Special to the Express
On Oct. 5, the Halifax TRIAD held the first in-person meeting since the pandemic closed public appearances in March of 2020. TRIAD is a partnership between local and regional groups to help inform and educate senior cittizens. Meetings take place the first Tuesday of the month at 10 a.m. and usually take place at the Halifax Police Station.
For the October meeting, participants gathered in the Great Room of the Halifax Town Hall to hear a presentation by Director Michael Mahoney and the education team of the Regional Old Colony Communication Center (ROCCC) where emergency calls from Halifax and Plympton are answered and dispatched.
Halifax TRIAD president Ken Vinton noted that the location of the call center in Duxbury, questions on response time, and why the change of location took place are all areas of concern for the seniors.
The team from ROCCC responded to the concerns, provided an overview of the center, and explained what happens when a 911 call is made.
According to Director Mahoney, the trend across the state is for towns to move away from public safety answering point at the town level and join together in regional 911 communication centers. The State provides grant incentives for the latest technology and to help fund staff providing a cost savings to member towns. There are between seven to ten dispatchers per shift every day all day and night on duty to answer calls.
Staff members go through rigorous training and frequent professional development. programs Calls can come in from land lines, cell phones, and text. For the 2022 Fiscal Year ROCCC is receiving more than $2 million in grant funding.
ROCCC is the fastest growing regional communication center in Massachusetts. It now serves more than 59,000 residents from the six member towns with room to grow to 100,000. It was the first call center in Massachusetts to be able to receive text requests and was the first outside of Boston to take direct cell phone calls. In addition to Halifax and Plympton other member towns are Duxbury, Hanson, Hanover, and Rochester.
ROCCC recently moved into a new state-of-the-art communication center located at the Duxbury Fire Station. Prior the new center addition, ROCCC was located in the fire station attic. Even though residents of Halifax and Plympton are calling a center located in Duxbury, within 13 seconds help is being dispatched after you dial 9-1-1.
First responders are still local and ready to respond. Local police, fire, and EMS all serve on ROCCC committees.
When a 9-1-1 emergency call is made, the dispatcher will ask several questions and keep the caller on the line. The ROCCC team noted that even though you are being asked questions help has already been dispatched and is on the way. The questions provide more information to help the first responders. Be prepared to verify your location. State the emergency you are reporting and whether or not it is happening now. The dispatcher may offer instruction to provide medical help. Always remain calm and only dial 9-1-1 for emergencies.
For more information on the Regional Old Colony Communication Center (ROCCC) visit them online at https://regionalcomms.wixsite.com/roccc911.