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Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

Scott County E-911 service in need of repair

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

BENTON - The E-911 emergency call recorder at Scott County's off-site Public Safety Answering Point in Miner is down again, according to Joe Burton, administrator for Scott County Emergency 911 services.

Burton said during Tuesday's county commission meeting that the standard hard drive used to repair the E-911 emergency call recorder in Miner worked fine - for about 15 minutes.

"It crashed the tape drive," said Burton. He said there is probably a short or something on the system's main computer board causing the other parts to fail.

Burton said the recording system should have had more regular maintenance than it received. "They're going to have to take care of it," said Burton.

Also, the state requires E-911 centers to store recorded tapes for seven years but the Miner center has been recording over them.

Commissioner Jamie Burger asked if there is a way the E-911 calls could be routed through the main center's recorder while the Miner center's recorder is down. "That way we'll be in control - we'd have the tape," said Burger.

"I've never heard of it being done before, but there's no reason it couldn't," Burton replied He agreed to research the possibility as an interim solution until a new recorder could be purchased.

"That recorder cost us $8,000," said Burton. He estimated the parts alone to repair it would run between $2,000 to $3,000.

New digital recorders, which store the information on a DVD, cost approximately 10 times as much, but can be purchased through a lease-purchase arrangement, according to Burton.

Several area counties including New Madrid, Stoddard and Cape Girardeau have purchased the new systems through Ratel.

In other E-911 business discussed with commissioners:

* The center has talked area schools into purchasing new weather radios at a discounted rate through a special program. "We're trying to get Scott County rated a Storm Ready County," Burton explained.

The radios are offered at $50 instead of their regular $80.

"We ordered 50 weather radio and the schools are paying for these themselves," said Burton. "The criteria was for public schools, but we actually went out to all of them."

Burton said he will contact area day care centers about the weather radios next.

The Storm Ready County designation comes through a National Weather Service and the State Emergency Management Agency program, said Burton.

Burton said being a Storm Ready County will lower insurance rates for the county.

* Burton asked if third-party telephone service vendors should be required to obtain business licenses.

He reported he is still having difficulty getting the E-911 tax from some of the companies.

One company "went for a half a year and didn't pay," Burton said.

* The problem with an erroneous outstanding bill from Ameritech is nearly resolved, according to Burton. He said he was told the company's accounts receivable department never advised the billing department that the balance had been resolved.

Burton said he would continue to follow up and "make sure we get a bill that says zero."