Letter: computer aided dispatch
Over 2 1/2 years ago, the Fire Department, Sheriff’s Office and Communications Center (Dispatch ) started the process of evaluating Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems for the new communications center currently under construction. Communications operators were involved in the evaluation process, got an opportunity to see several demonstrations and made site visits to agencies who were currently using the systems that were being evaluated.
Operators were included in the process because of their ability to see how the packages would meet the needs of the city of Carson. Dispatch is the first point of contact in emergency situations. Dispatch receives the 911 calls and deploys personnel to meet the needs of the community. Several pieces of vital information must be readily available when making these decisions. An outdated system in dispatch slows the process and can place the lives of the citizens and public safety employees in unnecessary danger. Our goal is to make the citizens aware of just such a CAD system that is being proposed as the vendor of choice by some city personnel.
The evaluation process narrowed the competition to two vendors: Tiburon and HTE. Tiburon was rated highest by the consultant hired by the city to add his expertise to the evaluation process. Tiburon was also rated highest by agencies currently using their software. HTE was rated substantially lower by both the consultant and users. HTE is the system that is being proposed by some city personnel who are naive as to the needs of the dispatch center.
CAD systems are very expensive. We hate to see the city spend a massive amount of money on a system that is technologically antiquated. HTE is developing a more modern UNIX (similar to Windows) based system; however, it is still in the testing phase. We must question how long they will continue to support their “old” system. Will we be forced to purchase another system at an even more staggering cost if they no longer provide updates for this text based package?
Please contact the members of the board of supervisors to express your concern in this matter. They must understand the life threatening consequences of purchasing an outdated system.
Communications Operators of Carson City