Boyd Co. 911 upgrades system, other centers hope to follow suit

By Portia Williams

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BOYD COUNTY, Ky. — Boyd County 911 Center services have been expanded by upgrading to the Total Response system. According to the Center director, Sandy Ott, the new system walks callers through steps they can implement to save a life until EMT’s arrive at the scene.

“The system is called Total Response, and what it does is allows us to do what is called emergency medical dispatch,” Ott said. “We’ve dispatched ambulances since day one, when we opened in 1981, but this has trained all of our dispatchers in first aid and CPR, and give us instructions to give people to try to help alleviate issues with the patient until the medical unit arrives on the scene. The most the most involved part of that would be CPR or childbirth, controlled bleeding, those types of things to try to keep people alive until medical help comes out on the scene.”

Ott said the Total Response system was launched on Oct. 1, 2015.

“Officially, it was yesterday, October 1st, but we’ve actually been using some it over the last month as we have tested the software to try to work out any bugs in the way it works with our computer area dispatch,” she said. “We’ve applied it to different areas, trying to make sure that everything was working well before we went officially live with it.”

The source of funding for the Total Response system was $54,000.

“We received a Homeland Security grant through the State of Kentucky, we got 54,000 in the grant,” she said. “I actually asked for $74,000, because we were hoping to implement the fire fighters and the law enforcement portions of it, but we only got $54,000, so we were able to use that to implement the basic parts of it and do EMD training so that we could start there. Our hope is to be able to do the rest of it later. The center actually ended up paying an extra $2,200 out of our own budget to make sure that we had the proper training and everything that was needed.”

Though the grant was given to the Boyd County 911 Center in 2014, she said the process entailed a lot of work to get it started.

“We actually got the Homeland Security grant last year, it has just taken quite a while to get through the whole process and get everybody trained,” she said. “So it came from our 2014 grant. Ott said they are very glad to have the new system to help to save more lives.

Buford Hurley, director of the Greenup County E-911 Center, said they hope to upgrade to the Total Response system in the near future.

“We are looking at doing that part of it next year, some time at about the latter part of the year,” Hurley said. “We went ahead and upgraded another piece of equipment that we needed more than that at the time. We upgraded our computer-assisted dispatching, it’s called CAD, computer assisted dispatching. That is where we take the calls, and put all of the information in, and it tells you which units to go, and that type of thing.

Hurley said the CAD upgrading for the Greenup County E-911 Center cost approximately $108K, and was made possible through the Commercial Mobile Regulators Service grant.

Captain Sean Sparks, director of the Scioto County 911 Center, said they are optimistic about upgrading to the Total Response system.

“We do not have a new system, but we are in the process of trying to do that,” Sparks said. “We have talked to a vendor, but as far as the money for it right now, it is not really feasible. We are working with the Sheriff, and hoping that the Scioto County Commissioners can come up with some monies to do that.”

Sparks said the cost to completely upgrade the Scioto County Emergency Dispatch system would cost approximately $300K or $400K.

Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101,ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.

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