Dispatch center discussed

Register City Editor

Allen County commissioners will be asked to permit dispatchers now working in the 911 dispatch center in City Hall to transfer to the county center. The county will take full control of local 911 operations about Jan. 1.
County commissioners last week purchased the United Electric Cooperative building, 410 N. State, and will refit it for a dispatch center, as well as emergency operations center and ambulance station. Commissioners appointed an advisory board, which met Saturday afternoon and voted unanimously to recommend transfer of dispatchers.
The advisers thought a six-month probation should be attached to the transfer, same as with all new county employees, and will encourage commissioners to immediately seek a director.
Other recommendations will be to leave a base radio at City Hall; have no cost sharing for dispatch services between the county and cities the first year; have new 911 dispatchers answer and respond to emergency utility calls from all cities; have cities pay long distance charges when calls are transferred from cities to the center in Iola.
Advisers will tour the new center site Aug. 18. Dispatchers at the 911 center in City Hall will be invited.
Advisory members are Sheriff Tom Williams, chiefs of police Jared Warner, Iola, Dan Onnen, Humboldt, and Shane Smith, Moran, Iola Fire Chief Don Leapheart, Jason Nelson, county ambulance director, and County Counselor Alan Weber.
Williams said the majority agreed that the board should remain as it was proposed by county commissioners. Leapheart proposed adding Ron Conaway, Iola ambulance director. Williams noted that by federal regulations a majority of advisory board members were required to be from law enforcement.