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Thread: 911 board

  1. #1
    Forum Member fireguy919's Avatar
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    Default 911 board

    I need the help of the Ohio group. Our county is in the process of starting 911. What we have is a problem with the way our commissioners are handling some of it. We want to have a board of directors opposed to an advisory board. Our commissioners have lied to us quite a bit as of late. They are now telling us there can only be an advisory board. I have not been able to find anything that say it law. We just got our WMD grant papers in because of the political bull****. One commissioner would not sign it over our ema director. The fire service was pushing for the deputy director to take it over but they wanted someone they could control a little better.
    So to go off on a rant back to the question. How is you county 911 set up as far as emergency services having a say in 911. The system they are bringing is a PSAP type system and there is 5 answering points. All of these dispatch for other agencies. All of them have on dispatcher on at a time. The commissioners are telling us there is no way to govern how it will work they are only responsible to get it up and running any problems after that go to the PSAP. This is a concern due to the fact we for see many dropped calls. As if one dispatcher is transferring a call and getting one for the service they dispatch for or handling radio traffic, how are they going to get the next call?
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

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    MembersZone Subscriber Firedan38's Avatar
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    i used to be a dispatcher in Marion County, all the 911 calls went to 1 of 2 PSAPs if in the city of Marion it went to Marion Police, in Marion County they went to marion coutny sheriff, from there the call was handled...i worked for Marion Twp Fire and we dispatched our own so the SO would ringdown the 911 call to us, they stayed on the line til they were sure we had the call. the local OSP post also transfered calls to us and again they stayed online til we had the call, the SO dispatched the county volunteers. as for the administration....the Sheriff in the county and the Public Safety Director in the city were responsible for 911 and all the maint. there was a .25 charge on our phone bill to pay for the upkeep of 911, that allowed them to eventually up grade it.if you have any questions you can call MCSO at the following...1-800-241-8244 they can tell you how it works
    Any commander who fails to exceed his authority is not of much use to his subordinates. - Arleigh Burke

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    911 is governed by your final implementation plan that is submitted to the PUCO. In that final plan the county or entity has to not only spell out how the system is setup and started, but also how it will operate.

    The commissioners are right about an advisory board. It is spelled out in the Ohio Revised Code as to its makeup and function. The commissioners will appoint the members to it, in which case they should get representation from all users of the system.

    Here are the code sections you need to look at, 4931.31 to 4931.52. If you go Ohio.gov you can search for a link to the ORC.

    One word of advice, we have had 911 for several years in a rural county. When it was setup, they did not secure a good funding stream, went with the flat line charge. This has meant very little money for upgrades or dispatchers. It is also very political. In a rural county usually the only full time agencies are law enforcement, one being an elected sheriff who will have funding battles with the county commissioners. So when they cut the budget for the Sheriff, your 911 also suffers.

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    Forum Member fireguy919's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply. We are a rural area as well. They did ours by a 50 cent phone bill charge. That money pays for nothing more than the equipment. There are PSAPís that are all set up at different places all being Police Departments. The county S.O. handles half of all Fore Departments in the county. As we are told. The call will come into the PSAP and be one button transfer to the departments dispatcher. The problem we have is when our commissioner say that 911 concerns are only that the phone gets answered. We was hoping to have some in put. The one button transfer is scary as well. If the S.O. gets it and it is for one of there departments how are they going to answer the phone dispatch it and keep up the other police departmentís they dispatch for. All the PSAPís only have on dispatcher on duty and do not plan to have more. Not to mention we all have our dispatcher to worry about. We all feel a big shafting coming on.
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

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    Our experience is the 50 cent line charge is doomed to failure. As a 911 director in another county explained to me, the phone line business is 0 growth, everyone is going to cell and wireless.

    In our case the line charge is not even generating enought to keep the equipment updated.

    In our county we have two PSAPS, one being the SO and the other being a fulltime PD. The SO has 1 dispatcher on duty 24/7 and that person handles the following, all SO traffic, all local village PD's 7 of those, all county fire departments, 10 or those including their EMS. They also monitor and handle walk-in traffic to the SO building. They also watch prisoners who are waiting to go the regional jail. The PD serves as a backup and handles their own police, fire and EMS.

