Group formed to revamp system
The panel's primary goal is to get wireless 911 service running ASAP.
By ED RUNYAN
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- As its first official act, the Trumbull County 911 Planning Committee established the composition of a technical advisory subcommittee.
The subcommittee will be responsible for making decisions about the necessary equipment needed to put together a system that will enable emergency personnel to locate wireless 911 callers.
Under the current arrangement, wireless 911 calls made in the county go to the Ohio State Highway Patrol post in Southington, and troopers there have to rely on information the caller provides to determine the caller's whereabouts.
Money being collected on wireless users' phone bills is being placed in escrow to pay for the system.
Once the planning committee has made some crucial decisions about how the system will operate, the money will be released to pay for it, Nancy C. Serafino, a Sprint representative, explained Tuesday.
The new planning committee members were just getting to know each other as they fine-tuned the composition of the subcommittee.
Planning committee members are Warren Mayor Michael O'Brien; Niles Mayor Ralph Infante; county Commissioner Daniel Polivka; Newton Falls Mayor Thomas Moorehead; Donald J. Barzak, Johnston Township trustee; and Karen Davies, interim 911 director.
Those on board
They appointed these people to the technical advisory committee:
UChad McFadden, Alltel Corp.
USteve Kristan, SBC.
ULisa Flask, Sprint.
UDave Hendershot, Orwell Phone Co.
UChief Keith Barrett, Brookfield fire department.
UHowland Police Chief Paul Monroe.
ULinda Beil, county emergency management director.
UA member of a county township trustee board.
ULt. Joe Dragovich, commander of the OSHP Southington post.
USheriff Thomas Altiere.
UA police chief from a city in the county.
UA fire chief from a city in the county.
Dragovich reminded the planning committee one of the top reasons it was being reconvened after an absence of seven years was to find a way to relieve the highway patrol of handling all the wireless calls.
He said one dispatcher is usually all that is on duty at one time, and that person has a lot of responsibilities in keeping track of the movements and needs of his road patrol officers.
Having to talk to a wireless caller for several minutes to determine the location of the caller and the caller's problem has made the dispatchers' job nearly impossible, Dragovich added.
He asked the planning committee to try to relieve the pressure on the dispatchers "as soon as possible" by getting the new wireless system in place.
Serafino said Trumbull County and Ohio, in general, are behind many other areas trying to get the wireless system started. Indiana has the system already, she said, noting she first became involved with wireless 911 issues more than 10 years ago.