JASPER COUNTY, Mo. — Bit ticket changes are underway at a local 911 system, upgrades designed to protect officers and save patients lives.
Jasper County Emergency Services has some very expensive decisions to make in both the short and long term.
“Potentially could save a life,” said April Ford, Jasper County Emergency Services.
Big changes coming in how Jasper County Emergency Services handles 911 calls. That starts with a new phone system for call taking, estimated at $350 thousand for the South Carthage location alone.
The change isn’t optional – the current system is under an end-of-life deadline.
“December 22 So we’re on a timeline for that,” said Ford.
It’s an expensive upgrade on its own, but an even pricier change will follow that.
A new countywide radio system both to add newer features and handle issues with connecting to police officers and fire fighters in the field.
“Sometimes they’ll be in a place where they want to key up and talk to us on the radio but they can’t and so they’re using their cell phone. And that’s just – it’s very disheartening for my people,” said Ford.
There are a lot of options to consider, making cost estimates tough to narrow down.
“I’ve heard things between 8 million to 20 million on a county wide radio system. Yeah. And, you know, that might be bigger cities, bigger counties, bigger area, just not really sure where we’re gonna end up in in that,” said Ford.
Funding hinged on a sales tax increase on the ballot earlier this month.
“There would have been no way so we’re so thankful that the voters,” said Ford.
The sales tax increased from 1/10th of a cent to a quarter of a cent.
Residents will start paying the sales tax increase next year.