Fire Chiefs Unite to Create Their Own Dispatch Center

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Wednesday, November 17, 2021

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After a marriage lasting 44 years now, the seven fire chiefs of Santa Barbara County have effectively finalized their divorce decree from the Santa Barbara County Sheriffs’ unified dispatch center, arguing they can provide faster, more efficient dispatch services by working as one team. By a vote of 5-0 this Tuesday, the Santa Barbara County Supervisors agreed...The new center would operate something called “borderless” dispatch. That means there would only be one fire and ambulance dispatch center that will track the whereabouts of every single ambulance and fire engine in the county, except for Vandenberg Space Force Base’s fire service. When calls for service come in ​— ​about 70 percent being medical in nature and about 40 percent of those being serious to severe, the closest engine and ambulance would be dispatched to the scene, regardless of the agency. ...The new center is expected to take 30 months of construction before it’s operational. For the City of Santa Barbara, the price tag will be $756,00 a year. By contrast, Fire Chief Mailes said, the price tag for a new fire station is about $3.5 million. “What we’re doing here,” Mailes added, “is going to a 37-station fire department.”

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