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Regional Emergency Dispatch
The Concord Fire Department Communications Center, more commonly known as “Concord Fire Alarm,” is the regional dispatch center for Fire & Emergency Medical Services in the Greater Concord area. Our mission is to receive and retransmit alarms and emergency communications for the Concord Fire Department and the Capital Area Mutual Aid Fire Compact.
Concord Fire Alarm began operations as a regional center for the Capital Area Mutual Aid Fire Compact in the early 1970’s dispatching for the Concord Fire Department and four additional communities: Canterbury, Dunbarton, Loudon and Pembroke. In approximately 40+ years of service, our capabilities have grown such that we now dispatch for 23 communities, with 3 additional Emergency Services providers, in 4 counties.
As part of our growing capabilities, technology and equipment improvements are an ongoing effort. As new technologies emerge, our ability to adapt and utilize these technologies allows new levels of communications and services to be provided to our departments and communities. Cloud-based applications, GPS Mapping, Text Messaging, Video Conferencing and many other communication formats and tools are integrating into our current systems. Many of these abilities are part of the new computer aided dispatching (CAD) program, currently in development, and planned to be on-line in the last quarter of this year.
Concord Fire Alarm is also the New Hampshire Fire Mobilization Plan “Point of Contact.” When any mutual aid systems in the state have large emergencies, exhausting local resources, their communications centers will contact us to request additional resources from another mutual aid system.
Staffing and Call Volume
Concord Fire Alarm is staffed with nine full-time employees: one Supervisor, four Lead Dispatchers and four Dispatchers. We operate with two dispatchers on duty, 24-hours a day. In 2020, the center handled 24,938 incidents in an area encompassing 817 square miles with an estimated population in 2020 of 135,716 residents.
Since 2005, the Communications Center has received grants which total approximately $1,923,945 to replace and upgrade needed equipment for the communications center. Grant funded items included new base station radios, dispatch console control equipment (including microwave connections to all our primary radio sites), simulcast radio dispatching of incidents, microwave radio connection to Lakes Region’s Communications Center, surveillance camera system, upgrade of our dispatching software and all computer hardware. Capital Area Mutual Aid Fire Compact and the Lakes Region Mutual Fire Aid Association have entered into an agreement to provide uninterrupted dispatching services for each other’s Communications Center in case a catastrophic event occurred that would render either Communications Center inoperable. In this situation, the each center would be able to take over the other's operations including telephones, radio dispatching, incident recording and reports.
Captain Elisa Folsom