After years of trying to organize the 911 addressing system in the county, Harlan County Emergency Management Director David McGill said there are still “a lot of discrepancies” in the system after the system was put into place seven years ago.
Adding, it is crucial to 911 first responders that roads are labeled correctly, McGill said if not, it will lead to problems for the first responders in finding emergencies and saving lives.
“Basically, we need to go in lane by lane — street by street checking everything out,” said McGill. “This has been tried in the past and some information was got and some not.”
McGill told members of the Harlan Fiscal Court it has come to his attention there are companies who will come in and provide this service at a cost.
He said it would be a multiple phase project with the first phase costing in the neighborhood of $80,000 with completion in about 65 days.
“Phase two would be verifying residents who actually live at the addresses and this could be obtained through the PVA (Property Valuation Administrator’s) office and loaded in. Phase three would be mapping — actually showing us where the houses are,” said McGill. “Some companies give discounts up to 5 percent if this service is done in the winter months when their business is slower. I think this is doable in that price range. If county employees try to do this, with their other jobs, it will take well over a year.”
McGill said with the completion of this project water and fire districts can be mapped out and he feels this will be a “great asset to the county and first responders.”
“If we don’t do this the county could end up in a legal matter,” said McGill. “Once this is done, it will be done, and all we’d have to do is maintain it. I realize $80,000 is a lot, but then we’d been working on this seven years and it still hasn’t been done. If we go this route, it could be completed in two or three months.”
He added 911 funds can be used to fund the project and will include the entire county including the cities.
The court approved McGill’s request and the preparing of bid specifications in order to place an advertisement for bids for this project.
In other action, the court approved paying the electrical bills for FEMA emergency sirens in Cumberland, Benham and Lynch, along with other FEMA warning sirens in parts of the county “as they come on board.”
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