York County picks consultants to revamp 911 center

York

YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – York County is making big changes to its 911 Center.

Fire, police, EMS and communication workers say the current setup isn’t working.

York County hired a firm to evaluate the center, and it released a public report of recommendations this summer.

This week, county leaders decided to move forward with IXP, the New-Jersey based company that put together the report, as a management consultant.

“The county put out a request for qualifications,” said Mark Walters, the York County public information officer.

IXP was among multiple companies that expressed interest in working with the county to implement the recommendations.

“They’re going to draft a proposal,” said Walters.

The report said the communications center needs to be operationally rebuilt, and the organizational structure needs an overhaul.

That’s something president of the county’s Fire Chiefs and Firefighters Association and York City Fire Chief Chad Deardorff agrees with.

He says the way the center currently operates isn’t causing safety or response issues, but logistics could be improved.

“It gets frustrating and it’s frustrating on their end as well,” said Deardorff.

Deardorff says the county’s variety of departments can make organizing in crisis more complicated.

“We have 61 fire departments in the county and each of us operates differently, and it would assist in getting the dispatch center in how we actually operate,” said Deardorff.

Small changes could make a big difference.

“Not double pooling from a department so we’re not stripping an area to assist a mutual aid area,” said Deardorff.

The county’s firefighters association recently wrote a letter urging the county not to privatize, an option officials say they aren’t pursuing.

Costs for contracting services are still being determined.

Everyone involved says they’re hopeful the upgrades help the people they serve.

“We want the quickest most effective and efficient service possible and I think you may see a bit better timing,” said Deardorff.

“Because it’s so important, it’s so sensitive, it’s so massive, it needs to be done right,” said Walters.

Walters says the earliest the county commissioners would take action is at their next meeting Sept. 4.

There is no formal timeline for the changes.

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