OPINION: Keeping Chilton safe is a combined effort

Published 2:50 pm Wednesday, August 28, 2019

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Have you ever stopped to wonder what it takes to keep your community safe?

In Chilton County, there are multiple law enforcement, fire and emergency service organizations working together toward this goal.

The modern 911 system is technologically sophisticated and complex.

It takes multiple organizations in different governmental jurisdictions to make it all work together.

Each county has a different 911 Center yet wherever you are in this country, dialing 911 will connect you to a 911 dispatch near you. Which office you are connected to is determined by technology that detects the general area where the call is coming from. This technology differs depending on the cellphone or landline, but I won’t bore you with details.

Technology is also crucial to dispatching the needed emergency services.

In Chilton County, E911 dispatchers coordinate services for Jemison, Clanton, Maplesville and Thorsby as well as the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office and 15 volunteer fire and rescue stations.

Each of these organizations has trained staff working to keep the county safe and help if disaster strikes.

There ability to be able to communicate with each other and with the E911 Center is crucial for them to be able to do their job.

Recently, Chilton County E911 director Dan Wright made a presentation to the Clanton City Council about the need for equipment that will better ensure there are no lapses in this ability to communicate.

Similar information is being provided to the other service organizations and governments that use the system.

During the Clanton presentation, Wright said cost for the needed infrastructure and cost to maintain the public safety quality communication system would be divided by the different governmental entities based on the current call volume.

New radios will be purchased using the department’s existing budgets or possibly through grants.

All of the organizations that the Chilton County E911 serves would be on this new system with the potential to add other services that may need direct communication in areas where cell service is spotty, such as the street department.

Since each of these organizations often come to the aid or assistance of each other, it only makes sense that they would be on the same advanced communication system.

The effort is just another step toward strengthening the response local emergency and law enforcement agencies to keep the county residents safe.