E911: Project may help dispatch

Published 12:01 am Thursday, December 27, 2012

NATCHEZ — An Emergency-911 project awarded earlier this month may have the benefit of simplifying dispatch services in Adams County.

The Adams County Board of Supervisors approved the awarding of a bid last week to ComSouth of Meridian to replace the E911 communication console with equipment that Adams County Emergency Management Director Stan Owens said will cost less to operate and will allow easier communication access for city and county responders.

The system in place now was installed in 2002 and is computer based, broadcasting across T1carrier lines and microwaves. The new system will go back to using radios, Owens said.

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“The equipment that we have now, the hardware will no longer be supported after the end of the year, and if we have some issues, getting parts for it might be a problem,” he said.

“We keep spare parts in house so if there was an issue, we could get them up and running, and our police and fire people will still be able to communicate.”

The $279,000 project is funded by a $1 911 fee attached to every landline and cell phone bill, Owens said.

Once it is completed, the equipment in the county emergency management office, two consoles at Natchez central dispatch — which directs police and fire dispatch — and the Adams County Sheriff’s Office will all be using the same equipment.

“All three of those positions will be able to talk to any city or county department,” Owens said. “We will all be using the same equipment so if anything happens to any one of the dispatches we can roll over to another one easily.”

Because the sheriff’s office is in the same building as the emergency management office, the ACSO will also be able to tie into the emergency management tornado siren system if needed, Owens said.

Once everything is in place, Owens said he would like to approach the local ambulance services to acquire permission to get access to their radio systems for easier, more direct communication with them as well.

ComSouth is in the process of procuring the equipment, and Owens said the project has a potential completion date for the end of March.