Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

March 27, 2013

Board considers joining network



The governing board for emergency dispatching services in Barren and Metcalfe counties is looking at the possibility of joining a larger network of dispatching centers in the state with regard to incoming call routing.

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government has set up a statewide network with equipment that essentially created its own phone service, said Beverly Harbison, director of the Barren-Metcalfe Emergency Communications Center in Glasgow said at the regular meeting of the Barren-Metcalfe Emergency Communications Governing Board on Tuesday evening at Glasgow City Hall. Several counties in the region around Lexington and elsewhere have joined that network.

“One we get onto this network, we would have the possibility of saving $2,500 to $3,000 a month on our telephone bill,” she said, adding that that’s for incoming cell phone calls only. She was also going to check into the impact it could have with landline calls.

If something catastrophic like a tornado happened that wiped out the center’s capabilities, “they could actually transfer our calls to any of the other centers that are on this network,” Harbison said.

She acknowledged that the service wouldn’t be quite the same in a case like that, because the other center wouldn’t necessarily have the local mapping and be as familiar with local resources, but said that at least the calls would be going somewhere and a live professional could take steps to get emergencies addressed.

Harbison, Glasgow Mayor Rhonda Riherd Trautman, who chairs the governing board, and Joann Eaton, assistant director of the Barren-Metcalfe ECC  had met with Ken Lucas, director of the LFUCG dispatch center earlier this month in Glasgow to learn more about the opportunity. LFUCG has applied for a grant of nearly $500,000 from the state Commercial Mobile Radio Service Board to enable it to get some other counties set up on the system and cover at least a few months’ worth of the monthly service, Harbison said. At this  point, she didn’t have figures for how much that monthly service would be instead of the current cost, because the more counties that are involved, the lower the cost for everyone, because more would be sharing the expense, she said.

Read more of this story in the print or e-Edition of Monday's Glasgow Daily Times.