Fire dispatch deal done

JOHNSTOWN – The Common Council on Monday night approved an Automatic Dispatch Agreement that allows both the Johnstown and Gloversville fire departments to automatically respond to structure fires together.

The Gloversville Common Council approved the agreement April 8, so the dual agreement is now final.

“We’re ready to go,” Johnstown Fire Chief Bruce Heberer said Tuesday.

Heberer said he was due to meet this week with Gloversville Fire Chief Beth Whitman-Putnam, as well as Fulton County 911 dispatchers, to make the new dispatch procedure effective immediately.

Under the new agreement, the Fulton County 911 dispatch center on Route 29 will dispatch fire units from both cities automatically and simultaneously for structure fires or possible structure fires.

Heberer said that in the past, fire units ere dispatched to a scene and then officials decide whether they need backup help.

“The chief and I have been working on this for some time,” Whitman-Putnam said today. “This is just an added thing to make the response quicker.”

The resolution passed by the Johnstown council Monday night notes the new agreement doesn’t change the “current operating policy,” which is in accordance with the Fulton County Mutual Aid and Mobilization Plan. But it says the new dual dispatch agreement “will allow for an expedited response for both cities through this automatic dispatch, which in turn, will then provide for safer and more efficient operations for both departments and their citizens.”