It was reported in our county paper this week that our county commission is looking into dissolving the E911 board and taking over until a new board could be formed. Let me say first off that I dont believe all the commissioners are for this.
The E911 board is to my knowledge not under the control of the county commission. They make decisions regarding E911 without having to get approval from the commission. I personnally believe they do a great job. The Director they hired (over protests from some of the commissioners) has done a fantastic job. She is well qualified (having worked in the fire service AND on an ambulance) and has taken the stance of doing everything possible to improve the E911 system in the county. The difference between her tenure & the previous directors ( who incidentally is now the county EMA director) is unreal! Problems are handled & dispatching quality is tremendously improved.
The current EMA director stated in a meeeting of the county firefighters association awhile back that he foresaw all E911 calls being handled from the neighboring county for us and our adjoining counties. When asked how he felt about this he stated he was for it & looked forward to it. Does he think we will get the same quality that we enjoy now? I doubt it. Also there's the funding issue. The service definitely wont be provided free. It will make it harder for us first responders to get accurate info, addresses, run times and many other things handled through E911.
Our E911 system was set up several years ago with $1 from every residential phone bill & $2 from every business phone to finance it. Over the years, with the increase of cell phones, that decreased. E911 continued on though with no increases in fees until this year when this same commission cut their funding to E911. I hope and pray that this doesnt come to pass, because I feel it will be several steps backwards.
And all because our elected officials doesn't believe in public safety.
Makes you feel real secure doesn't it?