News : Oak Lawn’s New 9-1-1 Contract for Two Years
Dec 31, 2013 -- Oak Lawn has a two-year contract with Norcomm Public Safety Communications to provide 911 staffing at the village’s emergency call center, according to a copy of the agreement the SouthtownStar obtained under Freedom of Information Act.
The agreement resulted in 20 dispatchers out of work and has them re-applying to Norcomm for their old jobs. A number of those dispatchers have applied for the jobs, said the attorney representing them.
Under the agreement, the village and Norcomm can cancel the contract at any time by providing a 30-day notice to the other party.
Norcomm is to provide 23 full-time dispatchers to work the emergency call center, which will be staffed around the clock every day of the year.
Dispatchers must be certified and licensed and have received documented basic training. In the event of a large emergency such as "active shooting, large fire, explosion, plane crash, severe weather, etc.," Norcomm can hire part-time employees or bring in Norcomm employees from other dispatch centers to help in Oak Lawn.
The village is required to own, maintain and repair all computer and electronic systems at the emergency call center and Norcomm will have no financial responsibility or labor expenses for providing or repairing equipment.
The agreement was signed by village manager Larry Deetjen and by Norcomm vice president Michael Tillman on Dec. 9, one day before the village board officially approved the plan.
Several dispatchers said the agreement was a done deal before the board approved it on Dec. 10. Mayor Sandra Bury has said the deal was not in place until it was approve by the village board.
Deetjen was out of the office and not available for comment.
Cicinelli has filed a second unfair labor practice complaint with the state because Norcomm "on or before Dec. 10" had placed notices in the call center mailbox of each dispatcher a letter telling them they had until Dec. 15 to apply for their old jobs, saying they "will be considered" if they do apply.
Cicinelli also expressed concerns about the village’s liability of having a private contractor run a call center that is based inside the village hall. "I thought that the village privatizing this makes it a separate entity. What happens if there’s a lawsuit filed against Norcomm? Is the village a codefendant?" Cicinelli said.
The agreement states that Norcomm shall maintain insurance policies and names the village as an additional insured party. Norcomm also agrees to "indemnify, defend and hold harmless" Oak Lawn, Burbank, Evergreen Park, Bridgeview, Bedford Park and Central Stickney, communities or fire protection districts that use the call center, from legal action.
It also states that Norcomm operates as an independent contractor.
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About Oak Lawn:
Oak Lawn is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 56,690 at the 2010 census.
About Norcomm Public Safety Communications:
The founder of Illinois' first private 9-1-1 Call Center providing police, fire and emergency medical dispatch for municipalities and fire protection districts. Norcomm Public Safety Communications, Inc. also performs burglar and fire alarm monitoring and installation.
Published: Thursday, January 2, 2014