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Home > Topics > Safety

Minn. fire department's dispatch system to be fixed with upgrade

Their current system was installed more than 25 years ago and has failed to alert some station's about calls; they will spend as much as $36,000 to upgrade the system

St. Cloud Times

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — The St. Cloud Fire Department will spend as much as $360,000 this year to upgrade the system that alerts its stations to emergency calls.

The technology for the current system, which was installed more than 25 years ago, is outdated and parts are no longer available, Fire Chief Bill Mund said. The system has failed to the point where some stations aren’t getting notified about calls and, in one case, all of its stations missed getting word about two medical calls.

“Fortunately, the police and Gold Cross ambulance were also dispatched, and we weren’t needed,” Mund said.

The City Council has approved the expenditure, which will come from the Fire Reserve Account. An updated system could be ready for testing by June, Mund said.

And the new system should help get firefighters to those calls faster because the information from a caller will be relayed automatically and sent through fiber optic Internet and UHF radio, Mund said.

“Departments that have gone with this system have seen a reduction in response times,” Mund said.

The new system also can test itself every 30 seconds.

Mund said he expects the cost of the system will be less than the $360,000 approved by the council.

Copyright 2014 St. Cloud Times

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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