Tuscaloosa County Planning Consolidated 911 Center
The Tuscaloosa County Board of Commissioners is considering three sites for a proposed consolidated emergency dispatch center.
The Tuscaloosa News reports ( http://bit.ly/19qKJLA) that all three sites are on more than 500 acres the Black Warrior Solid Waste Disposal Authority bought from the Alabama Department of Mental Health in 2012.
County officials are looking to consolidate emergency dispatch services to eliminate 911 calls being answered by dispatches from different agencies and callers having to be transferred.
Dispatchers at the new center would take emergency calls for all agencies in the county and private ambulance services. The building would also house the Tuscaloosa County Emergency Management Agency.
The consolidated dispatch center will be funded in part by an emergency services surcharge the state now allows cellphone and landline companies to charge customers.
Part of the dispatch center, which is expected to be opened sometime in 2014, will be build underground to protect it during storms. The county’s last EMA operations center was destroyed in the April 27, 2011 tornado.
Commission members have reviewed emergency dispatch centers across the country and say they’re also planning a $1 million equipment upgrade.