Mo. 911 Advisory Board takes first steps to replace dispatch system

The proposed dispatch system would cost approximately $200,000, which includes equipment and labor costs and would be purchased from Motorola


Erik Cliburn
Moberly Monitor-Index, Mo.

MOBERLY, Mo. — The newly formed 911 Advisory Board is taking preliminary steps to purchase an upgraded dispatch system for emergency services in Randolph County. The price tag will likely come in at around $200,000 for a necessary the system upgrade, Moberly Police Chief Troy Link said.

A dispatch upgrade was the largest topic of discussion at the board's inaugural meeting.

Due to the age of the system, there have been quite a few communication issues in the past year, Link said.
Due to the age of the system, there have been quite a few communication issues in the past year, Link said. (Photo/ Creative Commons)

The board is also still searching for a candidate to fill a position as a 911 director or coordinator, Link said. A full job description still need to be developed. About $35,000 can be allocated to the position.

The board manages and allocates funds from the $1 per month 911 cell phone fee, which was approved by voters in April. The board also manages funding from the 911 landline tax. Approximately 80 percent of emergency calls made in Randolph County so far this year were made on mobile devices instead of landline phones, Link said.

The current dispatch system, which was purchased as "hand-me-down", from St. Louis County in 2008, serves as the communication hub for emergency services in Randolph County. The Randolph County Ambulance District sends out its own calls and those to the rural fire districts, but all emergency calls in the county first go through the Moberly Police Department's dispatch system, per a longstanding agreement between the city and county.

Due to the age of the system, there have been quite a few communication issues in the past year, Link said. "In the last year, we have experienced more radio problems with our current system than we have in the last 10 years," he said.

The board voted to table discussion on a new dispatch system until its next meeting, which will likely be within the next two weeks. The proposed dispatch system would cost approximately $200,000, which includes equipment and labor costs and would be purchased from Motorola.

"We needed the thing yesterday," Presiding County Commissioner John Truesdell said. "Our current system is failing at times, and we're holding it together with bandaids."

The proposed agreement is a lease-purchase contract, which would divide payments over several years. The Motorola lease-purchase deal requires a 25 percent upfront payment, and even larger percentage by the time the system is shipped and installed.

Link suggested that the board bid out the cost of the new system to local lenders who may be able to offer better rates than Motorola, which has been done for past purchases as well.

The board delayed approving the agreement until the 2019-2020 city budget is finalized by the Moberly City Council and board members met with the Randolph County Ambulance District Board.

ecliburn@moberlymonitor.com

———

©2019 Moberly Monitor-Index, Mo.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Recommended for you

Join the discussion

Copyright © 2021 EMS1. All rights reserved.