POINT PLEASANT — Mason County’s 911 Center is about to be 100 percent mobile in the event of an emergency.
At this week’s meeting of the Mason County Commission, commissioners unanimously approved spending $19,961.32 to Trust Com Company based in Houston, Texas to provide all data and streaming services to the mobile unit, as well as training for employees. This means, in the event the 911 center is incapacitated, the mobile unit could immediately be deployed to any location, in or out of Mason County, and be functional. Calls to the 911 center would be routed into the mobile unit and Internet services would not be interrupted.
R.C. Faulk of the 911 Center and Mason County Emergency Management, said this unit will be a “model” for other counties, with similar units found only in Charleston and in the Northern part of the state. The mobile unit will not be affected by power outages and can be powered on a generator. Trust Com Company also charges a monthly $350 fee for use of their service. Faulk said the mobile trailer could also be used in mutual aid situations to surrounding counties and with the Trust Com software, it has a program to bill for these services to the appropriate out-of-county agencies utilizing the trailer.
Faulk said the trailer should be ready for display sometime this month.
Also at the meeting, Faulk along with Matt Gregg of Mason County EMA, spoke about unique and free ways residents can now access emergency information via their smart phones and email accounts. In addition to their presence on Facebook and Twitter, Mason County EMA is now utilizing a new communications service, Nixle, which will allow it to send out important, valuable information directly to residents using the latest technology.
The Nixle Community Information Service allows Mason County EMA to create and publish messages to be delivered directly to the public via text or email. Notifications can also be accessed online at Nixle’s web site at www.nixle.com. The service is secure, reliable and easy to use, according to Mason County EMA staff. Register at www.nixle.com. Search for Point Pleasant, WV 25550 and find Mason County WV EMA.
The need for alternative modes of communication became apparent during last year’s derecho when downed power and phone landlines made it difficult to get any information out to the public.
At this week’s commission meeting were Commissioners Miles Epling, Rick Handley, Tracy Doolittle, Clerk Diana Cromley and County Administrator John Gerlach.
More on this meeting will be published in an upcoming edition of The Point Pleasant Register.