We’ve previously reiterated our support for regional dispatch centers, which offer smaller communities the ability to pool their emergency-response resources, with an added enticement of state aid.
That’s why we were pleased to see that Tewksbury and Dracut went ahead with their plans, even after other initially interested communities opted out of the discussion.
That commitment was set in stone with state funds that allowed for the construction of the $4.35 million Northern Middlesex Regional Emergency Communications Center, a 6,500 square-foot facility located on Whipple Road in Tewksbury.
The center was set to commence operation in April, but in March it was announced that the opening had been delayed to July 1 to allow time for employee training on the state-of-the-art equipment, according to Tewksbury Town Manager Richard Montuori.
The dispatch center’s director, Kevin Lessard, is already on the job. He’ll oversee four supervisors, 12 full-time dispatchers and two part-time dispatchers.
Dracut experienced some difficulty retaining dispatchers, but has recently explored the possibility of hiring two individuals, with the understanding they’ll transfer to new center once it opens.
The new July 1 opening coincides with the start of the 2021 fiscal year, which we trust will still include full funding for the regional dispatch center.