Wednesday, January 20, 2016

East Hartford has topped all other municipalities in the state

EAST HARTFORD — East Hartford has topped all other municipalities in the state for the last quarter in 911 response efficiency. According to Deputy Chief Beau Thurnauer, the third-quarter report, July to September 2015, from the Connecticut Division of Statewide Emergency Telecommunications, East Hartford Police Department successfully received 100 percent of its 911 calls in under 10 seconds. No other 911 center in the state matched East Hartford’s efficiency, he said. “This achievement is a testament to the hard work the men and women of our agency demonstrate every day,” Thurnauer said. He credits the department’s successes to the ability of not just the 911 call staff, but the dispatchers and supervisor on duty as well, especially during times of high call volume. “Usually, if there is a high volume of calls, it’s usually multiple calls about the same event,” Thurnauer said. If there are more calls than the three to four staff members on duty can handle, the dispatcher who, Turnauer said, is stationed nearby, can come and help field the calls. The supervisor will also take calls, totaling as many as six people receiving 911 calls. Thurnauer said that in the event of multiple calls, the PSAP operators have to make split-second decisions in triaging the calls based upon the level of emergency. If a call is not an immediate emergency, the call will be put on hold so a more urgent call can be fielded. “We average about 6,000 911 calls a quarter,” Thurnauer said. “If we are just 1 percent off, that’s 60 calls we miss. It doesn’t sound like much, but that could be someone’s family member in danger.”

Thursday, January 7, 2016

East Hartford Council Approves Purchase Agreement to Lease New Equipment

East Hartford Council Approves Purchase Agreement to Lease New EquipmentEAST HARTFORD — The town council on Tuesday unanimously approved a plan to buy equipment for the public works, police and fire departments through a master lease-purchase agreement.
A referendum to pay for the equipment through bonding failed in November because less than a required 20 percent of voters went to the polls, even though those who did vote overwhelmingly supported the issue, officials said.
Despite the failed referendum, town officials said replacing the equipment is in the best interests of the town.
"Nobody was out there arguing 'We don't need these fire trucks,'" Democratic Town Council Chairman Richard Kehoe said. "It's actually cheaper for us in the long run to do a lease-purchase, rather than bonding."
The $4.62 million lease, to be paid over 10 years, allows the town to buy two dump trucks, an automated waste removal truck, a fire ladder truck, a rescue squad vehicle, a fire engine and a modern dispatch system for the police department.
"We've heard various reports from the police chief, the public works director and the fire chief as to the necessity of this equipment," Democratic councilwoman Linda Russo said Tuesday.
Public Works Director Timothy Bockus said in October that the cost of repairing and maintaining the aging equipment had increased 30 percent in the past 10 years. Russo added that the equipment had surpassed the average life span for municipal vehicles.
"We're dealing with equipment that is way past its prime," Russo said. "We're dealing with a health and public safety issue."
The lease will also fund two school board projects: the construction of the East Hartford Middle School window wall and the replacement of the Langford School roof.