Plans for a new communication center for Monroe Fire Department - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Plans for a new communication center for Monroe Fire Department

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) -The Monroe Fire Department has plans in place to move their communication center and improve their dispatching technology. As Nolan Crane reports the project will cost more than $800,000 but it could save money for Monroe homeowners.

These dispatchers have been working in this communication center for the Monroe Fire Department for more than twenty years answering phones. It's almost as long as some of the outdated equipment they use to dispatch these big red trucks.

"We've got old equipment and some point in the future you know equipment fails," said Terry Williams.

"We do need larger screens, the automatic vehicle locator or GPS would let us know every one of our units were as all times," said Lori Saterfield.

Instead of having to push a lot of buttons the Monroe fire chief wants $875,000 worth of new equipment and move locations to the public safety building on Highway 165-South. The Monroe Fire Department is a class one which saves homeowners money of their home insurance. In addition to flushing fire hydrants, changing their equipment is another way they can keep their prestigious rank.

"Property insurance as far as our rating requires that we have a certain number of methods of notifying our units or a certain way of communicating with our units and some of this equipment now is old," said Williams.

Every year these dispatchers answer more than 6,000 phone calls. They want to add more staff to better assist homeowners by getting these trucks to the scene even faster.

"We really need a third position and there is no room for the third position here," said Saterfield.

If approved by the city council the transition will take place by November. Last year the Monroe Police Department received the same technology to help them be more efficient. Now the fire department says it's their turn.

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