By Gary Nelson
Emergency calls in the third quarter have increased in most every department over the same time period last year Donnie Buttram, E-911 Emergency Communications director, reported to the Central Communications Committee.
During the director’s report of the quarterly CCC meeting, Buttram reported most departments in the county had experienced an increase, with a few minor exceptions.
“The sheriff’s and police calls are all higher volume this year compared to last year, while county and Fairfield’s fire departments are slightly lower,” Buttram said.
Buttram reported the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department had 11,394 calls in the third quarter of 2013, compared to 10,985 last year. Crossville Police experienced 9,334 calls in the third quarter of 2013, compared to 9,297 last year.
Cumberland County EMS responded to 2,814 calls in the third quarter of 2013, compared to 2,826 last year, which was slightly less. Fairfield Glade Public Safety responded to 982 calls in the third quarter of 2013, compared to 908 last year.
Crossville Fire Dpeartment responded to 688 calls in the third quarter of 2013, compared to 644 last year.
Cumberland County Fire Department saw a decrease this year with 254 calls in the third quarter of 2013, compared to 319 last year, as well as Fairfield Glade’s fire department with 37 calls in the third quarter of 2013, compared to 64 last year.
The Cumberland County Rescue Squad responded to 13 calls in the third quarter of 2013, compared to 5 last year.
Buttram reported three full-time dispatch employees had left within the past five weeks.
“I’m not sure what we can do. Two of them were career moves and one was a mother who decided to stay home with her child,” Buttram said.
He explained three more employees had been hired on a part-time basis and one full-time had been hired, all were in training and more interviews were being conducted to hire more dispatchers.
“Our staff has really been pushed over the past six weeks to keep everything covered and our assistant director, Angela Petree, has really stepped up and helped out a lot,” Buttram said.
He said there have been some major issues with the CAD (Computer Assisted Dispatch) software.
Eric Ritzman, IT administrator at central communications, said the system was updated and that did stop the crashing that was occurring, but GeoConex was there, working on the issues as well.
One issue, Buttram reported, was the addressing system was not bringing up the name of the occupant of one specific business.
“It brings up the number and the address, but not the name of the business,” Buttram said.
Ritzman said it could be a matter of which phone company or provider the business was using. He said if it’s VOIP, they are not legally required to provide that information.
“This is a national problem. Not just an issue with our county,” Buttram said.
In other areas, Ritzman reported that new AVLs (Automatic Vehicle Locators) are being installed on county fire department vehicles and they should be able to have all of them installed within the next 30 days.