County covers all 911 backup bases

LISBON — Should some or all of the 911 answering centers in Columbiana County become incapable of accepting calls, Carroll County will step in.

County commissioners on Wednesday approved entering into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with their Carroll County counterparts that spells out how and when Carroll County’s 911 system would automatically begin answering 911 calls for Columbiana County during an emergency. The MOU is for five years, with the county agreeing to back up Carroll County should the need arise. There is no cost to either party.

Under the county’s 911 system, the sheriff’s office and the Columbiana, East Liverpool, East Palestine and Salem police departments serve as answering centers, or PSAPs, and each can automatically answer calls for the other.

“Should any of our PSAPs, or all five, fail, Carroll County would be able to pick up all of our 911 calls,” said Commissioner Tim Weigle, who serves as president of the county’s 911 advisory committee.

The county upgraded to Next Generation 911 several years ago, purchasing its new system from General Dynamics. About the same time, commissioners entered into a MOU with Monroe County to answer the county’s 911 calls if need be since it was the first in Ohio to upgrade to NG911 using General Dynamics. Commissioners decided to add neighboring Carroll County after it recently finished upgrading to NG911, also using a General Dynamics system.

The county will remain linked to the state server at the Ohio’s Supercomputer Center through Morgan County’s 911 system, which means the other counties that are also part of that link can answer 911 Columbiana County calls should Carroll County be unable to help.