(TNS) - The Saline County, Kan., Commission Tuesday approved the purchase of hardware to enhance the 911 system.
Computer Technology Director Brad Bowers said the software from Tyler Technologies will cost $31,435, with the city of Salina paying half of that cost.
Commissioners then heard from Emergency Management Director Hannah Stambaugh that the 911 radio equipment might have to be upgraded.
Stambaugh said other counties that have upgraded from analog UHS to 800 HMz radio communication systems have spent up to $11 million.
"It has the potential of having a pretty hefty price," she said, but it could be good for public safety.
She said a needs assessment of Saline County's radio system will start early next year.
There are areas of the county where there is no radio communication, she said.
The needs assessment will include analyzing the existing radio system, interviewing radio system users and inspecting all infrastructure and equipment, she said.
The final product will be a report that includes the results and the findings and a recommendation on the type of radio system that could be implemented in Saline County, including the costs.
Bowers said the new technology will interface with the county's GIS maps.
"When (a call) comes in, the location is pinpointed on a map that the dispatcher will see and have a precise location," he said. "Today we depend on the person calling into the system to be able to tell us where they are at. They need to know if they are in a rollover accident on Donmyer Road. The dispatcher depends on that information to get the resources to them. If they can't get that information, this new 911 system will show the location where the call is coming from.
"If someone dials in and they can't talk, the system will pinpoint that location."
New fire house
David Nilson, secretary for Saline County Rural Fire District No. 1, presented commissioners with a request to purchase two sections of property with an intent to construct new fire houses.
While they will officially vote at their next meeting, all five agreed to the $6,500 purchase.
The parcels are in the 600 block of Maple Street in Gypsum and the northwest corner of Main Street and North Fourth Street in Carlton.
Fire District No. 1 has fire houses in Kipp, Gypsum, Carlton and Garfield Township.
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