Board of Directors Regular Meeting Agenda


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Meeting Date: 07/17/2014  

SUBJECT MATTER:
Receive, consider and act upon Fire Chiefs Association agreement renewal and briefing on existing Secondary Public Safety Answering Point;
FISCAL IMPACT:
New 2015 proposed Montgomery County Fire Chiefs Association contract amount of $404,068.
BACKGROUND:
During the February 20, 2014 Board of Directors meeting, the Board received a third party presentation that analyzed the concept of The Woodlands Township transitioning from a Secondary Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) to a Primary PSAP. After evaluating the concept of the Township transitioning from a Secondary PSAP to a Primary PSAP in order to dispatch law enforcement services, it was determined the Township should not undertake law enforcement dispatching responsibilities at this time.

As a result of the information presented, the Board asked The Woodlands Fire Department (WFD) to provide an overview of staffing levels and costs/revenues of the Dispatch Center and our Emergency Services Districts (ESD) contract.

In 2005, The Woodlands Fire Department dispatched for only WFD at cost of $880,710 in today’s adjusted dollars. The staff consisted of 10 personnel, which included one dispatch manager and nine dispatchers. In 2006, it was determined the WFD Dispatch Center had some residual capacity to handle additional services and contracted with the Montgomery County Fire Chiefs Association to provide fire dispatch for the 13 ESD fire departments. The initial terms of the contract provided $150,000 that was used to hire three supplemental dispatchers to provide for these services. During subsequent agreements (2007 -2011), the contract was increased 10% each year. In 2012, the contract was expanded to $349,040 to fund two additional dispatchers due to service demands of all departments. The contract has since increased 5% each year and is currently at $384,827. The current contract accounts for 32% of the total WFD Dispatch Center’s operations budget. The current contract fee of $384,827 enables the Township to pay for all the additional staffing and produce revenue that exceeds costs by $122,185.

In addition to the revenue offset, other benefits derived from providing this service include receiving equipment from Montgomery County through various grants, control of service quality, and resource management over large and complex incidents inside and outside of The Woodlands. The contract also factored into our perfect score obtained for the Insurance Service Organization (ISO) evaluation in the Communications area due to the additional number of operators and monitoring equipment procured by the county.

In the event that the Township provided Fire Dispatch services solely to The Woodlands, operating expenses to maintain the minimum staffing needed of two dispatchers (occasionally three) per shift, would require 11 personnel as well as equipment expenses, at an estimated $1.2 million. In light of the cost benefit to the Township and the cohesiveness of communications throughout the county, the department recommends renewing the 2015-2017 contract with the Montgomery County Fire Chiefs Association, and negotiating terms for equivalent increases of 5% per year.
RECOMMENDATION:
Approve to renew the Montgomery County Fire Chiefs Association dispatch contract for three years (2015-2017) and direct staff to negotiate incremental increases of 5% each year.

Attachments
Attachment A - Existing MCFCA Contract
Attachment B - Powerpoint Presentation


    

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