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Evergreen’s role as regional dispatch hub looming

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By Stephanie DeCamp

The plan to make Evergreen Fire/Rescue the hub for regional dispatch services is moving closer to implementation. 

The Foothills, Elk Creek, Inter-Canyon, Indian Hills and North Fork districts will participate in the regionalization of emergency dispatch, and will enter an intergovernmental agreement with the Jeffco Emergency Communications Authority and the Evergreen Fire Protection District.

The next step for EFPD, Fire Chief Mike Weege told the board at a recent meeting, is for the participating districts, including Evergreen, to choose representatives to the Jeffco authority.

Other surrounding districts wishing to participate are expected to be on board by the end of March, Weege said. Participants will pay a 10 percent service fee (based on the previous year’s calls), while the Sheriff’s Office currently offers it for free. 

Those fees will go toward maintenance of machinery, information, filing and staff, Weege said, and the arrangement is estimated to pull in an additional $100,000 a year for the district. 

By cutting out the middleman, Weege said, the districts will save valuable time not only in transferring phone calls but in coordinating responses, handling administrative tasks and staffing more effectively.

“The big (advantage to signing on),” Elk Creek Fire Chief Bill McLaughlin said, “is that (Jeffco) won’t dispatch automatic aid. In other words, if we have a fire on Shadow Mountain, the Evergreen Brook Forest Station is closer, but the county won’t dispatch them. It comes up on their screen as an Elk Creek address, and they’ll only dispatch one agency.”

Contact Stephanie DeCamp at Stephanie@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1043. Check CanyonCourier.com for updates and breaking news.