Adams New Outsourced Dispatch Service Up And Running
ADAMS, Mass. — The emergency services dispatch service has been fully outsourced to the Berkshire County Sheriff's Office.
Police Chief Richard Tarsa reported to the Board of Selectmen Wednesday that as of June 30 the town completed the move of the 911 dispatch service to the Berkshire County Sheriff's Office.
"In three days we did four month's worth of work to get to a point where we could take in and operate efficiently. But [it's] not 100 percent because like with anything, you have to fine tune it,” Tarsa said. “This process is no different.”
Although many residents opposed the regionalization, the Selectmen voted to make the switch in hopes of saving upward of $95,000 annually. Initially, the savings were projected to be closer to $150,000, however, the town decided to keep two local dispatchers to man the station.
Tarsa said the Sheriff's system works and many initial issues have been remedied.
“There are a lot of small things that have to be ironed out as we go, but it has been working itself out,” Tarsa said. “Everything has been dispatched accordingly, and we aren’t missing anything. It is just a matter of fine-tuning the two services to work in conjunction.”
He added that with the regionalization, which was paid for by a grant, the department received various upgrades such as new portable radios, a small console for the control room to link Adams to the Sheriff's’s dispatch center, and various enhancements to the towers.
He said in the future the Sheriff's office plans to utilize simulcast, which will amplify the signal by using all towers in Berkshire County instead of a single tower at a time.
Tarsa reinforced that the process is still the same when calling 911. He said there will be no delay.
“There will be no difference in the response by fire, police or ambulance. We have stated that since day one,” he said. “The only difference is the place where the call is received, and other than that, it is business as usual.”
In other business, Selectman John Duval said he attended a recent metropolitan planning organization meeting where the southern area of Route 8, from the Mullen Mayflower building to the Adams town line, was added to the state’s transportation improvement plan for repaving and rehabilitation in 2020.
“This is good news,” Duval said. “We brought this forward in the past few years, and it is now part of the 2020 TIP.”
He said the estimated $6.7 million project will mostly be paid for with state and federal funds. Adams is only responsible for engineering costs.
Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco said the town should be able to cover this using state Chapter 90 funds this summer once the project in its entirety is confirmed.
Chairman Jeffrey Snoonian said even though the project is some ways out, it is still great news.
“Anyone that drives that knows the DPW works their magic but after a while, there is only so much they can do,” he said. “Even though it is going to be a few years, it is in the pipeline.”
The board appointed Barbara Proper as a full-time Council on Aging outreach worker to aid current director Erica Girgenti, who has been set to coordinate the Age-Friendly Berkshires program throughout the county.
“Barb is fantastic. She has just been with us less than a year and she stepped up and was kind of thrown to the wolves when Erica was out on leave,” Mazzucco said. “We are happy she can step up again, and she is a fantastic employee.”
The position is grant funded through the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and will allow Proper to move to full time and help Girgenti now that she has additional duties.
The increase to full time does not impact the budget and once the grant is no longer available, the position will be moved back down to part time, the Selectmen said.