By Julie Huss
---- — LONDONDERRY — The Fire Department will be bringing in some revenue, thanks to an agreement with Hampstead to provide around-the-clock dispatch service for that town.
It will also bring in extra funding as the town ponders department budgets and spending.
That’s good news for town officials, who are looking at budgets and how much money has been spent already this year.
The Fire Department has been under much budget scrutiny in the past several months as officials work on how to make the department optimal, while trying to keep overtime expenses in check.
Londonderry fire Chief Darren O’Brien said Hampstead will pay $140,000 for the three-years-plus dispatch contract.
“Back in October, I got word that Hampstead was seeking to redo their dispatch contract,” O’Brien said. “We thought that could be a good fit for us.”
Hampstead selectmen recently approved the contract. O’Brien gave more details to Town Council at a meeting Feb. 24.
The Derry Fire Department previously provided the dispatch for Hampstead. The new contract will last through December 2017.
With the new town coming on board, O’Brien said there may need to be some system upgrades to support another community.
That won’t be an added cost, he said.
O’Brien said Londonderry can handle its own emergency calls with the staff it has now.
Adding Hampstead could generate another 1,000 calls per year. Any more than 6,000 calls per year between the two towns would be the most one dispatcher could handle.
O’Brien said this will be the first agency that Londonderry will provide dispatch to other than its own. The money the contract generates will go into the town’s general operating fund.
“This is strictly revenue gaining,” O’Brien said.
In other news, O’Brien said his department received a $26,350 emergency management grant that will support the purchase of a new emergency generator for the Central Fire Station.
He said the current generator will be taken to the senior center in case that site is ever needed for a town emergency shelter or cooling station.