Wednesday the Naples City Council voted to join the Collier County Sheriff's Office's new dispatch system - but to continue to operate their first responders as they have been doing.
Currently, the city and county both operate their own systems which are more than a decade old. The new Computer Aided Dispatch System (CAD) would mean everyone is on the same page.
â€œIt's time for a refresh and the decision here is really, do we do a county-wide system or does each dispatch system keep their own system,â€ said Bob Finney, communications technical manager at the sheriff's office.â€
Finney said the new technology would streamline the way they handle 911 calls.
â€œDispatch centers will be aware of what's going on across agency boundaries they can see units they can see calls that are pending.â€
He said that along with instantaneous alerts to fire and EMS crews could shave seconds off response times, and in some emergency situations those seconds could make a world of difference.
Sheriff Kevin Rambosk was also at the meeting to help present the options and faced a barrage of questions from council members. There were legal concerns over agencies responding outside their jurisdiction and eventual billing issues.
â€œI believe is that we will have formal inter-local agreements at the end with each of the entities who wish to participate,â€ Rambosk said.
While they voted to join the CAD, they will only be using the technology for now, but Finney says an eventual agreement on â€œclosest appropriate and available unit responseâ€ could save even more time.
â€œRight now we base everything on the station that unit is assigned to but if we see, say a medic unit is returning to Immokalee from the hospital and he happens to be driving two blocks away from a vehicle crash we can send that medic unit,â€ he explained.
That part could come up for a vote again in the future, until then the city can withdraw from the CAD system at any time.
The CAD is a part of a $3-million communications overhaul by the Collier County Sheriff's office paid for with Collier County capital fund dollars.