Re: “Fire departments make smooth switch to Saanich dispatch centre” (June 1)
Oh, my. Is the CRD fussed over competition between emergency dispatch centres?
I certainly want coordinated dispatch, which I do not believe actually exists here. Having more than one centre avoids getting caught with a bureaucracy, as the CRD is in so many other aspects. There is value in redundancy to cover the risk from disasters such as the inevitable but unpredictable “big one” (earthquake). That concept has to include communication and power cables, as Victoria General Hospital demonstrated when its only power feeder was damaged. Having a centre on the lower peninsula and on the West Shore makes sense.
In the emphasis on capital cost of upgrading let’s not forget that people make facilities work or fail. In my experience Saanich does not have consistency in street smarts and attitude necessary to communicate well and prioritize when disaster strikes.
As for cost of service, while dispatch should be both efficient and effective, it is very important thus should have priority over pet do-gooder projects such as Solar Colwood, which plans to bloat up with paid people. CREST demonstrated the folly of politicians going cheap, which left major gaps in emergency radio coverage.
I know emergency services are a worthwhile service. Will the majority of voters agree enough to provide sufficient funding and insist on management for performance?