Fire Dept Union Supports Proper Feasibility Study for MBTS’ Public Safety Dispatch


To the Editor,

My name is Tim Crosbie, and I am the Lt /EMS Coordinator for the Manchester Fire Department, for which I have been a full-time member for over 17 years.

I am also a member of the Manchester Fire Department’s Union Local 2912.

I am off duty and not scheduled on shift and zooming from my personal computer at my home.

I will be the representative speaking on behalf of the Union of the Manchester Fire Department.  Thank you to the Town of Manchester, Select Board, Town Administrator, and the Chiefs of the Police and Fire Departments for doing due diligence in trying to decide what is best regarding dispatch for Public Safety in the Town of Manchester.

Thank you to the dispatchers for the Town of Manchester for their continued hard work during this very difficult and long process. They are the first link in the chain of public safety.  It is a stressful and demanding job that requires strong support and recognition.

Thank you to each member of the Manchester Dispatch Center.

The members of the Manchester Fire Department Union Local 2912 would like to clarify our position and voice our concerns regarding dispatch in the Town of Manchester.

Understanding that this has been a very long and difficult discussion, we would like to clarify that we support all the facts that have been presented over the last 10-plus years.

We support a dispatch center that meets all current local, state, and national standards which can include NFPA, APCO, OSHA, and CALEA.

We support having two dispatchers 24/7 for all calls for service.  (Not letting a single dispatcher be put in a position for failure).

We support having the dispatch center be its own department with a department head or supervisor overseen by both the Police and Fire Departments equally.

We support having current hardware and software technology, referred to as CAD, that increases efficiency to all members of Public Safety.

We support a system that will increase operational support and staffing to both public safety departments.

We support a fiscally responsible budget that will benefit the Town of Manchester and its Public Safety Departments.  Our concerns are that if the Town and/or Select Board decide to keep the operation of dispatch in the Town of Manchester, that it will not fully fund having two dispatchers 24/7.  It will not fully address the hardware and software upgrades that are required.  It will not fund necessary staffing for Public Safety

Understanding that the Police and Fire Departments are dispatched differently, the current system has insufficient oversight from the fire department to address continued dispatch mistakes and safety concerns.

Issues in the past have been downplayed and continue to happen.

We ask the Town of Manchester and/or the Select Board to approve a letter of intent for the feasibility study to be done for compatibility with the North Shore Regional 911 Dispatch Center

We ask that if the decision is to keep dispatch in Town, that the wording of acceptance be: to have two dispatchers 24/7, maintain all current local, state, and national training and standards for dispatch centers, establish an independent dispatch department and upgrade and maintain all hardware and software to current available dispatch technology.

We ask that the Town of Manchester and /or the Select Board: make a decision, and allow for budget development to be included in this coming budget session.

Thank you for allowing the members of the Manchester Fire Department Union Local 2912 to express ourselves.

Tim Crosbie

Manchester Fire Department Union Local 2912

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