Transition not so seamless

Transition between Penticton dispatch and Kelowna dispatch not so seamless as some would have public believe.

Apparently the seamless transition announced in the paper in January of this year between Penticton dispatch and Kelowna dispatch has not been quite so seamless as some people would have the public believe.

Given the letters to the editors and the articles in both the Penticton Herald and Penticton Western News, it seems that the current system is inadequate. One of the articles also states that the “RDOS is moving towards a major upgrade.”

Last summer when the proposals were put forth by the various interested parties wouldn’t it have been prudent of the RDOS members to have thoroughly researched what each of these proposals included? Did any of the regional directors (who are elected officials representing their communities) educate themselves about the dispatch systems available before voting? It was recognized at that time that the aging radio equipment would need to be replaced. It doesn’t appear to have been in the Kelowna bid or why would the RDOS need to spend $49,000 on a study to ensure the current system is up to snuff?

As stated by the deputy chief in Kelowna, the current system has experienced numerous glitches including downed computer systems due to overload, confusing directions, incorrect press dispatch reports and erroneous GPS locations to name but a few. The public is being reassured that Kelowna dispatch is continuing to correct and improve these glitches as they arise. Now the RDOS is talking about a major radio upgrade which could cost around a million dollars. I believe the public was duped into believing that by transferring dispatch to Kelowna they would be getting a superior system. It certainly is saving money on salaries in Penticton and perhaps that was the goal all along. I think the focus has been on the wrong issues and in the long term the RDOS and Penticton will suffer because of their short sighted decision.

Compare the whole situation to shopping for clothes. I doubt there are many people who would not try on an outfit before they purchase to ensure they get a proper fit so why didn’t the RDOS examine the proposals a little closer to ensure that they (and us the public) were getting the ‘right fit’?

Mary-Anne MacDonald

Summerland