Upshur County Commissioner Sam Nolte and Commission President Kristie Tenney discuss the updated procedures for dispatching wrecker services with some local tow truck company owners. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

County tweaks guidelines for dispatching wrecker services to improve transparency in procedures

BUCKHANNON – Several clarifications were drafted to the procedures to dispatch wrecker services, including new equipment guidelines and a new notification system.

The procedure to dispatch wrecker services – i.e., vehicle-towing services – dictates the E911 Upshur County Communication Center’s response to requests for emergency towing services. Anytime the Comm Center needs to dispatch towing services, it must abide by that set of procedures. 

The Comm Center utilizes a list of area wrecker services to remove vehicles when wrecks occur in the county. To ensure no one wrecker service is favored over another, the Comm Center maintains a list designed to ensure each wrecker service has a fair chance to respond.

The last wrecker service meeting took place in September 2022. The Upshur County Commission once again convened a wrecker services meeting last week on Thursday, May 4, where Upshur County Administrator Tabatha Perry recommended several clarifications and additions to the existing wrecker procedures.

“Within the draft, you’ll see a clarification pertaining to employees of towing services, clarifying requirements to wear some type of reflective clothing and to carry at least one container or bag of absorbent material, and then we’re also adding language expanding upon the notation aspect of the procedure,” Perry said. “It’s providing more administrative guidance and providing clarification as to the expectations for that on-scene incident commander and clarifying their responsibility to not only make Comm Center aware of a notification, but to also communicate to the wrecker service so the wrecker service can make any needed enhancements to provide safe public service.”

A notification occurs when the on-scene incident commander notates when a tow service does not follow the guidelines in the wrecker procedures.

“The process will continue from there as the Comm Center will notify the Commission Office of the notation and will prepare a written document, which will be served upon the tow service, so there’s transparency, and everyone’s aware the notation has been made,” Perry said. “We need to do that because once a wrecker service receives two notations within a one-year period of time, they’re removed from the list for a period of six months.”

There will also be new language stating that the on-scene incident commander or responding law enforcement officer may specifically request heavy duty equipment if the scene of the incident requires it. These changes were made into a draft, which will be approved by the commission at a later date.  

In other Upshur County Commission news:

  • The commission approved the appointment of Jerry A. Wamsley as a community representative to the Safe Sites and Structures Board to fill an unexpired term. Upon approval, the appointment will be effective immediately and will expire on June 30, 2024.
  • The commission approved and signed the FY 24 Court Security Grant Application, Resolution and Assurances requesting funds to be utilized for various security enhancements throughout the Courthouse and Annex.
  • The commission approved a Request for Proposals for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) hardware and software necessary for the installation and viewing of camera systems in nine Upshur County Board of Education-owned properties. Sealed bids must be received no later than 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 13, 2023. Proposals will be opened on Thursday, June 15, 2023, during the regularly scheduled Commission Meeting held in the Commission Meeting Room located at the Upshur County Courthouse Annex.
  • The commission approved an agreement by and between the Upshur County Commission and the West Virginia Department of Transportation Division of Highways for the Youth Camp Girder Bridge Improvement Project.
  • The commission approved and signed the WV Communities Self Insurance Risk Pool Coverage Intent Form. The annual contribution, including workers’ compensation is $230,180.
  • The commission approved the employment of Upshur County Youth Camp Staff, effective May 21, 2023.

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