CFD to purchase new emergency notification system

The Columbus Fire Department will purchase a new emergency notification system that is expected to increase dispatch efficiency and decrease response times.

The Columbus Board of Public Works approved a $678,788 contract Tuesday between the fire department and Colorado-based Locution Systems Inc. for the purchase and installation of the system, as well as training on how to use it.

The new system uses computer hardware and pre-programmed software to determine which fire stations should respond to a given emergency, how many vehicles should be dispatched and what equipment is needed, said Columbus Fire Chief Andy Lay. The system will be installed at all six fire stations, the county’s 911 Emergency Operations Center and the Columbus Municipal Airport, said Columbus Fire Chief Andy Lay.

Currently, the fire department uses the Motorola MOSCAD system, which is over 20 years old and no longer supported by Motorola, Lay said. City officials expect the new system to be in place within 12 to 15 months, said Jamie Brinegar, city finance director.

“Let’s say it’s a structure fire, (dispatchers currently) have to look on their computer and read a chart that says, ‘Send this, this, this and this,” Lay said during the board of works meeting. “…Then they have to go to the radio and actually verbally dispatch it. Now, everything will be pre-programmed.”

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic.