LISBON - The Columbiana County 911 system should know the exact location of every call by the end of the year following action taken this week by county commissioners.
Commissioners acted on the recommendation of the county 911 committee and hired Digital Data Technologies Inc. for $310,000 to provide geographic information system (GIS) mapping services. GIS is a much more
sophisticated operating mapping system that will add greater detail and accuracy to the 911 map.
"It will be much more detailed, much more accurate, and this will be field-tested accuracy," said Bob Emmons, the county's 911 director.
Under the current mapping system, which the committee does not own and costs $7,000 a year to use, 911 calls can only tell the dispatcher where the calls are coming from and little else.
To perform GIS mapping, Digital Data will drive around the county in specially equipped vans with a team of workers who take detailed GPS readings and measurements, record addresses by longitude and latitude, and take photographs of each address. All this information would become available to dispatchers and emergency personnel handling 911 calls and can be updated accordingly.
"It will improve our map and will become our map immediately," Emmons said.
The committee obtained a state grant to cover half the costs of paying Digital Data, and the county engineer's office and auditor's office have agreed to pay the rest in exchange for being able to use the GIS maps for their own purposes.
Emmons said Digital Data's first crew is expected to be in the county next week to begin field testing. "My hope is to have it done before the end of year and load it into the system," he said.
Meanwhile, Emmons reported the wireless 911 component of the county system is up and running with few problems. He said the new GIS map will greatly improve the accuracy of 911 calls.