CARTHAGE, Mo. — Jasper County 911 operations are getting a massive makeover, an upgrade worth tens of millions of dollars, in fact.
There are new radio towers also servers and software to support them, just the start of the upgrade at the Jasper County emergency services dispatch center.
“We have finally entered into an agreement with Motorola to build a county-wide public safety radio system for Jasper County and to help support all of the public safety agencies in Jasper County that needed radios,” said April Tarrant-Ford, Jasper Co. Emerg. Svcs.
Replacing outdated radios, that often had issues with static or dropped connections.
They have been limited to just a few people using the system at any given time.
“Our current Next stage system doesn’t have more than four talk paths. It’s got five channels, but one of those is a control channel. So the four talk paths we notice here at Jasco busying out quite often. And that’s just because no more than four people can talk at the exact same time with that system,” said Tarrant-Ford.
Jasper County Emergency Services has been planning for the upgrade since 2021 when voters approved an increase to a quarter-cent sales tax to pay for it.
The $19 million price tag is pretty significant.
But Jasper County workers say they won’t have to pay for it alone since the state will be sharing the cost of some of the changes.
“Definitely going to give us more interoperability amongst our neighboring jurisdictions and everybody here in Jasper County, which is very, very important. So if they’re all working some type of an incident together, there’ll be able to help not only the patients or the individuals who are involved in the incident better, but they’ll also be able to communicate all of that,” said Tarrant-Ford.
The switch to the new Motorola Radios won’t be quick.
It’s estimated it will take 17 months to complete all the work, and they don’t have to pay it off all at once either, they’ll be making payments over 15 years.