The center is 24/7; there are usually two dispatchers on duty, with the capability of a 3rd position. Dispatchers go through an extensive on-the-job training program with certified trainers and must become Colorado Crime Information Center (CCIC) and National Crime Information Center (NCIC) certified within six months of being hired. Dispatchers must also become certified in Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
The Communications Center is the heart of the law enforcement team. The dispatcher is the first link in the chain, and will ask numerous questions of a caller so that they can dispatch the appropriate responder(s) to the incident. Through the EMD program, the dispatcher is able to give pre-arrival first aid instructions to callers, and assist to save or sustain life until police and/or medical personnel can arrive. The dispatchers have had several “saves” with choking victims and cardiac arrest patients and have helped deliver at least three babies over the phone.
The Communications Center is equipped with modern technology including the Emergency Preparedness Network (EPN) system that gives us the ability to call as many people as needed in a few minutes to notify them of a specific emergency. The Communications Center also has a mapping system to assist getting responders to addresses in the county. With the assistance of money from a Homeland Security Grant, Delta County has taken a substantial step toward converting the communications center to 800 mhz., thus joining the state in becoming a part of interoperability in communications. All law enforcement (thanks to Homeland Security grants) and most fire and ambulance agencies in Delta County are now 800 mhz. compatible. Since August 2008, the Communications Center has been equipped with its first CAD (computer aided dispatching) system, which is networked with all law enforcement agencies in the county. This system allows dispatchers to relay calls and information to officers quicker and more efficiently than in the past; plus it gives Dispatch and all connected agencies the ability to track previous offenders and contacts.
The Communications Center continues to strive to meet the demands of the population growth that Delta County has experienced. Since 2005, the “calls for service” answered by the Delta County Communications Center has increased from 29,000 per year to 60,000 in 2009.
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