The Cayman Islands Fire Service can now be called on the same emergency dispatch service as police and ambulance. – PHOTO: tANEOS rAMSAY

The Cayman Islands Fire Service dispatch system is now one and the same as the dispatch systems for police and ambulance services.

The Fire Service had been on a different dispatch system than that used by police and ambulance services, a situation that posed safety hazards.

A 2014 review found that emergency calls to the Cayman Islands Fire Service were being unacceptably delayed by the department’s systems for handling calls. When a 911 call for fire service is received by the 911 center, it is passed to the fire service control room at the airport fire station. The call is logged by hand and then the nearest fire station is mobilized to answer the call, according to the report.

“This is not only inefficient, but also results in an unacceptable delay in processing an emergency call,” the report found. “There is also the possibility of inaccuracies being introduced, as information taken from the primary source is indirectly passed to operational crews.” However, that issue is now fixed, and all the systems are integrated, Department of Public Safety Communications Director Julian Lewis confirmed on Wednesday.

“The fire system was someone calling the fire station to get a call for service, as opposed to calling 911,” Mr. Lewis told the Compass. “Now, you call 911 for all emergency dispatches, all calls for services: fire, EMS, and law enforcement.”

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