Kirsten Mustain

Grove Sun Daily

The Grove Dispatch office is now equipped to function better and to provide a better working environment for the women and men who work at the forefront of emergency services.

After four and a half months of work, the remodeling project is finally finished, expanding the office to about two and half times its former size and allowing for the installation of cutting edge technology.

“The computers are up and running,” said Dispatch Supervisor Sherry Bartley. “Everything is finally completed.”

The expansion, which cost nearly $50,000 in labor, materials and equipment, began back in October with the demolition of the existing office. Dispatchers were moved to a temporary office, which meant that the complex system of wiring, cables and extensions that support the operation had to be dismantled and reconnected.

After the initial expansion and refurbishing of the office, two new computers, a new phone system, and three self-contained dispatch consoles were installed and everything was moved back in.

“It makes for a better work environment and gives us the ability to expand for our future equipment and personnel needs,” said Interim Chief Mark Morris.

Included in the price of the remodeling was a new 45KW gas generator, which cost $10,500.00.

“A lot of the cost of that was donated by businesses in the community of Grove,” Morris said. He added than an REC Round-up grant also helped pay for the expansion.

Grove dispatchers are central to the emergency services for Grove’s entire 911 district, which stretches from between Grove and Jay to the Delaware/Ottawa county line.

“That includes everyone with 786, 787, and 791 prefixes,” Morris said.

Bartley said that her office receives an average of 3700 calls per month. Out of those, she said, approximately 1800-1900 are service calls, requiring officers to be dispatched. Calls for ambulance service number about 600 per month, miscellaneous information calls and calls for area fire departments make up the rest of the calls. The phone system has four 911 lines, two ambulance lines, two fire department lines, and eight administrative lines.

Currently, Grove has five full time dispatchers and five slots for part-time dispatchers, of which only three are currently filled.

“We try to maintain two on every shift,” Morris said. “But depending on available personnel, we’re sometimes only able to keep one.”

Dispatchers must also be certified as jailers, as well as OLETS, CPR, and first-aid certified.

Morris said the new office will make their difficult jobs somewhat easier.

“It’s made everything a lot more organized,” Bartley added.