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Letter to the Editor about Raytown Police Dispatch

Good afternoon. I would like to address an article that was posted on the 14th of July regarding Raytown Fire Dispatching and the EMS proposal. While well written there are a few points that need corrections. There have been several numbers that have been floated about the payment that the Raytown Fire Protection District was making to the City for dispatching services by the Raytown Police Department. The actual fee agreed upon by both sides was $50,000.00 per year. You are correct that even though the Raytown Fire Protection District is no longer paying this fee the duties of the Raytown Communications Center have changed but not diminished.

Regarding the paragraph about how dispatching is routed to the Police Communications Center, the following is the correct summation of how this is handled. The Raytown Police Department is the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for the City of Raytown. All 9-1-1 calls are routed to it through a selective router based on two things: a physical address or the location of the device placing the call. If the call is from a land line it is sent to the AT&T selective router which then looks at two items to determine where to send the call: The ANI (Automatic Number Identification) and the ALI ( Automatic Location Identification). ANI corresponds to the subscriber’s seven digit telephone number and ALI provides for an address display of the subscriber calling 9-1-1. The ALI display includes the subscriber’s address, community, state, type of service and name. If the call is from a cell phone it is routed through the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) wireless router based on the latitude and longitude that are displayed. There are two different types of technologies that are used based on the type of handset technology that each wireless carrier has decided to utilize for their company. One type of handset uses the triangulation method which utilizes three towers to determine a location, while the other uses GPS technology that is located within the handset device to display the position of the caller. The FCC requires wireless service providers to be within 50 to 300 meters of the handset location depending on the type of technology used by that carrier.  

When a 9-1-1 call is connected to the Raytown Communications Center, a Communications Officer will answer the phone, ask a series of questions to determine what type of response is needed, and then either dispatch the appropriate unit or transfer them to the Kansas City Fire Department if it is a Fire incident. The transfer process takes less than a minute to complete, depending on the amount of time that the Kansas City Fire Department needs to answer the 9-1-1 call. Once at The Kansas City Fire Department it is placed in a queue for actual dispatching. Before the change in service was initiated by the Raytown Fire Protection District, the Raytown Communications Center would gather all of the information, dispatch all necessary units at the same time and respond to any request for additional resources necessary to support the response. With the current status of transferring calls to the Kansas City Fire Department, once the Raytown Communications Center delivers the 9-1-1 call to the Kansas City Fire Department the call is disconnected so that Kansas City Fire dispatchers can gather the information and send the appropriate units to the call. This could be a Raytown unit or a Kansas City Fire Department unit depending on which one is closest to the location. If further assistance is needed from any Raytown Emergency responders , the Kansas City Fire Department must place a telephone call to the Raytown Communications Center to request Police or EMS be dispatched to assist them. This slows down the necessary response of units to an incident.

I appreciate being able to respond to your article and I would be happy to sit down with you to discuss dispatching further. If you would like a tour of the Raytown Communications Center please let me know.

Thank you,

James T. Brafford ENP
Director of Communications

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