North Providence, Pawtucket to merge dispatch centers

Blackstone Valley

NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The emergency dispatch centers in North Providence and Pawtucket will soon join forces, ultimately saving both communities thousands of dollars.

The two centers will consolidate into one located in North Providence, according to Mayor Charles Lombardi.

“Regionalization is salvation,” he said. “This is a vision I’ve had for the last 12 years.”

Lombardi remained tight-lipped on the specifics of the consolidation plan but said he’s working with Pawtucket Mayor Don Grebien to ensure it is implemented properly.

“We firmly believe, and I think the numbers will prove, that the vehicles will be dispatched quicker and more efficiently,” Lombardi added.

Lombardi said both communities combined would save approximately $300,000 by merging the services.

In a statement to Eyewitness News, Grebien said it would also allow them to invest in new technology.

“This consolidation will improve the overall efficiencies and responses to all emergency calls related to the fire departments which will result in better service for those in need,” he wrote.

The consolidation would also lead to restructuring, according to Lombardi. He said five full-time dispatch jobs would be added under the North Providence Communications Division.

“We’re going to be sending and dispatching the closest apparatus to the call,” he said.

Municipal leaders in Rhode Island have been working toward regionalizing fire dispatch for more than a year now. Lombardi said it’s possible other communities join them in the future.

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