Tower companies will get a chance to bid on a 911 upgrade to “E911” in Franklin County, TN.
Specifically, the county intends to solicit bids to provide wireless backhaul services to connect 911 operators and first responders, including police, fire and emergency medical personnel in Franklin and surrounding counties, reports the Herald Chronicle. They aim to address an emergency communications shortfall in Sherwood.
The county has budgeted $650,000 for the project and bids are due soon. Franklin County Emergency Management Director Scott Smith tells the Herald Chronicle the process, from soliciting bids to project completion, could take about 18 months.
Often emergency communications are hampered by non-interoperable communication systems between different government first responders. The “electronic” in E911 is meant to resolve this.
In this case, 911 Director Kathy Blazier-Binkley explained at the recent E911 board meeting that establishing reliable communications with Franklin County Consolidated Communications requires first responders to dial 911 on their cell phones to communication with dispatchers, who would then keep everyone connected during an emergency response and transmit texts with necessary information. She solicited cell phone numbers and wireless carrier information from first responders, according to the account.