Perry County 911 Center Deals with Difficulties

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Perry (WOUB) — Officials with the  Perry County 911 Center say they have had issues that affected their ability to do their jobs while installing new software during the past months.

The computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system is a public safety software used by the Perry County fire and police departments, that operates 911 from the telephone to the computer. But the new system has not worked as it should, first responders said at a recent meeting because they don’t have what they need to make it work.

The change was instituted by administrators at the 911 center, such as the supervisor and director. Firefighters say they were not involved in the process of selecting a new system.

A screenshot of the LIVECAD system used by 911 operators and first respondents

Fire chiefs in the area also said they would not be given access to the new system unless they signed an agreement stating they would be responsible for any data leaks, because the new system carries information about law enforcement, such as calls and whereabouts.

According to Thorn Village Fire Chief Jeremiah Weekly, the old system, called LiveCad, was deleted and access to the program was denied with only a 40-hour notice. Weekly said he and other fire department heads didn’t feel comfortable with that.

“It is my job as fire chief to set up a system that will give the appropriate apparatus and appropriate manpower to each call,” Weekly said, “[The system] does that and I predetermine that before the calls. The way that [the 911 center is] trying to set it up, I’m not able to do it. I feel I’m handcuffed, or my hands are tied.”

New Lexington Fire Chief Jim Fain, said the 911 center has not been receiving radio traffic from all of Perry County’s emergency responders for more than a year now.

“It’s getting to the point where some people could possibly be getting hurt.” Fain said, “All of Perry County [ fire and police departments] met and it’s a unanimous feeling that it needs to be addressed.”

911 Center Supervisor Derrick Keylor says he never heard about this issue and all calls are recorded going in and out.

“Fire chiefs always have differences of opinion on how they run and operate their departments,” Keylor said. “Unfortunately, we can’t tailor [the software] to an individual department that the chiefs want. This is a county operation where we have to think about all 11 fire departments. So there has to be common ground, give and take, and we can’t come to a consensus.”   

The fire department is planning on submitting a letter to Perry County Commissioners about the problem.