NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Expected to become operational in early September, Millburn approved a resolution on April 1 to become an equal partner with Summit and New Providence to provide emergency dispatch services to all three towns.
New Providence Borough Administrator Doug Marvin said Millburn will contribute $350,000 to become an equal stakeholder. Summit and New Providence are expected to approve resolutions at their next council meetings approving the entry of Millburn as an equal partner.
“This will make the emergency dispatch center even stronger and expand our ability to deliver superb services to all three communities,” Marvin said.
The Shared Dispatch Center will handle all 911 emergency dispatch services for police, fire and EMS in all three communities. The new facility will be located at the Municipal Center in New Providence with construction expected to begin in two weeks, Marvin said.
In addition to possible operational savings, one of the driving forces behind the partnership is a $1.6 million federal grant to replace aging equipment with state-of-the-art technology. Grant money can’t be used for construction or furniture expenses so each town is contributing $350,000 for the new center.
Discussions of a shared emergency call center began in earnest a few years ago with Summit and New Providence approving ordinances and resolutions necessary to complete the legal requirements.
During the first full year of operation, each community will contribute to operational expenses based on population. After a full year of data in hand, each municipality will be billed on actual consumption, Marvin said.
Responsibilities for making the new center operational are being shared by officials in all three communities.
Millburn Fire Chief Mike Roberts is taking the lead on hiring a director for the new center. A job description has been posted and 20 resumes have already been received.
Summit Fire Chief Joe Houck is responsible for overseeing the installation of 911 communications systems, furniture and dispatcher consoles.
Summit Police Chief Bob Weck is taking the lead on computer systems – computer aided dispatch, records management system and a mobile solutions system for emergency vehicles.
New Providence Police Chief Anthony Buccelli is responsible for the voice recording system for all radio and telephone lines.
Marvin described the group as very supportive. “There’s a great deal of interest from everyone. It’s going to be a great center.”