Operational date set for E-911

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Barry County's E-911 system will be tested on Sept. 18 and could be on-line and operational by Oct. 2, said Pat Leighter, Barry County E-911 Emergency Services Board director.

"We are doing great," said Leighter. "I have a wonderful board of people to work with who are knowledgeable, caring and interested in the E-911 system."

Currently, Leighter's main concern is the completion of the county-wide mapping project. MSAG LLC, Inc., which was hired by the Barry County Emergency Services E-911 Board in March of 2006, has missed several project completion benchmarks over the last year.

MSAG officials have stated that the mapping project will be completed before to the Oct. 2 deadline. Regardless of the mapping project's completion, the E-911 system should be operational in October, said Leighter.

Ideally, when a call comes into the E-911 dispatching center, the caller's address will be displayed on the console monitor. If the mapping system is not in place when the E-911 system goes on-line in October, callers will be asked to give the dispatcher directions to their location to aid in emergency response.

Last month, the Barry County E-911 Emergency Services Board voted to send a legal letter to MSAG stating concerns regarding the progress of the mapping project. If MSAG has not completed the mapping project by October, the board intends to seek legal advice and could pursue alternative mapping options.

As the October completion date approaches, Dalton-Killinger Construction, which was awarded a $1,698,000 construction bid in February, is quickly progressing on the construction of the new Barry County E-911 Operations Center, which will be located off of Business 37 next to Barry Electric Cooperative's headquarters.

Last week, Dalton-Killinger poured the second floor and completed the roof of the 6,600-square-foot, split-level operations center. Crews will finish the exterior of the building and begin interior work within the next month.

"The operations center is over half complete," said Leighter. "A lot more work will go into the facility, but so much of it will be finished within the next month."

Between now and September, AT&T, CenturyTel and Alltel will place trunk lines at the operations center which will connect all Barry County residents to the E-911 system.

A final walkthrough will be completed at the operations center on Sept. 15. Leighter hopes to move a portion of her equipment to the new operations center prior to the September deadline.

On Tuesday, crews installed a new Sabre Tower to the southwest of the operations center. The tower, which is around 110 feet tall, will increase E-911 system radio coverage across Barry County. In addition to the tower, repeaters have been installed at three locations in the county to enhance radio coverage.

The Barry County E-911 System is funded by a quarter-cent E-911 sales tax, which voters approved in June of 2005.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: