Cumberland Times-News

Local News

April 30, 2010

Allegany County’s new 911 center ‘breath of fresh air’

CUMBERLAND — Allegany County’s 911 dispatchers are coming home.

After spending the last few months at their makeshift dispatch center at the Public Safety Building in Mexico Farms, the emergency medical services and police dispatchers are being relocated to a new emergency center at Constitution Park.

The single-story structure off Dorn Avenue was constructed on top of the former underground location that had housed the county’s 911 system since its inception in 1977.

“It’s going to be like a breath of fresh air for our dispatchers,” said Dick DeVore, Allegany County chief of emergency management, who oversees the 911 center. “It’s a huge upgrade. We always referred to the old center to going to work in a hole in the ground. But this new facility is absolutely beautiful.

“This is the first time that we have had the opportunity to design our 911 center and move into it. The layout is very functional and very clean, and it features all state-of-the-art equipment. It also has windows to the outside that in the past we only dreamed about,” said DeVore, who began his county career as a 911 dispatcher.

The new building was constructed by Lashley Construction of Frostburg at a cost of $241,000 according to National Fire Protection Association standards for communication centers.

Interior work was completed by Leonard S. Fiore of Altoona, Pa., for $550,000. A million dollars worth of equipment installed at the old center during renovations a few years ago has been relocated to the new facility, including a new 911 telephone system that cost $700,000 and ergonomic work stations worth $150,000 in addition to some “security enhancements,” DeVore said.

The center includes administrative offices, a conference and training room, computer room, and offices for supervisors with a view of the communications room and its raised platform that will be typically manned by a staff of six dispatchers. Nine flat-screen panels surround the communications room with each allowing separate information applications.

Since September, 24 county dispatchers have worked out of the Public Safety Building at Mexico Farms. During that time, dispatchers handled 911 calls that totaled 29,131 and 65,743 law enforcement calls in addition to 62,743 miscellaneous administration calls.

DeVore said the compiled statistics indicate that Tuesday is the busiest day of the week while 3 p.m. is typically the busiest hour of the day.

“After dispatchers move to the new communications center, the Mexico Farms location will continue to serve as our secondary communications center with full redundant capability,” DeVore said.

Originally, county officials anticipated that the county dispatchers would only be working at Mexico Farms for a short time and that the new center would open at the end of last September.

“There were some delays through opportunities that presented themselves once the project began — like a $300,000 fiber-optics system for which we found funding that we had not originally anticipated. We were also pushed back at least a month and a half by the weather,” said DeVore.

The center will become fully operational in the next several days, once “confidential systems” are brought on line at the new facility, said DeVore.

The public is invited to an open house today from 1 to 4 p.m. at the new Allegany County 911 Joint Communications Center at 414 Hudson Ave., opposite the Mayor’s Monument and ball field.  “Dispatchers and administration staff will be doing walking tours to explain our operation, how the equipment works and what services we provide,” said DeVore.

The county official also expressed appreciation to the county public works officials who coordinated the project and “numerous vendors who played key roles in helping us make this move.”

J. Robert Dick, the chief of the Allegany County Bureau of Police, who formerly served as the 911 Joint Communication chief, said, “The dispatchers are going from an underground bunker to a first-class, high-tech communications center.

“The citizens deserve a modern communications center, as well as the dispatchers in their difficult mission,” said Dick. “The dispatchers are good and dedicated people.”

Contact Jeffrey Alderton at jlalderton@times-news.com.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Easter experience Easter experience

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Game on: City interested in baseball study

    After it looked like the objection of a couple of constituents to a study on the feasibility of bringing a minor league baseball team to the area may have torpedoed the thought, county commissioners and some city officials sounded ready to sing a chorus of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on Thursday.

    April 18, 2014

  • DEREK SHEELY Charges against helmet maker stand in case of Frostburg player’s death

    A Montgomery County judge this week declined to dismiss charges against a helmet manufacturer in a case brought by the parents of a Frostburg State University football player who died of head injuries in August 2011 following four straight days of heavy contact drills in practice.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • GAYLE MANCHIN W.Va. BOE president speaks on issues at WVSDB

    West Virginia Board of Education President Gayle Manchin responded to issues at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind during an interview with the Times-News Wednesday morning.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • REGINALD REDMAN Moorefield man jailed on felony drug count

    A Moorefield man was arrested on various charges Thursday, including a felony drug offense for possession of amphetamines, according to the Keyser Police Department.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blossoming optimism Blossoming optimism

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds

    After you drive Alexander and Furnace streets then navigate a couple of switchbacks on Cemetery Road, you’d figure there would be no more uphill.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Proposed county budget holds most agencies flat

    After taking into account an income tax shortfall, Allegany County Finance Director Jason Bennett said he’ll propose a budget that holds most outside agencies to flat funding and funds the Board of Education at what county officials say are maintenence of effort levels for 2015.

    April 17, 2014

  • RYAN WOLF Wolf named 2014-15 Garrett Teacher of the Year

    Southern Garrett High School teacher Ryan Wolf has been named the 2014-15 Garrett County Teacher of the Year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock

    While giving a civics lesson at Frostburg State University on Thursday, U.S. Rep. John Delaney, congressman from Maryland’s sixth district, told students that the polarization in Congress is due primarily to redistricting and a poorly designed Congressional schedule.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook
Must Read
News related video
Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military