The People's Tribune

Pike County 911 Operation To Move Into New Facility

A great deal has already been accomplished to get the newly consolidated 911 operation for Pike County up and running.
The Pike County Commission installed a board of directors after voters passed the initiative last year which now funds the life-saving dispatch operation. That board will change with the election today (Tuesday, April 2). Commissioners and board members are confident that the transition will once again be smooth and progress can continue at the rate it has been going.
Dispatchers will be moving into the temporary location behind the Pike County Sheriff’s Department this week. The trailer has a security system and features a dispatch area with three complete stations, a training area, a conference room (where all future 911 meetings will be held), a breakroom/employee lounge, and offices for the 911 director and an assistant.
Utilities have been set up to accommodate future growth if the operation expands into a permanent building at that site. Commissioners have indicated that will provide land for future development much like the growth of the satellite ambulance station nearby.
The board that was installed following the vote seven months ago to consolidate the 911 efforts included people from diverse backgrounds with a wealth of knowledge from law enforcement to banking to construction to emergency management and more. Those seven members included: Kevin Keeley, Fire Chief Larry LaFave, Sheriff Stephen Korte, Bowling Green Mayor Don Hunter, PCMH Ambulance Director Reesa VanHooser, Pike County Emergency Management Director Al Murry and Mary Millan.
The board hired Jim Porter as the new Pike County 911 Director. He has a great deal of knowledge setting up 911 operations. Most recently he set up the operation in Washington County.
Porter says the consolidation and enhancement efforts for Pike County’s operation are going quickly and smoothly so far.
Prior to the vote seven months ago, 911 dispatching efforts were split with one operation in the Sheriff’s Department and a satellite operation in the Louisiana Police Department.
Dispatchers were hired from both operations and training has been done with much more training on the horizon. Porter said the dispatchers are eager to be as knowledgeable as possible.
The mapping system for Pike County’s operation will also be greatly improved. This will also help to streamline communications with all of the emergency branches such as law enforcement, fire and medical services.
“We want to make sure we have the most reliable and accurate maps possible,” Porter asserted.
While PCMH has still been dispatching ambulances, that will soon be folded into Pike County 911 so that everything is dispatched from one location to increase response time. Porter said the new mapping system will also help to speed the response time.
“We are going to make Pike County 911 the best dispatch in the state,” Porter remarked. “The commissioners couldn’t have done a better job of putting that board together. They have done a great job of getting things off the ground and planning for the future.”
Dispatchers should be moving into their new headquarters this week. The trailer has three complete stations. With 911 now fully funded, there are two dispatchers on duty at all times with a third on duty at certain times.
A secure building was also constructed at the site to house all of the servers, recording equipment and other technology. Dispatchers could even be moved into that building to operate if needed.
Porter noted the current roster of dispatchers have been excellent to work with and are truly professionals. He added that all have been willing to learn and adjust quickly and have expressed a desire to take on more training.
“We want to make sure we are constantly training and auditing ourselves,” Porter said. “We want to maximize our resources.”
The board will change after the election today (April 2). It is hoped that will not slow down progress.
Western District Commissioner Bill Allen said the work that has been done already to consolidate and enhance 911 operations is outstanding.
“They have done an excellent job moving forward and jumping the hurdles.”
Presiding Commissioner Chris Gamm added the board has already accomplished what it has taken other places several years to do.
Eastern District Commissioner Justin Sheppard pointed out that funding had always been the biggest obstacle previously and is proud of what has been accomplished so far.
“I’m proud of the work done by the advisory panel that began crafting a rough plan one what we needed in Pike County. We wouldn’t be where we are today without their hard work,” Sheppard remarked. “I’m also proud of our first 911 board and all they have accomplished in a short amount of time. As a career first responded, and citizen, I’m glad the people of Pike County voted to adequately fund a county 911 system.”

Comments are closed

Text Description

Text Description

Text Description

Log in | 2017 The People's Tribune