County wants to work with MCLB for emergencies - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

County wants to work with MCLB for emergencies

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August 6, 2007

Albany - - In an emergency, we depend on 911 dispatchers to help us. But what if they are affected by an emergency?

Albany Dougherty's 911 center is beefing up its staff, hiring eight additional dispatchers. They also want to combine resources with MCLB's emergency center so if one of the centers goes down, emergency service won't be disrupted. 

"We've had times where a tower might have a problem and there might be a problem with radios or communication," says EMA Deputy Director Jim Vaught.

If the situation gets worse and the 911 center can no longer operate, there has to be a plan B. At a Dougherty County Commission Meeting Monday, Vaught addressed that need.

The plan is to join forces with the Marine Corp Logistics Base. "Should either one of those centers go down for whatever reason, the mutual aid agreement would allow the facility that's down to come to the facility that's open and still continue to provide 911 communication support."

The base has its own police department and 911 center. Staff there say combining resources in an emergency is good for both parties. 

"Technology is always changing. We need to make sure our technology is compatible with theirs and vice versa," says Art Powell, Public Affairs Specialist at MCLB.

The base also works with area law enforcement agencies, providing military bomb sniffing dogs when needed. Overall, public safety workers say it benefits you.

"So when you dial that 911 number and you expect some assistance from an ambulance or a police officer or a fireman, you're still going to get that assistance," Vaught says.

County Commissioners approved the plan Monday. Albany City Commissioners will vote on it Tuesday.

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