Upgrade Of 911 Center Proposed

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A proposal for more than $400,000 in improvements to Athens County's 911 Center was presented to the county commissioners Tuesday by 911 Director Dan Pfeiffer.

It calls for installing four new dispatching consoles to replace the three existing ones that are in regular use.

"We need to upgrade our current equipment. It's all becoming outdated," Pfeiffer said.

Pfeiffer is proposing acquiring the consoles from Motorola on a lease-purchase basis over five years, with annual payments of $74,798. There would be additional costs the first year for chairs and furniture for the consoles and mechanical upgrades to the room, bringing the first-year cost to an estimated $131,883. Overall, the county would have about $431,000 invested over the five-year period.

The money would come from 911's budget.

The upgrade will also position the county to have a fourth dispatcher on duty during peak periods.

"The commissioners and I will be discussing that when we get into the budgeting process (for 2015) this fall," Pfeiffer said.

He said the center has seen an increase in the number of calls it receives.

Through July 9, the center had so far this year received 16,591 calls to 911, which resulted in 16,732 dispatches — come calls result in multiple agencies being dispatched to the scene.

During that same period in 2013, the center had received 15,058 calls to 911 (1,533 fewer than in 2014), resulting in 15,491 dispatches (1,241 fewer).

Overall in 2013, there were just under 29,000 calls and more than 31,000 dispatches, Pfeiffer said.

Although the center currently has three consoles in regular use, it also as a partial fourth console in another room that is occasionally used during special events, Pfeiffer said.

The commissioners decided not to take action on Pfeiffer's proposal Tuesday because County Commissioner Charlie Adkins was absent from that portion of the commissioners' meeting.