Jefferson County announces consolidated 911 center
By Gary Lloyd
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has announced that a consolidated 911 center will be housed in the Center Point Satellite Courthouse.
The cost of construction, equipment and technology is expected to be $4.5 million. The project is funded from fees collected by phone companies on every telephone line. By law, these fees must be used to provide 911 emergency services.
“This project has taken great regional cooperation and will be a model for how consolidated services is more effective and more cost efficient for the tax payer,” said Jefferson County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Randy Christian.
The Jefferson County Commission in 2010 created an independent 911 board, which covers all unincorporated areas of the county and also includes 18 cities and towns. This includes the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, nine other law enforcement agencies and 33 fire departments. It serves approximately 190,000 people with 84,000 land lines and 143,000 cell phones, Christian said. More than 200,000 911 calls are answered annually.
All Jefferson County 911 calls are currently answered by the Sheriff’s Office Communication Center and then dispatched or transferred to the appropriate agency.
Northstar Ambulance dispatches for 21 fire departments under a contract with Jefferson County 911. The new 911 communications center will consolidate operations and allow dispatch for all agencies from a central location.
“This concept and new call center will be more cost and operationally efficient,” Christian said.
The Jefferson County 911 Board of Commissioners includes Trussville Mayor Gene Melton, who represents the Jefferson County Mayors Association, and Trussville Police Chief Don Sivley, who represents the Police Chiefs Association of Jefferson County.
“Basically, (the 911 center) is just going to consolidate things and make it more efficient,” Sivley said.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.