New dispatch system helps nine counties share information, save money

    A new emergency dispatch system is helping nine counties operate as one unit. (WJAC)

    A new emergency dispatch system is helping nine counties operate as one unit.

    Director of Clearfield County Public Safety Joe Bigar said Clearfield, Cameron, Elk and McKean counties have been using the regional computer aided dispatch system (CAD) since December.

    Bigar said Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest and Warren are slowing phasing in.

    Bigar said CAD allows dispatchers to see incidents in all counties.

    “I think the regional CAD system saves time and money,” Bigar said. “Our customers are people on the highways and this will help them get the services they need much quicker, especially if they are located on county lines.”

    If a requested fire department or ambulance service from another county is out of service, CAD will automatically call the next available unit.

    Bigar said it also helps dispatchers verify addresses from other counties and reduce unnecessary delays.

    “It reduces response time because in the small rural communities and especially along the county lines, multiple agencies from different counties respond,” Bigar said. “Counties using CAD will automatically get an alert to respond rather than having our dispatchers call and give them all the information.”

    Bigar said Clearfield County's back up system is now other counties.

    Bigar said the cost to Clearfield County tax payers could have been $500,000 to purchase CAD and another $100,000 per year for maintenance.

    Because the nine counties are taking part in a regional grant through the state, there is no cost to Clearfield County.

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