Carbon County ’s 911 center upgrades less costly than new system, covered by state
JIM THORPE — Carbon County commissioners will upgradethe 33-year-old computer-aided dispatch software at the 911 Center to a state-of-the-art platform that will provide quicker emergency response times, relay information in the field faster and increase first responder safety.
The commissioners approved an addendum with Tyler Technologies, formerly New World Systems, for the upgrade to Microsoft’s .NET platform for the CAD system at a cost of $327,310, which includes application software, implementation services, thirdparty products and services and travel and living expenses.
Gary Williams, 911 director, said the upgrade would save the county millions of dollars in replacing the current system. The upgrade cost more than $300,000 but will be 100-percent funded by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency because it supports the state’s initiative for regionalization, he said.
Monroe and Lackawanna counties already have the .NET platform, which will allow Carbon to connect with them, he said. Williams explained that if Carbon has an incident and needs help, Monroe County will also have that information, or if there is a police pursuit and it migrates to Monroe, they could pick it up.
The county also is saving more than $28,000 on a software maintenance and support agreement for this year. The cost is $41,807 from March 1, 2017 to Feb. 28, 2018.
“It’s beneficial for Carbon County to go to the .NET,” Williams said.
The county also saved more than $800 by reviewing service agreements for the courtroom sound systems, said Commissioner Tom Gerhard.
Back in November, he questioned the cost of renewing an agreement with Berkshire Systems Group for service in Courtroom 3, which was $696, while a contract with Guyette Communication Industries of Plymouth for courtrooms 1 and 2 totaled $590.
On Thursday, the commissioners approved an agreement with Guyette for all three courtrooms at a total cost of $475, which includes two scheduled testing visits per year and a 10-percent discount on all parts. This contract replaces the one approved in November at $590. The commissioners also eliminated the service agreement with Berkshire, which was not acted on last year.
The number of drug overdoses continues to rise, Commissioner Wayne Nothstein said. The county has been tracking overdoses since 2006, when EMS logged 206 calls, he said. In 10 years, the number of EMS-logged calls more than tripled to 616, he said.
The county also started tracking overdose calls to which police responded, Nothstein said. In 2007, police logged 95 overdose calls and last year, they logged 279, he said.
In 2016, the EMS and police responded to a total of 895 overdose calls, compared to 361 in 2007. These numbers don’t include calls that may have come in as other conditions, such as unconscious person, cardiac, mental or unknown problem, Nothstein said.
They also don’t include overdoses that go straight to the emergency room or state police calls, and state police cover half the county, he said.
“You can see the problem is not going away and is increasing steadily over the years,” Nothstein said. “It’s a very serious problem.”
He didn’t have overdose death numbers for 2016, but when he last checked with the coroner there were 15 or 17 deaths — and three still pending toxicology.
The spike in the drug problem has burdened the prison and court system, forcing the county to add positions in the courts and key offices such as the district attorney’s office, public defender and probation, Nothstein said.
The commissioners advertised for bids for general building renovations at the new archives building on Fourth Street in Jim Thorpe.
Nothstein noted that they already repaired the roof, but the entire building is stripped down and needs plumbing, electrical, partition walls and new windows.
Nothstein hopes they can start the project by May and finish by the end of the year. The archives will be moving out of 44 Susquehanna St. in Jim Thorpe when the renovations are complete.