Update: This story has been updated with comments from Todd Noblitt, director of the Bartholomew County Emergency Operations Center.
Bartholomew County will be receiving a $445,000 dollar federal grant that will go towards a $1.1 million dollars upgrade to the county’s 911 equipment, says Todd Noblitt, director of the Bartholomew County Emergency Operations Center.
The new, Next Generation 911 equipment will allow the county to better locate those making 911 calls and will allow the center to receive texts, images, videos and other data, Noblitt said. The center will also be upgrading its recording abilities with new equipment.
Noblitt said the current 911 phone system is about 10 years old and has reached the end of its life, forcing the county to upgrade.
Noblitt said the county has been preparing to make the $1.1 million dollar upgrade for about 18 months. He said county officials are confident that the upgrade will have a minimal impact on local residents.
The Indiana 911 Board announced this week that it has received a $2.8 million dollar federal grant to help communities switch to a digital emergency network. The grants will be a 60/40 match for local agencies and will go to 29 communities around the state.
In addition to Bartholomew County’s emergency operations center, local agencies receiving the funds include Brown County and Shelby County Sheriff’s Departments and Decatur County Communications.
Ed Reuter, former Bartholomew County emergency operations center director and current executive director of the state agency, said that the upgrades will have a significant impact on 911 services around the state. A third of counties statewide are eligible for the grant funds.