Backed by the recommendations of the Delaware County Emergency Communications (911) Board and its director, the Delaware County Board of Commissioners, during its Dec. 2 meeting, unanimously approved the purchase of the Tyler New World Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and Records Management System (RMS) for the 911 center.
“This will be replacing the existing system we’ve had since 2006,” said Emergency Communications Director Patrick Brandt. “The existing system no longer meets our needs and lacks a new-age technology that we need for public safety.”
Brandt added that $600,000 of the $1.2 million cost for the new system from Tyler Technologies, Inc., out of Plano, Texas, will come from the “911 levy funds,” with the remainder coming from the county’s general fund and Delaware city.
“We did the original purchase in 2006 for all agencies to be under one RMS,” he said, adding Delaware city was not included at that time due to the city having its own system at the time.
Brandt said the new system will allow everyone to be on one countywide RMS system, which means all agencies in the county will be able to look up and share data countywide.
To address the commissioners’ concern over sending the closest EMS ambulance, Brandt said, “Right now, we’re going by run-card basis. This (system) will take it by an AVL (Automatic Vehicle Location) basis. We’re not paying for the cellular connection within in the fire, EMS, and law enforcement vehicles because 90% of all the vehicles now have it, if not all. Even Radnor has it, and this will get the data back to our office.”
Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin, a member of the 911 board, said one of the fundamental duties of government is to provide public safety.
“We’re fortunate to have the partnerships that we have throughout this county when it comes to public safety across the board,” he said. “The public safety community has been talking for nearly two decades about a single platform and building a streamline of sharing information.”
Martin said that the show of support from the commissioners in the venture should be celebrated.
“This a huge step forward in overall public safety,” Martin said. “This board is to be commended on behalf of local law enforcement, our fire services, and our EMS for the commitment and support to this project.”
Echoing the sheriff’s comments, Delaware Fire Chief John Donahue said, “It was a unanimous decision by all those that were working on the technology committee and their research.”
In researching the system, the 911 board sent a delegation of local public safety professionals to Macomb County, Michigan, where the system is now in use.
“We had an outstanding trip up to see the system actually working,” Donahue said. “We had 10 representatives from all facets of the public safety profession. We voted to move this forward to you (the commissioners) in early November, so I know it’s great to see this coming to light. We’re anxious to get the system onboard here in Delaware County.”
Commissioner Jeff Benton said he thought it was great that the county was putting in the technology to send the closest available ambulance.
“That is such an important step forward,” he said.
Commissioner Gary Merrell, also a member of the 911 board, said the county has extremely talented first responders and staff in emergency communications.
“We’re very fortunate,” he said. “I’m excited about the project. I think the time is right, and I was privileged to be part of the tour. I’m excited about where this is going to take us.”
Commissioner Barb Lewis, president of the board, said it was a nice step forward. She then addressed some problems with running mutual aid to or receiving it from Columbus.
“I know that we talked about some objections, because there had been some hiccups down in Columbus … but that has been all worked out,” she said.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.