City of Geneva, HWS answer alarming situation

The Geneva Fire Department was getting just a little too familiar with the campus at Hobart and William Smith Colleges this fall. The changeover in emergency dispatching from the city to the county 911 Center resulted an extraordinary number of visits to the campus, mostly to the Village at Odell’s Pond complex, which houses upperclass students.

Under the old system, when an alarm would go off at the Colleges, which City Fire Chief Mike Combs called a “pre-alarm,” campus officials would contact the city dispatcher to verify the legitimacy of the call. On most occasions, there was no reason for firefighters to respond.

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