ETSB gets grant for separate data system for Greene County dispatch calls, data

By Benjamin Cox on January 9, 2019 at 12:40pm

The West Central Joint Emergency Transportation Safety Board is taking steps to organize dispatch data regionally.

There were a number of items to be discussed as the Joint ETSB met Tuesday in their first open session of 2019, including the establishment of the main officers, consisting of a chairman, vice-chairman, and a secretary. All three of the people who had been serving in these roles will remain as they were, per the Board’s decision yesterday. Greene County Sheriff Rob McMillen will continue as Chairman. Fireman Bryce McCormick with the Chapin Area Rescue Squad stays as vice-chairman, and the secretary is still Calhoun County Commissioner Phil Robeen. The West Central Joint ETSB serves Calhoun, Morgan, and Greene Counties. Officer positions have a term of 1 year and are chosen every January.

There was also a purchase discussed for technology that will allow all Greene County dispatch data to be stored in its own facility. The West Central Joint ETSB Coordinator Phil McCarty, who also serves as Morgan County Emergency Management Coordinator, explains.

“CAD is a computer aided dispatch system. So we work in the dispatch center to manage records, manage information, and the whole process. Instead of writing down on paper, it’s all computer based. As part of the 911 process, we manage the CAD and keep data for events that happen in Greene, Morgan, and Calhoun counties. As we wrote the grant, Greene County data was being held in Morgan County. There was no separation. It works better – in terms of interoperability –  in the long run for them to have their own computer aided dispatch system. This will allow us all to integrate our efforts, share together, and work on things simultaneously.”

A grant has been guaranteed for the Joint ETSB to move forward with the purchase of the CAD system for Greene County. The grant is one where the purchase must be made first, then confirmed, and finally reimbursed in full.

McCarty says the CAD system was purchased from a company that has helped other local law enforcement and emergency agencies.

“Cushing is a CAD provider that the Jacksonville Police Department and the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department use. When we all combined together, that’s what we inherently started using, so we’re just building upon that down into the Greene County operation.”

McCarty also explains how agencies throughout the area are coming together to make improvements to map systems for dispatchers regionally.

“West Central ETSB wants to be a good neighbor and work regionally to help provide next-gen 911 GIS – which is map upgrades – to Morgan County, as well as our surrounding partners. The memorandum of understanding between the different counties and municipalities and such is just to show that everyone is going to be working together on the grant process to update our data, trying to be more efficient and making sure where our counties come together we are getting everything right the first time.”

The next meeting of West Central Joint ETSB is scheduled for Tuesday, February 12th.