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Emergency Dispatch Operations to Merge

Seven Orange County cities have agreed to consolidate emergency dispatch operations at one facility in Anaheim.

Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach’s city councils approved the plan last week, and Garden Grove joined in Tuesday.

The other cities involved are Anaheim, Fullerton, Newport Beach and Orange.

Under the plan, Central Net Communications Center in Huntington Beach will be consolidated into North Net Communications Center in Anaheim. The Central Net facility will continue to offer fire training services.

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The consolidated facility in Anaheim will operate under the MetroCities Joint Fire Authority at a projected cost of about $2 million a year, shared among the seven municipalities.

Fountain Valley Fire Chief Bernard F. Heimos said more than 1 million people will be served by the consolidated operation, which will cover about 190 square miles and involve a total of 45 fire stations.

“This . . . is the format for future sharing of resources that will mean better levels of service at reduced costs,” Heimos said.

As a result of the merger, 14 dispatch positions, of which nine are occupied, at Central Net will be eliminated. Under the agreement, three of the nine Huntington Beach employees will be offered jobs at the Anaheim center.

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Staff at the Anaheim center will include 18 dispatchers and three administrative positions.

Heimos said the merger is projected to produce combined annual savings of nearly $882,000 to the seven cities.

Among benefits, he said, will be reduced response times without adding personnel and equipment. The cities involved will also have a new $1-million computer-aided dispatch system for which they will share the cost.

Heimos said consolidated dispatch system is expected to be in operation by June 21.

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