Dispatching duties for the city of Worthington's emergency services will be performed by the Northwest Regional Emergency Communications Center in Dublin starting in July 2020.

City councils in both of those cities have authorized their respective city managers to enter into a contract for the service.

The NRECC is based in Dublin police headquarters and is a safety communications agency partnership with police departments in Dublin, Hilliard and Upper Arlington and fire departments in Upper Arlington and Norwich and Washington townships.

Dublin City Council members Aug. 26 approved a resolution authorizing City Manager Dana McDaniel to enter into an agreement with Worthington to provide the dispatching services.

The charges and fees for providing the dispatching services are in the process of being determined, said Jay Somerville, technical-services bureau director for the NRECC.

"We are working on the division of next year's budget now," he said. "The total proposed operating budget for 2020 is $4,367,475. We are compiling the statistics needed to divide the costs between the participating agencies.

"That will be available Oct. 1 when we finalize the 2020 budget and notify the agencies of their participation fee."

In addition to its annual cost contribution, Worthington would make an initial contribution of $255,000 for the installation and equipping of two work stations.

Somerville said Dublin leaders are looking forward to adding Worthington to the NRECC partnership. Service will begin in July with fire and emergency-medical services dispatching and 911-call answering by the NRECC. The NRECC will assume police dispatching in September 2020.

"Having the safety services in northwest Franklin County on the same platform and dispatched from the same emergency communications center will be a great benefit for all of the NRECC communities," he said.

Worthington City Council in May approved a resolution authorizing City Manager Matt Greeson to enter into a contract with the NRECC to take 911 calls and provide dispatching services, according to Worthington spokesperson Anne Brown.

Joining the NRECC brings Worthington multiple benefits, Brown said.

Emergency calls for service must be transferred to the city's dispatch center, she said. Because the NRECC is a primary dispatching center in central Ohio, its dispatchers receive emergency calls directly.

Thus, the change could mean a difference of 45 seconds to a minute in response, Brown said.

"In an emergency, that's vital time," she said.

Dispatchers at the NRECC also have enhanced medical training, and the center is more easily able to stay current with 911 technological advances than Worthington could, Brown said.

Worthington police and fire personnel still will respond to Worthington calls for service, she said.

Worthington and Dublin had been negotiating the service agreement since earlier this year, according to an Aug. 14 memo to Dublin council members.

According to the memo, Worthington was facing expensive technology upgrades for its 911 dispatch services and determined it was more cost-effective to partner with the NRECC.

According to an analysis presented by Worthington leaders earlier this year, the cost of joining the NRECC was expected to be "in the range" of about $1.2 million after the first year of transition. The cost of operating its communications center at the police station at 6555 Worthington Galena Road in 2020 was expected to be about $1.5 million, the analysis said. The total 2018 costs were almost $1.36 million.

Hilliard and Norwich Township also renewed their respective service agreements with the NRECC for an additional term lasting through 2022, according to the Aug. 14 Dublin memo.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

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