Fire Chief Peter Henrikson told the Fire Commissioners the equipment bought to help Warwick take over dispatch duties for East Greenwich may be able to be used in a Fire District–Town collaboration.
"Before we try to reach out to see what we could get on the market, we want to sit with the town," Henrikson said. "Part of that is whether or not they'd be interested in moving dispatch to the police station with an additional console and also discussing the equipment we've retrieved from the City of Warwick."
The Fire District went to Warwick in 2009 with the idea of Warwick taking over EG dispatch because East Greenwich wanted to free up a firefighter from dispatch duties. By 2010, East Greenwich had many several purchases to smooth communications between the two communities. But Warwick got cold feet in 2011 and asked for more time. After nearly two years of relative inaction, East Greenwich Fire Commissioners decided to end the talks last month.
Henrikson said at the Fire District meeting Thursday night that they'd already had one meeting with Town Manager Bill Sequino, Police Chief Tom Coyle and members of the town's IT staff.
"We had a very good meeting, talking about communications problems in the town, not just on the fire side but on the police side as well," he said, in particular, "the west part of town where the communication is terrible."
Henrikson said it was possible the microwave dishes purchased for dispatch with Warwick could be utilized to help with that. Warwick still has one of those dishes, he said. It needs to be professionally removed.
The police station was built with room for two dispatch stations. It's unclear why discussions between the two municipal entities over merging dispatch did not take place sooner.