PI County to Start Up New 911 Center Equipment
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 16:21:48 EST
The day is drawing closer to full implementation of a new 911 central dispatch system in Presque Isle County.

The target date is Tuesday, December 12th, and follows a year of replacing phone systems, and 800 megahertz radio system for fire departments.

After the Federal Communications Commission implemented narrowbanding a few years ago, the center has been plagued with an inability to effectively dispatch for fire and EMS. Law enforcement agencies already have switched to the Michigan Public Safety Communications System (MPSCS) or 800 megahertz radio system.

The county was also facing equipment upgrades for next generation 911 service, tower and property purchases, along with paying Alpena for some dispatching. So in the end, it was decided to replace all with new technology.

Presque Isle County Sheriff Bob Paschke said of the new system "We're quite excited about it."

#82931 - Paschke, Bob - NEW PI 911 --- Paschke saying "We've dealt with radio problems for quite a few years, and , ya know, I mean, this is the Cadillac, you know, what's out there right now, Cadillac product."

The million dollar project was paid for with an increase in monthly per phone line and cellphone surcharges, that included installation of new dispatch consoles. Those access the state system to page fire and EMS as the county also purchased new equipment for departments.

Another part of the system upgrade was phone connectivity and being able to handle the next generation of 911 services such as texting. The system will remain as a stand alone and not co-dependent or working in conjunction with another dispatch service area - the nearest being Alpena.

Preliminary tests are showing that the system will work effectively, even in very remote areas of the county.

Paschke praised the hard work of his 911 Coordinator Renee Szymanski and County Clerk Ann Marie Main, saying "It's nice to see it all coming together".

Tower climbers outside of the Presque Isle County 911 center earlier this year performing antenna work.


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