Hermiston Approves Consolidating Dispatch with Umatilla Co. - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hermiston Approves Consolidating Dispatch with Umatilla Co.

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HERMISTON, Ore. - The Hermiston City Council has unanimously approved merging the city's emergency dispatch services with Umatilla County's dispatch services.

The  council voted at the their Monday meeting.

The move is estimated to save the City of Hermiston about $350,000 in 2014-2015. The anticipated savings will come from reduced staffing costs and avoidance of planned equipment upgrades.

The financial savings would come to nearly $250,000 per year in FY '15-'16 and beyond.

The consolidation is expected to also improve efficiency of dispatching for the Hermiston Fire & Emergency Services District, which currently can be dispatched out of two locations depending on where a call originates.

Residents living just outside of Hermiston who call 911 on a cell phone which gets routed through a cell tower in Hermiston currently have their call answered by the Hermiston dispatch center, and then transferred to Umatilla County's dispatch center, which can lead to confusion for the responders.

Full consolidation of Hermiston's dispatch services with Umatilla County is expected to take place by July 1, 2014. A detailed report outlining the financial impacts and service changes can be found  here.

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