Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

July 14, 2014

County sees increase in emergency calls

CROSSVILLE — Emergency Communications Director Donald Buttram told the Central Communications Committee that calls to the 911 center have increased for the second quarter of 2014.

Buttram said calls to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department were up to 9,585 for the quarter from 9,017 last quarter.

Buttram reported calls for the Crossville Police Department were also up to 9,205 for the second quarter, which was up from 8,444 in the first quarter of 2014.

Calls requiring a response from Cumberland County EMS were listed at 3,047 in the second quarter, which was an increase from last quarter's figure of 2,681.

Calls to Fairfield Glade Public Safety were up to 838 for the second quarter, compared to 748 last quarter.

The Crossville Fire Department's calls were increased from 602 last quarter to 706 in the second quarter.

The Cumberland County Fire Department were up from 291 last quarter to 364 in the second quarter.

Calls to the Fairfield Glade Fire Department were up to 53 in the second quarter, compared to 32 in the first quarter.

Buttram reported the only agency to have a decrease in calls was the Cumberland County Rescue Squad, whose calls were listed at 14 in the second quarter, compared to 34 in the first quarter.

During the director's report, Buttram said the budget for fiscal year 2013-'14 was right on track. He also said for the next fiscal year he increased the other costs line in the budget in order to cover some items next fiscal year that had previously been covered by the E-911 District.

Everett Bolin of the 911 board explained there had been a change in the board's funding model due to the drop in landline phones to cell phones over the past couple of years. The 911 fee collections as a result have been decreasing.

He further explained funds from the landlines had gone down significantly when averaged over the past three years.

Bolin explained the 911 board had been paying for several items that 911 boards usually don't cover, such as uniforms and other office supplies.

"We've had to cut some of those in order to keep a balanced budget," Bolin said.

McKinley Tabor, who also serves on the 911 board, said state regulators were also involved and suggested the board shouldn't budget and fund items not directly related to 911.

Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey said it was not just an issue with the local E-911 district, but the "same thing is happening all over the state."

Buttram said the difference in funding was approximately around $1,500.

The E-911 Center and its operations are funded through a three-way partnership between Cumberland County, the city of Crossville and the Cumberland County E-911 District.

The Central Communications Committee meets on a quarterly basis. Its next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 7, 2014, at 9 a.m. in the E-911 Center.

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