Thanks to a new approach to emergency response, help may be only seconds, rather than minutes away. On March 14, the City Council approved a Closest Emergency Unit Dispatching Joint Powers Agreement with nine cities.
In addition to Roseville, Falcon Heights, Lauderdale, Little Canada, Maplewood, New Brighton, North Saint Paul, Saint Paul, White Bear Lake, and the Lake Johanna Fire Department are participating in this new partnership.
Under the new agreement, the closest emergency unit, regardless of which city the emergency is in, will respond. It is anticipated that the program will begin later this fall.
“The Closest Unit Dispatching will provide faster response times to our most critical calls: structure fires and cardiac arrests. We believe with the shorter response time we will be able to save more lives and in a fire, reduce the amount of property damage,” said Fire Chief Tim O’Neill.
In 2014 the Ramsey County Fire Chiefs Association created a committee to research and evaluate opportunities for increasing shared services. The Closest Unit Dispatching idea came out of the meetings. The Roseville Fire Department took an active role in the committee to evaluate and vet opportunities for future cooperation.