Lordstown about to upgrade dispatching equipment, connect to county 911 center
Trumbull County commissioners are expected to approve an agreement between Century Link and the Trumbull County 911 Center today to provide Lordstown with updated dispatching equipment.
When the equipment is operational within a couple months, the Lordstown center will be Phase 2 compliant, meaning the center will be able to pointpoint the origin of a wireless 911 call to within feet rather than miles.
Lordstown is one of three Trumbull County dispatching centers still without the updated equipment. The others are Niles, which is in the final stages of negotiations with the county 911 center, and Girard.
There are no current negotiations with Girard, said Ernie Cook, chief deputy with the Trumbull County Sheriff’s office and county 911 director.
The cost of purchasing phone switching equipment and a router will be $65,577, and upgrading the ethernet connection will be $24,600. The funds will come from the 911 Center Fund, which receives money from the monthly surcharge paid by all Trumbull County wireless telephone customers.
Brent Millhoan, Lordstown police chief, said the upgrade is becoming increasingly important, because more and more people don’t use land phone lines. Cook said the county 911 center now receives 74 percent of its calls from cell phones.
The technology the Lordstown dispatching operation uses can only locate wireless 911 calls to the general area of a cell phone tower, which can be several miles.
The technology available to the county 911 center — which Lordstown will be able to use — pointpoints wireless calls to within feet by using global positioning. That can be important when a wireless 911 caller needs help but doesn’t know where he is because he is unfamiliar with the area or he is incapacitated and can’t speak.