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Barry County "911" to GPS trails at Roaring River Park

Monday, March 30, 2009

Barry County E-911 to GPS RRSP trails

By Lindsay Reed

On March 23, the Barry County E-911 Emergency Services Board heard that Mike Phillips, county GIS technician, has been invited to collect GPS information for each of the hiking trails located in Roaring River State Park.

"There is a new cellular tower located near the park," said Phillips. "I have been asked to GPS the trails so that if there is an accident and someone calls in on their cell phone we will be able to locate them."

After the GPS information is collected, E-911 dispatchers should be able to see a caller's location on the map at the dispatcher center.

"I'm still checking to see if they have any information for the trails or if I am going to need to physically go out and walk them to get the information," said Phillips.

Fire station locations have recently been added to Barry County's E-911 maps, said Phillips.

"This will help dispatchers direct emergency personnel from a fire station to a location because they will have a point of reference," said Phillips. "It will also help in situations where a caller says that they had an accident just past a fire station. The dispatchers like the new addition and said that it has helped a lot."

Phillips also reported that crews should finish placing new signs throughout the county within the next few weeks. Although the initial project will be complete, E-911 will be responsible for placing signs for new construction and replacing missing signs.

Individuals who notice a missing sign should report it to Phillips at 846-4911, extension 222.

Pat Leighter, E-911 director, reported that routine maintenance has been completed on the Eventide Voice logging recorder, the operation center septic system and the generator.

Leighter also reported that Terry Griffin, of Smith 2 Way, has been searching for tower sites near Purdy and south of Cassville. He has visited with James Henson, who is willing to donate space for the southern site.

Eagle Rock-Golden-Mano (ERGM) Fire Chief Ron Creek reported that his fire district continues to experience communication problems due to the new E-911 system.

"Part of the ERGM Fire District can't be dispatched by 911," said Creek. "We also can't communicate with each other. Sometimes when we are on-scene and need assistance we can't get another unit there. The communication is really bad.

"The Eagle Rock, Golden and Mano communities are very hilly, and it is hard to have good communication there in the first place." said Creek, "We need to get moving on this."

Creek stressed the importance of constructing new towers to improve Barry County's E-911 communication system as soon as possible.

"I will tell Terry to make this a priority," said Bill Shiveley, E-911 board chairman. "We need a report that says a tower needs to be built on this property and we need to get moving."

In other business, the Barry County E-911 Emergency Services Board:

* Received a clean audit for 2008.

* Heard that the E-911 dispatch center processed 9,765 calls in January and 8,652 calls in February.

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