BUCKHANNON – After months of vetting bids for an upgraded system for the E-911 Communication Center, the Upshur County Commission has approved a proposal that will benefit public safety.
During last week’s commission meeting, county administrator Carrie Wallace opened two sealed bids for equipment that would enhance the emergency center’s radio console system. BearCom’s Motorolla proposal for first-year service was roughly $565,238 and CRS LLC’s Mindshare proposed bid came in at approximately $143,967 for the first year.
“We had two companies that showed interest in helping us complete this project, which would include updating the entire system, radios, and bringing us kind of into the 21st century, if you will,” said Doyle Cutright, director for the E-911 center. “They have both done site visits. They gave their assessments as to the needs and/or recommendations to the commission.”
Before commissioners decided on a bid, Cutright said he believed each system would have value and serve the needs of Upshur County.
“Both systems are essentially comparable in the sense that they are standalone systems that will give us the ability to talk to the state SIREN’s system. Those systems are expandable if we wish to at a later time connect into the state,” he said. “As far as the systems themselves they both serve the purpose of what Upshur County currently needs to operate … a very antiquated system.”
For the past several months, Cutright has expressed the urgent need for updated equipment as the current system is roughly 20-plus-years-old and limits communications among first responders and dispatchers. Currently, the system is tactile and does not use any computer software; however, with updated technology, the communication center would have the ability to expand more efficiently.
“The biggest problem and one of the most important things that we need to address with the new radio system is that currently we are extremely limited in ways to communicate where our first responders are on the field,” he explained to commissioners.
After several questions and much discussion, commissioners decided on Mindshare’s proposal.
“It would be my thought that we go with (Mindshare), because it’s $400,000 less than Motorola,” said commissioner Troy “Buddy” Brady.
Commissioner Terry Cutright seconded Brady’s motion with it passing unanimously.
According to bid documents, Mindshare’s proposal includes four state of the art radio dispatch consoles and will replace all old radios with new updated radios, new antennas as needed, dual power supplies and two rack mounted universal power supplies. CRS will also remove all wiring and run new cabling at no additional cost with grounding all equipment included. This includes two spare cables per workstation for future use as the center may need additional equipment with the advancement of New Generation 911.
In other news,
- Commissioners proclaimed November as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. The proclamation urges Upshur County residents to be aware of symptoms and risk factors associated with pancreatic cancer and research early detection, causes and effective treatment.
The next commission meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Nov. 15. The Nov. 22 and Nov. 29 county commission meetings have been cancelled.