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Officials consider shared services for county’s 911 dispatch center
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Officials consider shared services for county’s 911 dispatch center

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Officials consider shared services for county’s 911 dispatch center

Page County Emergency Management Coordinator Kris Grebert

Page County Supervisors consider shared services with the state that would reduce costs and provide additional benefits for the county’s 911 dispatch center.

During the Feb. 16 Page County Board of Supervisors meeting Page County Emergency Management Coordinator Kris Grebert submitted a proposal to enter into an agreement with Zetron and the State of Iowa for shared 911 services. He said the shared services would provide access to additional programs for the county, including pre-answer mapping, a new CAD system that would send out text messages automatically to first responders and an Emergency Medical Dispatch System.

Grebert said the pre-answer mapping would show dispatch a map of where the 911 call is coming from before the call is answered. The current system only shows a map after the 911 call has been answered.

He said this program would benefit the 911 dispatch center when receiving accident calls and provide better service to the county.

“On one accident, we will get anywhere from four to seven to 10 911 calls from people that have seen it,” said Grebert. “So, if we have 911 ringing off the hook and the pre-answer mapping showed all those calls are coming from that area, we pretty much know it’s going to be an accident call. Now while those are ringing, another map pops up, showing a 911 call from Shenandoah. That’s going to allow my second dispatcher to take that Shenandoah call because they know that’s not going to be an accident call.”

Grebert said the new CAD system would automatically send out a text message to first responders in the area the 911 call originated from, in addition to the county’s paging system. He said it would include a mobile CAD System. When dispatch inputs information into the computer system, it will send the call to the nearest emergency vehicle equipped with a computer responding to the 911 call before it goes out over the radio. Currently, the Page County Sheriff and Shenandoah Police Department have computers in their vehicles.

The EMD system Grebert said would provide the county with the ability for the dispatcher to begin medical assistance to a 911 caller by giving them instructions before first responders arrive on the scene.

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“So if somebody is having a heart attack, we can help start CPR,” said Grebert.

Grebert anticipates the shared services would reduce the annual cost from the E-911 budget by about $20,000 for the first three years after an upfront cost to upgrade the hardware system and software. The savings for the county would significantly increase going into the fourth year.

Grebert would like to utilize the money the county could save if entering into the agreement to purchase new radio consoles for the dispatch center.

“We’re currently using the AVTEC’s that we purchased back in 2015,” said Grebert. “We didn’t upgrade those when we did the radio system because they were still new enough. But we would like to in the next three to five years upgrade those. Those are going to be a hefty price. We’re looking at right now if we did it this year $300,000 for the three consoles or $100,000 apiece.”

The supervisors took no action to wait for additional information from Zetron on the cost.

In other business the Board of Supervisors:

Approved signing Iowa Secretary of State HAVA Cybersecurity grant agreement.

Approved fiscal sponsorship for Page County Conservation Board grant application to the Community Foundations of Southwest Iowa.

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