system to go on ballot
are no counties of our size that don’t have E-911. Many people in our
community think we already have an E-911."
chair of the Wood River/Sawtooth Emergency Medical Services Council
Express Staff Writer
County voters will be asked in November to decide whether they want to
impose a $1-per-month fee on their phone bills to fund installation of
an enhanced 911 system.
a presentation by local emergency services providers at the Old County
Courthouse on Monday, the county commissioners unanimously voted to
include the question as a Nov. 5 general election ballot measure.
enhanced 911 system would inform dispatchers of a call’s place of
origin. The county’s two dispatch points, at the sheriff’s office
and Ketchum Police Department, have caller I.D., which reveals the
caller’s phone number. However, determining the location from that can
take time. Furthermore, in a resort area, many callers are unfamiliar
with their locations and cannot give accurate directions.
have had a lot of near misses," said Leonard Harlig, vice chair of
the Wood River/Sawtooth Emergency Medical Services Council, made up of
all the local police, fire and medical agencies. "A minute or two
can make the difference between a house burning down or someone getting
shot in a robbery or someone going into cardiac arrest."
system would also inform dispatchers which agency is responsible for
responding to the call.
Daggett, Sun Valley police chief and chair of the council’s
communications committee, told the commissioners that installation of
the system would cost $427,624, and maintenance would run $3,969 per
month. Collection of the $1-per-month fee on the county’s
approximately 24,000 phones would begin next February. That would raise
$442,000 by July 2004, when the system would be installed.
percent majority would be required in November to approve imposition of
are no counties of our size that don’t have E-911," Harlig said.
"Many people in our community think we already have an E-911."
the sheriff’s office and Ketchum Police Department may want to
consolidate their dispatch systems, but the installation of an E-911
system could be installed before that is resolved. In an interview,
Daggett said consolidation would cost about $2 million and is probably
unfeasible without a federal grant. He said a grant application for that
purpose submitted to the Department of Commerce last year has so far
said recent problems encountered by Ada and Twin Falls counties with
their E-911 systems were connected more with efforts to consolidate
dispatch points than with the systems themselves.