Eight members of the Sebastian County 911 Board were joined by city officials, fire and police personnel on February 27 to discuss the possibility of implementing a unified dispatch.
“The judge felt it was important to have them (members of the Sebastian County Intergovernmental Cooperation Council) there to make them aware of what’s going on,” stated Sebastian County Sheriff Hobe Runion.
The 911 board previously voted to fund a study by APCO International, an assessment firm for public safety communications. According to Runion, the firm will help determine whether or not consolidating emergency services, police, fire and ambulance would be advantageous.
The consolidation would include Fort Smith dispatch, the Sebastian County dispatch and the Fort Smith EMS. “The idea is if you had a unified dispatch, the efficiency would improve,” added Runion.
The proposed unified dispatch plan was popular well-received among members of the intergovernmental cooperation council and first responders. “I believe it’s a system that will benefit all agencies involved as well as its citizens,” shared Greenwood Police Chief William Dawson. “The combination of resources can only help in terms of budget, performance, and information sharing.”