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Council Approves Updating Fire, EMS System

New CAD system will bring University City's fire and EMS dispatch back in-house with the police department.

The University City City Council Tuesday approved purchasing an upgrade to the CAD (computer aided dispatch) system in order to bring Fire/EMS dispatching in-house with the city's police dispatching.

Chief Don Miner told the council that the city's current contract with North Central County Fire Alarm expires in July. Instead of the flat $77,000 per year the city currently pays, North Central was shifting to a method where each city was charged $.04 per $100 assessed valuation.

"Our costs would go way up," he said.

City Manager Lehman Walker's background report put University City's 2012 assessed valuation at $594,594,530.

The city looked at bids for service from East Central, North Central, Central County and South County. Walker compared five year costs for the city for continuing to outsource the service versus bringing it back in house:

  • Outsourcing dispatch (lowest bid): $762,750
  • Upgrading UCPD with fire CAD: $205,952

Miner told the council that the fire service used to be dispatched out of the and only outsourced the service because the police didn't have the necessary CAD.

He added that there were no personnel reductions when the fire department left UCPD dispatch, so they should be able to come back in without adding new dispatch staff.

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