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City Council to vote on joining new emergency communications system

Rebecca WhiteMay 23, 2019

Spokane City Council will likely vote to stay out of a new regionwide emergency communications system – a center many of the other fire departments in the region have agreed to join.

Councilwoman Lori Kinnear, one of two sponsors of the resolution, said the board that governs the new 911 Center, Spokane Regional Emergency Communications, has not been able to guarantee that Spokane will get equal or better service if it switches over.

“I’m not confident our citizens are going to be as protected as they are (now),” she said.

Kinnear said she had heard other districts were concerned as well, and until the council’s questions were addressed, the city will not be joining SREC.

SREC gave the council a May 21 deadline earlier this month to decide to join the new organization before they began operations in July. Council members called the deadline arbitrary and said they were still seeking answers to questions about funding and public safety. The mayor’s administration is in support of joining the new system and recently sent lay off notices to 10 dispatchers as the fire departments it contracts with for emergency communications switched over to SREC.

The special meeting is at 3:30 p.m. in the City Council Briefing Center, which is down the hall from the City Council Chambers on the first floor of City Hall.

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