Tuscarawas County, Ohio - Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s officials say they’re still a few months away from launching the new countywide 911 system.
Communications Manager and 911 Coordinator Ryan Lawrence says they just got done installing new radios inside all of the county’s emergency response vehicles. He says they’re now working on reprogramming all of the portable radios and waiting for Motorola to finish updating the towers.
“The thing that’s kind of holding us up right now for going to the new system is our towers. Motorola is kind of talking between themselves trying to figure out what is the best load for each tower,” he explains. “Depending on the tower, it has a different requirement so they’re trying to see which is best for it to pass the stress test.”
Lawrence says once the towers have been upgraded, they’ll spend a few weeks working out the bugs before switching over to the new system.
“They said that it’s probably going to be anywhere from two to four weeks of testing, so we’ll actually have both systems up and running, and they’ll kind of be operating on both and then they’ll finally do the changeover once they know the new one’s good to go,” he says.
Lawrence says the new system will allow also them to access additional towers, which should provide better coverage throughout the county.
“Right now, we have certain towers. We have six towers around our county, and all those towers are going to be upgraded for our new system. Also, because we’re going with MARCS and it’s a statewide system, the towers that surround our county will also be included so we’re actually going to increase our coverage,” he says.
Lawrence says they expect to go live with the new system around March. The $11.6 million project is being handled by Staley Technologies and was funded through a half-percent sales tax increase approved last May by Tuscarawas County voters.
STACEY CARMANY, TUSCO TV