JOINT DISPATCH SERVICE ON SEVEN MILE ISLAND (7MI)
- The Boroughs of Avalon and Stone Harbor have agreed to an innovative interlocal services agreement that will enhance the dispatching services of both communities while saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.
- Borough Councils in both communities have approved a new joint dispatch service that results in all police, fire, and emergency dispatch calls coming into the dispatch center at the Avalon Public Safety Building located at 31st Street and Dune Drive in Avalon. Pending approval from the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders, all fire and emergency medical dispatch calls received in Avalon will be instantly transferred to, and handled, by personnel at the Cape May County Emergency Dispatch Center. A presentation was made by both communities before the Freeholder board during the November 12, 2013 caucus meeting.
- The benefits of this new interlocal services agreement are profound for Avalon and Stone Harbor. All fire and emergency medical dispatch calls will be handled by one trained dispatcher in the county who is specifically assigned to that call and not distracted or interrupted by other non-emergency calls that will be handled by dispatchers in Avalon. This will provide an extraordinarily high level of service during an emergency call when it is needed the most.
- Avalon, Stone Harbor, and the County of Cape May financially benefit from this agreement. Stone Harbor will pay Avalon $275,000 in 2014 to handle all dispatching services, with two percent increases built in during the next two years of the agreement. The county of Cape May will be paid for every emergency call that it handles. Both Avalon and Stone Harbor anticipate savings in excess of $180,000 annually through this interlocal agreement. Avalon assumes all administrative costs associated with dispatching services, including salaries and wages, management, facility costs, and liability insurance.
- The Borough of Avalon has over two dozen interlocal service agreements in place that has saved the community millions of dollars since the first agreement was enacted in 1988.
- In Avalon, residents will continue to dial (609) 967-3411 for non-emergency police calls; in the event of any emergency, residents continue to dial 911.