911 dispatch change could save SLCAD a bundle

By Catherine Gabe - cgabe@civitasmedia.com

Using 911 as its primary dispatch could save the South Lorain County Ambulance District about $6,000 per year.

The initial calls for nearly 90 percent of those seeking help already go through Lorain County 911, said SLCAD executive director Dave Knapp.

Once 911 takes the call and dispatches an ambulance, Wellington police then take over the rest of the call, including traffic en route to the scene, to the hospital, and until the truck returns.

The change would cut the WPD out of the dispatch chain altogether. Should a resident call the village police directly for an emergency, the call would be handed off to the county 911 dispatch center in Elyria.

“We just want to make sure we are going to get the same, if not better, service for dispatching than we are currently,” Knapp said.

There is no cost to switch to 911 as SLCAD’s primary dispatcher. “We are already paying that in taxes,” Knapp said. The Wellington fire department made a similar dispatching switch about 10 years ago, he said.

The money saved would go back into the ambulance district’s general fund to help pay for normal operating expenses, he said.

SLCAD has met with 911 to work out details before presenting the plan to the village, Knapp said.

Catherine Gabe can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @ReporterGabe on Twitter.

By Catherine Gabe