    This is not a good situation. The fire chielfs have been trying to get changes made, but it goes back to where will you get the money. Commssioners are elected and the only way to get money is raise taxes, something ours won't do and probably not yours either.

    One solution we are looking at is consolidating the 2 psaps. Not knowing your population, I think 5 could probably be consolidated.

  6. #6
    Forum Member fireguy919's Avatar
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    Shawnee271 thanks for your reply. Our county population 112,000 give or take a few. They went with so many PSAPís because the political b.s. of the few cities we have. All are very small. From what we are gathering there will be no check and balance to the system. Any problems have we have does no good to try and address when there are some many fingers that could answer the phone. Kind of afraid of the one button transfer to. Doesnít sound promising for us to get any thing that works. Only plus side we have it are commissioners donít have a problem adding taxes. But we told them the phone line fee would not be enough. Commissioners insisted it would be because they are only paying for the equipment. We have tried talking to them but they are rushing the system in. and bragging about it. Voters approved it a year ago end of this year it should be up and running. As they claim anyway. From what I am hearing that is fast to go from nothing to enhanced 911.
    ps you code numbers helped alot
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

  7. #7
    Forum Member fireguy919's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone that helped me on this. Not only the posts here but in pmís to. We had 17 departments in the county stand together and circle the court house at there regular meeting. Everyone conducted themselfís very well. We had one person ask questions on the 911 issue and wmd money from the 04 grant year. It all went well and we did see results.

    http://www.salemnews.net/news/story/..._new02fire.asp

    Revised 911 plan addresses fire concerns

    By MARY ANN GREIER/Salem News staff writer


    LISBON - A revised edition of Columbiana County's 911 plan addressed a concern of area firefighters, but they'll have an opportunity for more input when they meet next month.

    Members of the county 911 Technical Advisory Committee received copies of the plan's second draft when they met Tuesday, learning the timeline calls for their approval Sept. 27.
    "It's important that we get this plan in its final form approved," county Commissioner Gary Williams said, noting they're still hoping to deploy the new system before the year ends.

    County 911 Director Robert Emmons said the latest version of the plan included significant changes from the draft provided to committee members last month, including an explanation of the permanent board which will oversee the enhanced 911 system operations once the system goes live.

    During a commissioners' meeting last week, firefighters from all over the county converged on the Courthouse and asked whether the county firefighters association or fire chiefs association would have input before the plan gets approved.

    Williams pointed out that firefighters have been a part of the plan from the beginning, with at least three representatives of fire departments serving on the 911 Technical Advisory Committee. Last week, he and Emmons attended the firefighters association meeting and came out with many suggestions for the plan.

    To be known as the Columbiana County Emergency Services Committee, the permanent board will include representatives from specific areas, including fire departments, along with a county commissioner, police, sheriff, EMS, townships and other communities. The committee will run the 911 service, but will be required to run major changes and purchases by the county commissioners, since they're the statutory authority.

    Emmons asked that committee members review the plan and provide him with any corrections as soon as possible. The plan will be taken to both fire associations when they meet on Sept. 20 and 21.

    Williams said the final version will come to the Technical Advisory Committee when

    it meets at 1 p.m. Sept. 27. He wants the 911 Planning Committee comprised of himself, East Liverpool Mayor Bill Swoger and Salem Mayor Larry DeJane to meet Sept. 28 to make its decision, then have the commissioners decide during their meeting, also Sept. 28, so the plan can be sent to subdivisions for their approval.

    The plan needs approval from subdivisions representing 60 percent of the county's population to become effective, with final approval resting with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. He said they'll give subdivisions a month to take action.

    The new version also included information for the wireless plan to address cell phones, with latest numbers showing the county could gain $166,000 per year from the 32-cent monthly fee on cell phone bills.

    In other business, the committee learned the remodeling of three of the Public Service Answering Point dispatching centers would require state building permits and require the services of an architect to draw the blueprints. Emmons said the requirement could delay the construction by a month at the Salem Police Department, Columbiana Police Department and the Sheriff's Office.

