MOUNT VERNON — Area fire chiefs support the consolidation of the Mount Vernon City and Knox County 9-1-1 dispatch centers as well as moving the combined center to a discrete location where dispatchers would be less distracted from their primary duties.
The dispatchers are instrumental in facilitating communications with public safety personnel such as firefighters. They handle both the initial fire call and stay on the line, so to speak, while the fire department is out on calls. They serve as the dispatch center for the fire departments, calling in for extra equipment, mutual aid and those sorts of things.
Richard Dzik, 9-1-1 Coordinator, said about half of the 18,000 9-1-1 calls, made last year were fire/EMS related calls. He said the length of time the dispatcher spends on fire/EMS calls depends on the situation.
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