By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
RIPLEY – The consultant for Tippah County 911 has recommended a system upgrade that would cost the county $107,000 for new software and hardware for the county’s service that uses two stations.
Jennifer Brooks of Ryan Public Safety Solutions, Guntersville, Ala., made the recommendation at Friday’s regular work session for the Board of Supervisors.
The estimate includes replacement and installation of new Sentinel Patriot software and hardware that is good for a year, with annual maintenance on the system costing $11,000.
Federal standards will require that 911 systems be able to respond to text message emergency calls in the next two years, Brooks said, and current equipment cannot support that requirement.
The projected cost includes training for a system administrator as well as a class for three call-takers.
Sheriff Karl Gaillard had questions about whether the new radio system, which he is still in the process of transitioning to, will be up to the new standards as well. These new radios meet a standard for transmission on narrow bandwidth, which also is a new requirement set to take effect in January 2013.
These upgrades and changes are costly, with the county budget bearing the brunt of the expense. The city of Ripley has borne some of these costs, and Gaillard said Blue Mountain and Walnut have each added about $2,000 to their budgets to help with these costs.
The board took the matter of the 911 system upgrade under advisement, to consider further whether it would be cost-effective to enter into a five- or six-year lease-purchase agreement that includes maintenance if they do choose to upgrade.