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Millburn / Short Hills — New Providence Top Stories

Towns Name Ruf Director of Shared Dispatch Center

Mike Neavill

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 • 1:44pm

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – With 26 years experience in public safety, Scott W. Ruf has been selected to lead an 18-person staff charged with handling all police, fire and EMT emergency calls in Millburn, Summit and New Providence.

The announcement was made by New Providence Borough Councilman Rob Munoz, who was part of the selection committee comprised of administrators and an elected official from each of the three communities.

“He will be a great fit for this position,” Munoz said.

Munoz said 48 applications for the position were received with initial vetting conducted by the police and fire chiefs of each town. The candidates were narrowed to a list of four for final consideration by the selection committee.

Ruf’s appointment is considered a conditional offer of employment since the legal entity that will “run” the dispatch center has not yet been formed. That technicality will be removed at the council’s July 28 meeting.

Currently, Ruf is the director of the Emergency Communications Center for Douglas County, Kan. The center processes all emergency and non-emergency calls for the county which includes four cities and the University of Kansas.

According to Munoz, Ruf brings vast expertise of CAD/RMS systems, emergency communications systems and radio systems upgrades – all which will be vital in the success of the new dispatch center.

Ruf will be in charge of an 18-member staff, which will include 15 full-time dispatchers, two per-diem dispatchers and an administrative assistant.

Referring to the organizational structure, Borough Administrator Doug Marvin, who was part of the selection committee, said it would be flat, with a lead dispatcher assigned to each squad. “There is not a lot of hierarchy,” he added.

The Shared Dispatch Center will be located in a portion of the New Providence Municipal Center currently under construction with an expected completion in late August.

“After that there’s a whole host of other issues to bring together including all technology, dispatch consoles, radio, telephone and 911 systems,” Marvin said.

Ruf is expected to assume his position in early September, Marvin said.

While operational savings are part of the reason for consolidation, the major impetus behind the partnership is a $1.6 million federal grant to replace aging equipment in the three towns with state-of-the-art technology.

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