- Published: Friday, 03 June 2016 06:29
- Written by Martha Trese
By Cheryl Splain, KnoxPages.com Reporter
MOUNT VERNON — Knox County 9-1-1 received a $500,000 grant that will make transitioning to a new Multi-Agency Radio Communication System even more feasible than before.
9-1-1 Director Richard Dzik told the Knox County Commissioners this morning that rather than financing $922,000 over eight years as anticipated, 9-1-1 will finance $772,000. In December 2016, 9-1-1 will make the final payment on a previous equipment loan. “So we won't really notice [the new loan payment] in the general fund,” he said.
Dzik said he is also working on agreements whereby the state will reimburse 9-1-1 for MARCS user fees.
The goal is to decide by July 1 which MARCS equipment to purchase, with all equipment being purchased by Sept. 1. An equipment demonstration is slated for June 10. Current scanners in use throughout the community will no longer work after the county switches to MARCS in September.
As of May 31, Knox County 9-1-1 has a cash balance of $616,623.80, essentially the same as at the beginning of the year. Dzik said 9-1-1 recently made a $50,000 loan payment and a $30,000 service payment.
The number of calls, 15,800, are on par with last year. At 73.9 percent, the number of wireless calls continue to increase compared to 15.4 percent from a landline. VoIP calls (calls from a computer) account for 10.7 percent of calls received.
Nationally, 90 percent of calls are answered within 30 seconds; 95 percent are answered within 60 seconds. “Currently we're answering all 9-1-1 calls in 30 seconds,” said Dzik. Locally, nearly 97 percent of calls are answered within 0 to five seconds and 3.3 percent are answered within six to 10 seconds.
Dzik also said the state has rolled out its new rules for 9-1-1; counties have two years to comply. “Most of the stuff the state requires we've been doing for 10 years,” he told the commissioners.