Dear Delphos Citizens:
As a former Delphos dispatcher, I have to, in good conscious, please ask you to contact you councilmen-at-large, (Josh Gillespie, Kevin Osting and Joe Martz) and your own ward councilman and ask them NOT to approve a contract between the Allen County Sheriff and the Allen County Commissioners to remove the Delphos Police Department dispatching center.
In today’s Lima News (Jan. 28), the Allen County Dispatch Center did not receive 13 9-1-1 calls from a family whose young son had stopped breathing. The father finally was able to resuscitate the child while the wife and her friend tried in vain to reach the PSAP center at the Allen County Sheriff’s Office. The family then rushed the child to Lima Memorial Hospital, which was the closest hospital to them, just blocks away from their Leonard Avenue home.
Had this happened in Delphos, the closest hospital to our community, if the Ambulatory Care Center was not open, would have taken the family a good 20 minutes to reach but WAIT, a call to the Police Department or the Fire Department on their BUSINESS line, which should be on everyone’s speed dial or cell phone, if the 9-1-1 didn’t work would have brought a first responder immediately followed by a dispatched ambulance.
This is the very reason I can’t support having Delphos commit to a centralized dispatch through Allen County. This is in no way a reflection on the Allen County Sheriff’s office and Allen County dispatchers because it was the SYSTEM that failed but my concern is that our dispatchers and police and fire officers would and could be sent out immediately if an incident like this occurred as soon as you call the local business number. Calling the Allen County Sheriff’s office would delay the message when you can call up here to the Police Department to get an instant response. In the event our phone system is down, if you can drive up to the Police Department, the dispatcher will have a first responder down from the fire department immediately.
No one can predict what can happen, but in my experience, depending on a system needed to cover a large area with multiple communities as is the situation in Allen County, allows for a greater margin of error. Seriously consider this please, as your life, one of your family members or your home may depend on this. Your council persons need to know how you feel or going to council meetings is even better. Someone out there in the community may have an idea which will help council find solutions to a lot of the problems we are facing.
Mary Lou Wrocklage