Tacoma, Central Pierce fire departments will combine 911 dispatch

The Tacoma Fire Department and Central Pierce Fire and Rescue will be combining 911 dispatch services on Oct. 1, 2008. The two agencies have been working between their jurisdictions for over a year by allowing the closest available emergency units to be dispatched to an address regardless of jurisdiction boundaries.

Currently, the two agencies operate out of two different 911 dispatch centers, but have been operating under a common set of fire ground operational policies, staffing standards, and soon a common communications system.

Combining dispatch services will eventually allow the departments to utilize satellite technology (similar to GPS) to locate and dispatch the closest available unit regardless of the jurisdictional boundaries of the two agencies, which will help reduce response times to emergencies. Mutual collaboration provides for the quickest emergency response times, enhanced firefighter safety and an overall safer community.

Tacoma Fire provides fire and emergency medical services within the city limits of Tacoma, Fife and Fircrest. Central Pierce Fire and Rescue provides the same services to the communities of Parkland, Spanaway, Midland, South Hill, Summit and Frederickson.