Bartholomew 911 center to buy mobile dispatch units

The Bartholomew County 911 center is making plans to go mobile in case of an emergency that wipes out service at the center.

Todd Noblitt, director of the 911 center, told the county commissioners this week that as part of the ongoing upgrades to the 911 phone system, the county now has the opportunity to use mobile command units. Noblitt said that the portable equipment will give the county the ability to operate 911 services from alternate locations. It will replicate all the center’s capabilities all the way down to the location detection technology that allows dispatchers to locate the caller’s exact spot.

The equipment will also allow the center to increase its capacity by four fully-functioning consoles, Noblitt said. That would come in handy during major emergencies or crisis situations such as during a flood or other disaster.

Noblitt said he would like to find a location that could be used as a secondary dispatch center and permanently store the consoles there but until then, they would be stored at the dispatch center. However, commissioners said they would prefer them to be stored at a 24-hour facility such as the county jail. But they agreed that the units needed a permanent home.

The four mobile command units will cost just over $104,000 and Noblitt said it would be paid for out of federal funds from the CARES act allotted for COVID-19 expenses.

Commissioners approved the addendum to the 911 center’s contract with AT&T.