The Cochise County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the use of $2,240,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to provide county residents with quicker 911 response times through dispatch technology improvements.
The Fire Station Alerting System project, proposed by Sierra Vista Fire and Medical Services and Fry Fire District, includes software installation and technology upgrades for all fire stations and special districts within Cochise County to increase the overall effectiveness and efficiency of dispatch centers. The upgraded system can improve 911 response times by 30 to 90 seconds during emergencies.
At Tuesday’s Regular Board meeting, county staff and representatives from Fry Fire District and Sierra Vista Fire and Medical Services presented the project, including a cost breakdown and a list of benefits for Fire Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and dispatch centers countywide. The Board first heard the proposal at a work session last October. At that time, the Board requested assurance that the system be a countywide benefit and that all fire stations and districts be aware of the costs associated with the system and ongoing maintenance.
“We have one hundred percent support from other agencies on this project,” said Sierra Vista Fire and Medical Services Battalion Chief, Joshua Meeker. “We’ve been sounding the drum countywide to agencies and citizens that will ever call 911. We appreciate the opportunity to be part of something that is going to be pretty monumental to Fire and EMS in Cochise County.”
Each station and district signed a non-binding Letter of Intent documenting they are aware of the costs associated with the system and that ongoing maintenance is the responsibility of each individual agency after the 5-year maintenance agreement included in the initial purchase.
“We’re both professionally and emotionally tied to this project as it affects each and every one of the citizens we encounter on the ground level,” said Fry Fire District Battalion Chief, Billy Seamans. “Thanks to everyone that’s been involved and to the community that’s been a supporter of this initiative. We are excited to implement the project and are grateful for the first day it goes live and that we’ll be there faster and more appropriate for the citizens of Cochise County.”
The Fire Station Alert System presentation can be accessed through this link. To view the Regular Board meeting recording and minutes, please visit the Agendas & Minutes webpage.