Photo submitted Vernon city hall needs to be cautious when considering contracting out of fire dispatch.

Dispatch review needs public

Vernon city hall needs to consult with residents over contracting out fire dispatch

Nobody can fault the City of Vernon for looking at internal operations to see if there’s a better way of doing things. After all, the city depends on tax dollars and many residents continue to struggle financially.

So it makes sense to determine if contracting out fire hall dispatch services could reduce costs.

“It’s worth exploring. There aren’t too many stand-alone dispatch operations any more,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham.

“We can’t make a decision until we have all of the information.”

Currently, the stand-alone dispatch service in Vernon costs $549,355 per year and anticipated savings through contracting out are about $250,000 per year.

However, not everything is about saving money.

The four dispatchers currently employed make decent salaries and that money goes right back into the local economy through taxes, home purchases and shopping etc. If all well-paying jobs disappear, the community suffers.

There is also the issue of control and will the city have any say over standards if the service is contracted out? If a resident has a complaint over dispatching, such as a fire truck being sent to the wrong address, who do they approach?

Like anything, there are pros and cons to contracting out.

That’s why council needs to take a very cautious approach and it may be necessary to actually consult with those directly impacted by any changes — the public. Going to residents and getting their thoughts before a decision is made wouldn’t hurt.

Just Posted

Mehain named to integrated Commonwealth Games squad

Vernon Para-swimmer Sarah Mehain among 11 members named to full Canadian roster

UPDATE: Rockslide keeps Coquihalla northbound lane closed

Highway 5 is closed in one direction.

Up close and personal folk pop jams

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society presents Jenn Grant Feb. 3-4

Mamas for Mamas founder survives with new lease on life

Kelowna’s Shannon Christensen escaped a dangerous situation and lived to tell about it

Reel Reviews: The Commuter arrives, but The Post delivers

We say, “The Post is taut and electric. The Commuter is clever.”

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

A look at potential Canadian nominees for this year’s Oscars

The nominations are to be revealed Tuesday morning for the 90th Academy Awards

B.C. expert weighs in on why kids are eating Tide pods for fun

Why are kids taking part in something completely pointless yet so risky?

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Coquihalla drivers prepare for snow

Wintry conditions persist, with snow warnings for Coquihalla

Tychonik continues scoring run

Vees chalk up another win with Pink in the Rink

Most Read