Council Hears Dispatch Center Report; Celebrates Girls Basketball Team

PAL 8th Grade Basketball team Credits: Marianne Ivers
Mayor Al Morgan and Scott Ruff Credits: Marianne Ivers
Ed Vath and Mayor Al Morgan Credits: Marianne Ivers

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Scott Ruff, Executive Director of the Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center, came to the April 3 council meeting to present the dispatch center’s annual report.

The dispatch center operates as a joint meeting agreement between New Providence, Millburn and Summit. The center began its emergency communication services in 2015 managing emergency calls to police, fire department and EMS/first aid squads in the three municipalities, and 2016 marked its first full calendar year of operations.

The center has 22 employees and it services the population of 54,469. In 2016 the center received 261,737 calls, of which 19,224 calls were 911-calls. A total of 24,483 non-911 calls required the dispatch of law enforcement or other emergency units. The average monthly call volume amounted to 21,811 and the average daily rate for 911 emergency calls was 53.

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As the smallest of the three municipalities New Providence funds 22.7 percent of the dispatch center’s $2.2 million budget. Summit and Millburn fund 39.9 percent and 37.6 percent respectively.

The center’s 2017 goals include transitioning to a new schedule and adding personnel. It is also planning to develop and implement agency wide Quality Assurance Program. The center plans to outline employee career development profiles as well as revise the ECC Training Program. Additionally, the center plans to review and modify the dispatch protocols for fire and EMS.

The center is also in the process of implementing the new digital radio system for Summit and upgrading their radio communications network for New Providence and Millburn. This year the center plans to upgrade the 911 phone equipment for NextGen911 compliance and Text-To-911 capabilities.

After Ruff’s presentation Mayor Al Morgan read the proclamation celebrating the National Public Safety Telecommunicator’s Week, taking place April 9-15.

Additionally, Ed Vath, Senior Risk Control Consultant of the Garden State Municipal Joint Insurance Fund presented the Safety Incentive Award to the borough.

In other news the council celebrated PAL 8th Grade Girls Basketball team and their successful season. Morgan read a proclamation in their honor. The team, coached by Daryl Blank, Chas Sarlund and Dave Mauer, played 14 games in the rugged Jersey Basketball Association, finishing with a record of 11-3 and earning a 2nd place finish in their division. The playoffs began with a game against Springfield with a decisive 52-21 victory. New Providence also dominated the semi-final game against South Plainfield with a win of 45-29. During the Championship game against top-seeded Berkeley Heights the Pioneers overcame a halftime deficit and claimed the championship by a 42-34 score.

“You make us proud,” Morgan told the team.

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