    Williams didn't have a cost amount for hiring the architect, which will come from a Columbiana firm already involved in a number of county projects. He did say the cost will fall under the $25,000 threshold, meaning they won't have to seek bids.

    The committee also learned a change in the renovation plans at the Salem location will require an increase to the cost of workstation furniture for that location from $15,654 to $19,356. The committee approved the increase, which will bring the total cost for Wright Line workstation furniture to $108,229.

    The committee also agreed to approve a maintenance agreement with Campbell and Associates for the voice recorders at Columbiana, East Palestine and East Liverpool for $6,900.
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

  8. #8
    Forum Member fireguy919's Avatar
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    Commissioners meet to clear up EMA issues



    By MARY ANN GREIER/Salem News staff writer

    LISBON - The Columbiana County Commissioners met in emergency session Thursday to handle more unfinished business for the 2004 Homeland Security funding which firefighters questioned them about Wednesday.
    Apparently, the $194,747 in grant funding had never been requested to be certified and appropriated for spending - a move necessary to cut purchase orders required for the spending report due in Columbus today.

    The grant administered through the Weapons of Mass Destruction Committee and WMD coordinator included $145,736 to be spent on equipment for fire departments and police departments and another $49,010 for administrative costs.

    The money couldn't be spent legally without it being certified or appropriated. Commissioner Gary Williams said due to a lot of circumstances at the county Emergency Management Agency office which came to light the last few days, it wasn't take care of.

    "This should have already been done," he said.

    The request would have been a duty of the WMD coordinator, just as completion of the report showing how the money would be spent should have already been done by the coordinator before the Monday deadline.

    The county requested an extension when it was discovered Monday that the report wasn't ready - the state gave the county until today to submit it or risk losing the funding, which has to be spent by the end of September.

    Both Williams and Commissioner Jim Hoppel said the report deadline will be met to secure the funding which will help local fire and police departments. New EMA Director Darren Dodson and new EMA deputy director Tim Long, who both started their jobs last month, were working to finish the paperwork.

    A total of 13 fire trucks from volunteer fire departments throughout the county circled the Courthouse

    in Lisbon Wednesday while some of the firefighters and members of the Columbiana County Fire Chiefs Association met with commissioners.

    The firefighters presented commissioners with a list of questions regarding the WMD funding for Homeland Security, asking what they planned to do with the 2004 funding.

    Commissioner Sean Logan told the firefighters he heard someone told them the reason the 2004 funding was delayed was because commissioners failed to name a WMD coordinator for the 2005 allocation. WMD Coordinator Chris Fabbro, who was told not to come to work Monday since his contract expired Aug. 13, had been responsible for the 2004 grant. The WMD Committee, which includes firefighters, asked commissioners to renew Fabbro's contract in May with a wage increase, but they said it was too soon.

    They didn't learn there was a problem with the 2004 grant until Monday when Fabbro informed Dodson about the deadline.

    Adding to the problem was the fact that in the course of poring over the paperwork to try to meet the deadline, Dodson discovered only $90,000 of the $145,000 for equipment had been obligated.

    Williams went to the county Firefighters Association meeting Wednesday night and the chiefs were asked what other equipment they needed so the rest of the money could be obligated.

    He acknowledged the firefighters appeared to have a different attitude at the evening meeting after the morning session with commissioners and meeting with Dodson.

    "I detected a greater spirit of cooperation and maybe some lines of communication opened up that weren't there before," Williams said.

    Besides asking about the grant funding, the firefighters had questioned the commissioners about the countywide 911 plan and whether they would have input.

    At least three firefighters serve on the countywide enhanced 911 Technical Advisory Committee and Williams pointed that out and noted that the proposed plan had been given to those representatives for them to share with their fellow firefighters so the committee could get feedback. He also said the advisory committee which will be formed once the system is operational will include firefighters.
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

  9. #9
    Forum Member fireguy919's Avatar
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    We did have 17 fire trucks from 17 departments show up. and have seen many results from it.
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

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