Car­bon County ’s 911 cen­ter up­grades less costly than new sys­tem, cov­ered by state

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - LOCAL - By KELLY MONITZ Staff Writer kmonitz@stan­dard­speaker.com

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.

Sav­ings

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.

Over­doses

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.

Archives

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.

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