Kittery Dispatch Center gets upgrades | News

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Kittery Dispatch Center gets upgrades
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KITTERY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Kittery Dispatch Center is getting a series of new upgrades which will help save lives.

New technology will improve signal quality and strength for dispatchers and the public who calls them.

Kittery Fire Chief David O'Brien said Monday that the current technology is more than 25 years old, and that the new technology is state-of-the-art. It is the first time Motorola will install this equipment in Maine.

After the renovation, the center will also have a third bay station and console, which will make room to hire a third dispatcher to handle 911 calls.

"It's an adrenaline rush. What's it going to be? Who's it going to be? And you don't know if it's an emergency call or a routine call," said Linda Driscoll, a dispatcher of 30 years in York County.

Driscoll said that since there are only two-full time dispatchers, she is constantly handling multiple calls at a time.

"You're doing fire, you're doing police, you're doing EMS, you can't devote time to one call. you can't stay on 911 until people get there with them."

The current equipment is in "obsoletion," according to Kittery Fire Chief David O'Brien, who said Motorola no longer makes replacement parts for that equipment.

"The older it gets, the bigger the risk that it could have a failure. This new system, by the way we're building it is virtually failsafe. Those are critical life seconds," said Kittery and Eliot Police Chief Ted Short.

With better equipment and more staff, Short and O'Brien hope they can save more lives.

"For the first time we're going to have more dispatchers capability through the regionalization process with the best possible equipment you can get," said O'Brien. "Clearer communications, better distance on communications, and better chance of it not failing."

Driscoll said she looks forward to the new equipment, which she relies on to help people.

"It's going to make our job easier, and hopefully we can get people services quicker," said Driscoll.

Chief Short said the new technology should be fully operational by the beginning of March. Short said he plans to add Berwick, South Berwick, and hopefully York into their regional dispatch center. Kittery Dispatch is accepting applications for dispatchers. 


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