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Byrdstown Approves Donation To Support 911 Program, New Features

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Byrdstown Approves Donation To Support 911 Program, New Features

Byrdstown Aldermen approved a $5,000 contribution to the county’s 911 agency, a contribution that will continue going forward to help the system grow.

Overton-Pickett Emergency Communications Director Chris Masiongale said they have implemented a number of new features that will benefit the city such as the ability to text or video call 911 for special emergencies. Masiongale said the majority of their funds come from the state based on a formula from 2012, which has become outdated by the past decade of inflation.

“Our phone system is around $200,000-$300,000,” Masiongale said. “And that’s because it’s dealing with life safety. It has to be up 99.9 percent of the time. And there has to be failovers built into that, and failovers for those failovers, so it’s very expensive for that.”

Masiongale said they could also help the city create maps for the water lines and meters in the area with an app that is constantly updated as things are changed. Byrdstown Mayor Sam Gibson said the city and Pickett County have given very little to the program in the past and need to start supporting it now.

“They have been good already, and I think it’ll just make it even better,” Gibson said. “And they’re going to continue to do more things, and we’ll continue to ask for more things also. But it’s just going to make things a lot better.”

Masiongale said Pickett County already approved a recurring $15,000 donation to the program.

“We don’t want to be in a deficit,” Masiongale said. “We never have been in a deficit since I’ve been there in the last twenty something years, and I’m not looking that we’ll have one this year, but I don’t want to get close. We’ve cut every corner we can cut.”

Masiongale said the new video call feature once allowed 911 operators to walk a woman through the steps of CPR during a medical emergency.

“We instructed her how to do that properly, and that assisted quite a bit,” Masiongale said. “It allowed us also to be able to do the steps with her, do the counting for her, and that victim actually was revived.”


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