Gloucester County To Dispatch Police/Fire/EMS for Buena Borough in Atlantic County
(Clayton, NJ) - Gloucester County Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney and Freeholder Jean DuBois announced today that through a shared service agreement that beginning on or about January 1, 2011 Gloucester County's Office of Emergency Response will dispatch 911 Police/Fire/EMS for Buena Borough of Atlantic County. In exchange for Gloucester County providing this service, Buena will pay $125,000 annually, with a cost adjustment for future years.
"This will be the first time Gloucester County will provide a public safety service outside of its borders. We have studied Buena's population, their average annual calls and other information that could impact how we operate, and we are confident that bringing them on will not strain our system or delivery of service to our municipalities," stated Freeholder Director Sweeney.
Dispatching for Buena would be done without bringing on additional staff. Buena is roughly the size of Clayton with a population of less than 4,500. They have 13 police officers and two fire companies. They average between 9 and 11,000 calls for police service annually (similar to Clayton) and 650 EMS calls.
"Gloucester County is recognized as a leader in Emergency Response, much to the credit of its professional leadership, staff and the County's investment in technology. Gloucester County dispatches for all of its 24 municipalities and we have been recognized by many state and national organizations," said Freeholder Jean DuBois. "This is a very exciting venture because I believe we will be the first County in New Jersey to provide 911 dispatching services to municipality outside of our county."
Gloucester County Emergency Response was the first in the State of New Jersey to be a countywide emergency response center (Dispatching all emergency services for all municipalities, Fire, Ambulance and Paramedics). Gloucester County's Police Communications Center began operations on January 5, 2000 dispatching for (8) municipalities, and the Sheriff's Department. Today it dispatches for all 24 municipalities along with Prosecutors Office, SWAT & ERT Teams.
Through the shared services agreement Buena will be responsible for the costs of the installation and maintenance of the fiber lines to the Communications Center and for the cost of the air cards for their mobile data terminals. Gloucester County would provide 24 hour access for all emergency / nonemergency public safety dispatch services, to include E911 PSAP, CAD (computer aided dispatch), and MDC (mobile data computer) services.
Sweeney said, "We have been really seeing a shift in how and who is providing government services. When you have a great system in place and you can save money or generate revenue for your taxpayers by thinking outside the box you have to try. Everything we are doing with shared services and other counties and municipalities are ways to reduce the cost of government while providing quality services to the taxpayer. We do our due diligence so that public safety and health are not jeopardized."
Gloucester County has the first County regionalized EMS service and provides EMS to 14 of its 24 municipalities. It also has the first regional County Assessor's Office in New Jersey. Other service Gloucester County shares with other counties includes: shared Medical Examiner's Office with several other counties, Shared Public Health Officer, shared agreements for its juvenile and women's inmates, shares a mental health administrator with Salem and Cumberland Counties.