When the McMinn County Emergency Communications Center in Tennessee began operating in July of 2003, the 733-square-foot building had a staff of just nine. But they knew it was only a matter of time before they out-grew the small building.
After working with two other dispatch centers, one in Etowah and one in Athens, they became a fully consolidated dispatch center in 2011. With this increase in service, coupled with the growth from the past few years, their staff had nearly doubled, from 9 to 16 full time employees. The number of 911 console positions rose too, from four stations to six. Despite the spike, Marvin Kelley, executive director for McMinn County 911 and his team made it work.
High standards continued
By 2015, it became evident major upgrades and new technology were needed due to the overcrowding. Having great success with Zetron radio dispatch and 9-1-1 calltaking systems from the beginning, the bar for replacement equipment was high.
“We tried several other products that did not meet our standards, so we decided to continue with the product we knew would be the best option for our agency, the responders and the citizens, Kelley explained. Zetron products offered us more advanced technology with the features and flexibility we needed.”
“Zetron products offered us more advanced technology with the features and flexibility we needed.”
Marvin Kelley, Executive Director McMinn County 911
McMinn installed a combination of MAX Dispatch and MAX Call-Taking systems, which made the transition from the older Zetron systems seamless.
Kelley also knew Zetron Reseller, GeoConex, who they’ve done business with since 2004, would be a perfect fit for the project implementation.
“They’ve [GeoConex] always been available for assistance as needed, and it’s especially important to have someone fairly local to get ahold of should the need arise,” Kelley said.
Once equipment plans were in place, on September, 27th 2015, they broke ground on the new facility near the center of McMinn County. Console positions from the old center started making their way over to the new building, piece by piece. And when enough equipment had been transferred over, the old center went down and the new center went up.
With the new Zetron dispatch and 9-1-1 systems up and running, GeoConex training personnel came in to train each employee on the new system. And exactly nine months later, on July 27th 2016, the new 911 Center went live and was fully operational for the citizens and responders of McMinn County.
Now the staff of 22 serve the nearly 53,000 citizens of McMinn County out its brand new, state-of-the-art, 6,000-square-foot communications center, equipped with geo-thermal heating and cooling. And with room for up to four more console positions, there’s no worry they’ll outgrow their new facility any time soon.
The communications center can also assist several other agencies working within in the county on top of the six law enforcement agencies, 11 rural fire districts, 2 rescue squads, 2 full-time city fire departments, 4 first responder districts, and 1 EMS agency they currently serve.
Complete and intuitive
After the MAX Dispatch system was in place, new top-ofthe-line phone and radio equipment, along with the most current software upgrades for CAD and Mapping were installed at the eight console positions.
“The system was user friendly and easy to learn, explained Kelley. We also had Zetron personnel come in six months after installation to do some refresher training, which helped tremendously.”
It’s safe to say, they have McMinn County covered for years to come.