County replaces failing emergency dispatch backup equipment

The Bartholomew County Emergency Operations Center is upgrading some equipment after problems were found with backup gear during a recent outage at the center.

Todd Noblitt, emergency operations director for the county, asked the Bartholomew County Commissioners to ratify the decision to replace the failing equipment. He said that during an incident two weeks ago, when the main dispatch system went down, dispatchers found they were having difficulty communicating on the backup repeater equipment in Harrison Township. That equipment was replaced.

Noblitt said a second item to be replaced was the system that lets the dispatch center send its signal to state towers for broadcast.

Without the replacements, he said the backup equipment had problems communicating with emergency departments when they were in the field throughout the county.

The cost to replace all of the equipment is just over $23,000 and it was purchased from ERS Wireless, Noblitt said. Some of the replaced equipment is more than 20 years old, he said.

Noblitt said that money for both improvements are already within the emergency operations center budget. Bartholomew County Commissioners ratified the emergency expenditures at their meeting Monday.