“Our goals in exploring this are to look for and use resources efficiently, and improve response time within the county,” Hospital Administrator Lisa Coleman told the assembled board. “One of the suggestions we’ve received is to combine with the 911 dispatch, and operate directly with them. We think it is a win/win proposition not only for 911 and EMS, but for the community as well.”
Trigg County Sheriff Randy Clark, who also sits on the 911 Communications Council, took the floor to elaborate on the proposal, and explain current deficiencies.
“The best case scenario is for a resident to call 911, speak to the dispatch, and if it is an EMS situation, the caller will be transferred to the ambulance department, where he will have to restate the emergency. Worst case is there will be nobody on duty to take the call, and it will be rerouted to the nurse’s station, where there may or may not be someone to respond.” Clark added that the main problem now was that there was no accountability for taking calls 24/7, nor was there a set procedure to deploy a back-up team, should the need arise.
Clark hoped that the hospital would purchase needed equipment, and add it to the existing first response radio network, currently used by law enforcement and the fire department in Trigg County. The sheriff believed it would allow the hospital to be a part of the existing coverage, as well as augment the area served in the network. “You might have to wait up to 6 months to get a license, and you’ll get some dead spots if you try to operate on one repeater, throughout the county.”
A repeater is a radio transceiver that re-transmits a transmission over a broader range, allowing for greater coverage.
Clark explained that there were some “dead spots” throughout Trigg County, where ambulances and other units literally traveled unable to communicate with one another, dispatch, or the citizen requesting assistance.
“If everyone is on the same frequency, you tend to see less confusion,” Clark told the board. “Some might say there is a possibility of radio congestion, but they are doing it in Caldwell and Lyon Counties, and have no problems.”
For the rest of this story, please see this week's edition of The Cadiz Record.