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Sunday, April 2, 2017

CLOSING THE LISBON COMMUNICATION CENTER


As we all know, on February 21, 2017 four Councilors voted to keep paying for the Lisbon Communication Center.  These Councilors are Allen Ward, Chris Brunelle, Dale Crafts and Norm Albert.  We also know that Dale Crafts ALWAYS votes the same as Chris Brunelle and Norm Albert ALWAYS votes the same as Allen Ward.  Check their voting record to verify.

This leaves Chris Brunelle, who for the past four years has always voted against what is best for the community.  It is like he is representing the “Good Old Boys” network.  Remember the issue with the school which cost us legal fees and five referendums.  The one I cannot figure out is Allen Ward.  The week before the vote, he stated that before he voted he want to know what PSAP Brunswick and PSAP L/A911 could offer the community.  Also he and Councilor Albert said they were going to visit Androscoggin County Dispatch to review their operations.  However, neither did and both voted to keep Lisbon Communication Center open.  Sounds like these two got a better offer.

So let’s take a look at the current system.  Currently when a 911 call is received by the Androscoggin County Dispatch, the dispatcher has to determine the Emergency Medical Code (EMC) and relay all the information to the Lisbon Communication Center PRIOR to any dispatching of our First Responders. Can you imagine what happened if there are further delays?  Once the Lisbon dispatcher has the information, they dispatch our First Responders.  Lisbon Communication Center is simple a middle station and does not add any additional value to the process.

By closing the Lisbon Communication Center and having the Androscoggin County Dispatch perform all our dispatching needs; will eliminate the need for a middle station.  This means that the Dispatcher who receives the 911 call will be able to dispatch our First Responders immediately.  This will get our First Responder to the scene more quickly.  Put yourself in the place of the victim and ask yourself which system you would want in place.  Me personally, I want the system that gets me the help I need to me as quickly as possible.  It ONLY makes sense when lives are at stake.  Apparently, this means nothing to these four Councilors.

Next, by improving the service to our community, there is a cost savings to the community.  This means that the operating cost to the community is roughly $250,000.00 lower this year and every other year.  It is not very often when improving services to the community render such a sufficient amount of tax dollars.  So again I ask WHY did these four Councilors vote to put our lives at risk and not want to save the community roughly $250,000.00 a year.

Their vote does not make any sense for the town.  This idea that they may lose control is not a valid argument unless you are a member of the “Good Old Boys” network.  It is time for Lisbon to join the rest of the country and utilize a proven E911 system and ALL of its advantages.  This was a bad decision and need to be reevaluated especially after the Town Manager, Diane Barnes, states there is $33,500.00 in the municipal budget to upgrade the communication center.

Their vote was a month before the Town Manager making this announcement about needing more tax dollars for the Lisbon Communication Center.  These funds would not be needed if the Lisbon Communication Center closed.  Does anyone else beside me want to know why this was not made known during the discussions on the communication center?  I know that Sergeant Moore, Chief Hagan or Mrs. Barnes had this knowledge all along since the budget was presented a month later.

Call you’re Councilors, if you agree, and let’s get this decision reversed so it is in the best interest of the community.

Larry Fillmore

 
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