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Sheriff opposes changes to communications center operation


Creating a committee to provide input into the operation of the Chaffee County Emergency Communications Center, suggested by Salida officials, would be duplicative of processes already in place

Entities served by the communications center have two conduits through which advice and suggestions regarding the center’s operation are passed.  First, the 911 Board that meets every other month comprises the municipalities of Buena Vista and Salida and the South Arkansas and Chaffee County Fire Protections Districts, all represented by their respective police and fire chiefs; Town of Poncha Springs, represented by its administrator; Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center, represented by its risk manager; and the sheriff’s designee.

Second, the Chaffee County Emergency Services Council meets every month.  It comprises the above entities plus several other voting members.  These are the American Red Cross, Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, Buena Vista and Salida fire departments, EMS, Emergency Management, Search and Rescue, State Patrol, and Department of Corrections.  Nonvoting members who participate on an ad hoc basis are the US Forest Service, BLM, Colorado Forest Service, CDOT, Health and Human Services, both school districts, and both airport authorities,

Officers of the emergency services council are chairman, vice chair, and secretary.  They are elected by the permanent members and serve two-year terms. 

Issues concerning the operation of the communications center have been brought up freely at the CCESC meetings in the past and will always be entertained in future.  Voting members approve or disapprove suggested policy changes that are sent forward to the applicable agency for consideration and/or action. 

Given the extraordinary level of interagency participation, cooperation, and transparency that exists at present, it’s puzzling to us that Salida officials seek to create an additional committee that would essentially duplicate the function of the CCESC and 911 Board… and not nearly as effectively.

Sheriff Pete Palmer