The city of Spokane extended its agreement on Monday to utilize a county-led emergency dispatch agency for backup when it is short on its own fire dispatchers.
The revised agreement was signed as the City Council considers a budget action that would allow the city to hire three more fire dispatchers of its own, alleviating the need to rely on the Spokane Regional Emergency Communications agency to fill in when the city crew is understaffed.
The interlocal agreement allows the county agency, commonly referred to as SREC, to handle city fire dispatch duty when necessary for a flat fee of $57,600 per month.
Meanwhile, the City Council could vote as early as next Monday on an emergency budget ordinance that would authorize the fire department to hire three full-time dispatchers.
The proposal is the latest evolution in council’s protracted consternation over joining the county-led emergency dispatch agency.
Last year the City Council barred the city from joining SREC, arguing the fledgling agency’s leaders had not proven that it would save the city money or provide better service to city residents.