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Government and Politics

Three cities plan to soon consolidate their 9-1-1 centers
County officials say it will improve call response times and cut expenses.

Simon Husted

Three cities in southeast Cuyahoga County will be consolidating their 9-1-1 call centers under one roof by next year.

County and local officials revealed plans  to build an upgraded dispatch center that will serve Bedford, Bedford Heights and Maple Heights. The county and federal government are spending $180,000 each to fund the project.

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald says more towns may join the consolidated emergency-dispatch center to cut their costs and improve call-response times.

Listen to FitzGerald

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“Not only is it inefficient to have 48 different call centers (in the county),” FitzGerald says. “It also means sometimes people call the wrong one and sometimes it means you get transferred and put on hold. We want to avoid that. For the customer, they’re not going to see a difference because they are going to make their call and it is going to go to this consolidated 9-1-1 center among those three cities, and then it is going to be dispatched by the operator to whatever the appropriate police or fire department is.”

FitzGerald says this consolidation alone is expected to save half a million dollars a year. He says towns are spending too much money replicating dispatch services and wants to reduce the number of 9-1-1 call centers in Cuyahoga County to 10 over the next 10 years. 

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