Nine counties joined together to create a regional dispatch system that allows the counties to save lives and money.
The regional computer aided dispatch system, or CAD system, got off the ground in December starting with Clearfield, Elk, Cameron and McKean counties.
It will also include Clarion, Forest, Erie, Crawford and Warren Counties.
“Rather than each county operating as their own independent county, we now can join together,” Clearfield County EMA director Joe Bigar said.
The system combines all the calls into one place. It shares information between dispatch centers so crews can be alerted if they need to assist across county lines.
“In the small, rural communities, especially along the borders of the county, multiple agencies respond from multiple counties, and the counties within this regional CAD automatically get the alert, rather than have us call to give all the information,” Bigar said.
It can also help verify addresses, knows if a requested unit is already busy, and reduces the time dispatchers have to spend transferring calls to other counties.
The state is covering the entire cost of the system, meaning there’s no charge to taxpayers.
“Something that may have cost us $500,000 to purchase and then another $100,000 per year in maintenance cost will now cost us nothing,” Bigar said.
Bigar said this system is the first of its kind in the state.