E-911 Center work progresses

Published 10:40 am Tuesday, April 12, 2016

WINTON – The Hertford County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to finalize construction work on the new E-911 Center, which is near the new courthouse, until April 28.

County Manager Loria Williams said the work is nearly complete, but the contractor, Cadet Construction of Raleigh has fallen behind the “must complete” date of March 19 due to bad weather.

The county has until June 30 to complete the project when the grant funding expires. The rain delay will not increase the cost of the project.

The $4.25 million project will be 100 percent grant funded, will consist of 10,124 gross square feet, to include room to allow for as many as four emergency services dispatchers to work at one time. The facility will also include office space for supervisors, break room/kitchen, restrooms, bunk room, lockers, showers, and storage areas.

The Center is expected to streamline the county’s processing of emergency calls and enable more efficient responses and will also expedite emergency response times by cutting down on call transfers and facilitating use of the same dispatch and mapping technology by all emergency responders.

The emergency operations center will serve as a virtually catastrophe-proof hub for emergency personnel to manage their efforts in the event of a disaster.

In July of 2013, the North Carolina 911 Board unanimously voted to award Hertford County Emergency Services a grant of $4,250,000 for the construction of the county’s PSAP (Public Service Answering Points – combining communications of the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office and the police departments of Ahoskie and Murfreesboro).

As the project moved forward from that point, the county appointed an 11-member governance board, serving as an advisory body per the inter-local agreement that was approved in 2012 by the commissioners as well as the towns of Murfreesboro and Ahoskie for guiding the E-911 consolidated project.

That board consists of the Ahoskie and Murfreesboro police chiefs, the Hertford County Sheriff, representation from each municipality, a representative from the (municipalities’) firemen’s association, a representative from Ahoskie Rural (Fire Department), and one county commissioner.

“This is a county operated center,” said Hertford County Manager Lorie Williams. “The E-911 Director will report to the County Manager. That means Hertford County’s governing body has most of the responsibility and authority over that person. All of Hertford County’s personnel and travel policies will govern those employed in the E-911 Center.”

Assurance has been given to current dispatchers working the PSAP at the Ahoskie and Murfreesboro police departments that they will be able to carry over their service time to the county if hired to work at the new consolidated E-911 Center.

Once the new consolidated center opens, the salaries/benefits paid to the 12 full-time dispatchers will be covered by the county. Ahoskie and Murfreesboro will each contribute to the salaries and operational costs.