Madison County’s 9-1-1 dispatch service will soon be able to operate remotely, if a tornado, fire or other disaster wipes out the main office in Danielsville.
That’s one perk of a new computer dispatch program unanimously approved by commissioners Monday for the county 9-1-1 office.
The new system will cost $185,000 and be paid for with funds from the 2008 special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST). Voters approved upgrades for the 9-1-1 office in that referendum.
The board awarded the project to Gunby Communications. The system should be up and running sometime this spring.
County 9-1-1 director David Camp presented the proposal to the BOC Feb. 25. He informed the commissioners that the Microsoft is ending its technical support for Windows XP in April for the 9-1-1 office. He said the county needs to upgrade to a system that is compatible with Windows 7.
The new equipment will include a “radio console,” which has always been a tangible console that managed radio frequencies. Camp noted that parts for such consoles are scarce.
But the new console will be virtual and can be accessed both from the 9-1-1 computers at the main office and by laptops for dispatchers if the office is out of commission.
“This system is completely IP based,” said Camp. “It’s all digital. It never touches the Internet; it just uses the same protocols as the Internet. It is a closed system.”