency versus a low-band frequency that results in better communications,” he said. “It’s a good, positive move.”
The decision to move services was initiated when NCSO told the district last summer that services were going to cost $40,000 beginning with the 1998-99 fiscal year.
“We had to look for better options,” said Terwilliger in January. “It was a matter of cost effectiveness. We had already decided to move our communications to high-band. We are just making our move a little sooner.”
The district received bids for dispatch service contracts from Grass Valley and the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.
Grass Valley, who offers services to local government entities, currently provides dispatch services for CDF as well as Donner Summit Fire Department. Switching services will take an adjustment period, said CDF Battalion Chief and Donner Summit Fire Department Chief Bryce Keller.
“It will take an adjustment period for all players just like anything else,” he said. “I am looking forward to the (switch). We’ll have better coordination of ground assets.”
He also said that even though the fire district is switching dispatch services to Grass Valley, they will still need the NCSO dispatch center.
“The sheriff’s department has provided an excellent service to community, to the public and to the fire district. We still need the sheriff’s office as part of solution to public service. They are still part of the team.”
Terwilliger had recommended the switch to the TFPD board for several reasons:
-CDF/Grass Valley has three repeater sites which will ensure transmission consistency
-Grass Valley has three dispatchers working during the day and two working at night, which meets the standards for the National Fire Protection Association and Insurance Services Office standards.
-Because the district works on a day-to-day operational level with CDF and DSFD, using a high-band frequency will ensure a commonality of use. In addition, the district works on incidents with the Tahoe National Forest, which also uses services from the Grass Valley dispatch services.
-Equipment maintenance for repeaters would be minimal with CDF responsible for most repairs.
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