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County dispatch center releases annual report

The Dakota Communications Center recently released its 2015 annual report. The report gives an overview of what the DCC does and some of the major accomplishments over the course of 2015. Here are the highlights.

About DCC

DCC is a county-wide mass notification system that aims to provide a vital communications link between the community and public safety responders. It provides 911 services throughout the county, maintains a radio system for emergency responder use, sends emergency alerts via phone and email to residents and operates the county-wide storm siren system. Its member agencies include Apple Valley, Burnsville, Dakota County, Eagan, Farmington, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Mendota Heights, Rosemount, South St. Paul and West St. Paul.

Hastings paid a total of $556,985 in member fees to DCC in 2015. The fee is based on the number of dispatch events in the region.

In 2015, DCC dispatched 3,472 fire/EMS calls and 17,180 law calls in Hastings.

DCC was established in 2005. It is governed by a board of directors, which includes an elected official from each of the 12 member jurisdictions. The executive committee includes city and county administrators and managers from member jurisdictions and provides direction and oversight subject to policy direction of the board of directors. The Joint Operations Committee includes representatives from each fire/EMS and law enforcement discipline within the jurisdictions.

DCC staff includes administration and supervisors, several dispatchers and technical support specialists. Dispatchers provide service to 112 police departments, 112 fire/EMS departments, the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota State Patrol and a number of private ambulance services.

New in 2015

According to the report, 2015 was a year of upgrades. Major equipment replacements included 800 MHz radio consoles, a 911 telephone system and audio logger.

The radio consoles replace DCC’s original consoles and ensure that DCC remains compatible with the state’s radio system, which is scheduled to be upgraded in early 2016.

The telephone system upgrade was completed in July. After debating whether or not to use a shared system, the DCC ultimately chose a stand-alone system.

The new audio logger system was finalized in December. With a large capacity, the new system allows DCC to partner with Scott County to share logger space and recoup some of the costs.

Another system, computer-aided dispatch (CAD), was originally planned to go live in 2015, but had to be delayed until 2016.

Awards

The report also showcases some of the recognitions and awards DCC and its staff received in 2015:

2015 Dispatcher of the Year (as nominated by co-workers) – Michael Whebbe

Life Saver Award (for actions directly or personally taken to assist in saving a life) – Tiffany Gleason

2015 Awards of Merit (for outstanding self-initiated work or long-term exceptional performance and dedication) – Diane Bodeen and Raymond Egan

2015 Certificates of Commendation (for achievement that goes above and beyond the call of duty or normal performance requirement)– Doris Buls-Lake, Vicki Nelson, Beth Frost, Tera Hahle, Sandy Flategraff, Mike Whebbe, Kelly Bultman and Mary Siegler.

2015 Stork Awards (for dispatchers who provide pre-arrival instructions for imminent birth, resulting in baby delivery) – Matt Ausmus, Justine Wernick, Dawn Anderson, Kellie Bailey, Stacie Theis and Jesse Bochniak.

DCC earned the Making A Difference Award at the APCO/MSA/NENA spring conference for DCC’s handling of the 2014 Officer Patrick shooting. The award recognizes staff who handled a particularly stressful incident with professionalism and grace under fire.

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