County recognizes Public Safety Telecommunicators Week

Apr. 14—Last week, Madison County Fiscal Court Magistrate Tom Botkin stopped to move a piece of debris from the road on Fort Estill Hill.

Suddenly, Botkin found himself as a witness to an accident which needed emergency attention. Instinctively, he called the county 911 dispatch team.

While Botkin admitted he had no idea who picked up on the other end of the line, but whoever it was, the magistrate said they were professional, and did their job without a second guess.

"It wasn't a heartbeat before the fire was there and the police were there," Botkin said.

The magistrate's call was just one out of nearly 300 call the 911 dispatch team received within a 24 hour period last week.

According to Wendy Lynch, director of 911, on April 11, their office received 274 phone calls. Of those, 166 were administrative calls into the center and 108 were 911 calls into the center.

During that same time frame, the group made 289 computer automated dispatch entries (CAD) which can be used to call out for services such as extra patrol or responding to a life-threatening emergency.

Last year from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, the 911 dispatch team took 119,640 phone calls, and computer-automated dispatched 101,817 calls.

This year, they are 38% higher on phone calls for the first three months of the year than last year. She said some of this could be attributed to the major weather events that took place at the beginning of the year.

"We stay very busy," she admitted.

The primary agency the group dispatches for is Madison County EMS, Madison County Fire, five volunteer departments, Richmond Police Department, Richmond Fire and Rescue, Berea Fire and Rescue, Berea Police Department, Madison County Sheriff's Office, Madison County EMA, and the Madison County Coroner.

Typically, there are only three-to-five dispatchers on duty at any given time who are responsible for taking calls and dispatching the responsible agency. There are 22 individuals currently employed in the department.

"We have a great staff. They work very, very hard," Lynch said.

In addition to those primary agencies they listen to, the group also has a primary 911 talk group( that all 911 radio users are able to access through CSEPP) if they have an emergency which includes road department, street department, school buses, the detention center, the state highway, the Valley View Ferry, and other groups.

The group also does Link NCIC input entries, so if there is a lost or stolen item, vehicle, gun, lost or missing person or wanted person, they will query that, and it will go to be checked by the state system and other parties.

They cover domestic violence courts for the county. The group also has five screens they monitor which can have multiple items pulled up on that screen.

Once a call is made for service, the 911 operators map out directors for the responding agency and track them on a map.

Magistrate Ben Robinson III thanked Lynch for their service to the county, and for providing the stats to the court.

"If you are up 38% right now, that will tell you about the headwinds you are going to have for the rest of the year. That is going to be about 169,000 calls that you are going to receive this year.I appreciate your hard work and dedication and thank you for making Madison County safe for all those that live here," Robinson said.

Magistrate John Tudor said until someone is calling 911 for their help, often they can go unrecognized, and this week would help to give them the recognition they deserve.

"I appreciate you guys and I am sure that everyone involved appreciates the help you all give them," Tudor said.

Madison County Judge Executive Reagan Taylor echoed these statements.

"I am so proud of Wendy and our 911 team. You know, they sit up in a room at our EOC a lot of times and somewhat get forgotten about, so it is an honor to be able to recognize what they do day in and day out," Judge Taylor said.

The court recognized Public Safety Telecommunicators Week in Madison County which is proclaimed to take place the week of April 10 to 16. This was a joint proclamation with the city of Berea, the city of Richmond and the Madison County Fiscal Court.

Other business:

—The court read aloud a proclamation that fair housing in Madison County and proclaimed the month of April Fair Housing Month in the county.

—Another proclamation read aloud was to recognize Arbor Day in the county. Arbor Day is recognized on the last Friday in April which will fall on the 29th. This will be the 150th anniversary of the tree planters' day.

—County Government Month was recognized with a proclamation by the court, to recognize their employees who work every day to make the county great. April was declared as National County Government Month and the court encouraged the community to congratulate the county employees for their work to serve.

—A bid award was given for Barker Lane East Bridge Lane replacement to Vanhooseco Precast in the amount of $60,803.

—A resolution was approved for a bid to replace a tower obstruction light system to Vencill Enterprises LLC.

—A supplemental change fund was approved for a rural secondary fund between the Madison County Fiscal Court and the Cabinet of Rural Secondary Aid. This original agreement was for Barker Lane East in the amount of $42,967 and the resolution added an additional $5,680 increasing the agreement to $48,643.

—Thomas Petitt was approved from a part-time firefighter to a firefighter I. In addition Jackson Rhoder was promoted from firefighter I to firefighter II.

—Jack Mills was hired for a position of EMA IT officer with a salary of $39,000.

—Mike Kelly was approved to work for the road department.

The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled to take place on April 26 at 9:30 a.m. at the Madison County Courthouse Fiscal Court Chambers.