"The nice thing is, citizens had no idea, there was no interruption of service, no busy signals or anything,"
The upgrades involved new software and hardware, such as new computers and monitors for the dispatch workers, as well relocating the dispatch center from the
"We were at the point also where we were replacing a lot of equipment anyway," Huff said. "It happened to work out perfectly that we moved the new equipment at the same time as the update."
Emergency Communications Supervisor
"The old (system) had been in place since 1986," McClure said. "It was out of production, no new parts were available."
The new system puts
"The system we had before was not a shared system, we were on the same system, but it wasn't integrated," McClure said, noting that the three agencies now share the same backend equipment as well as the costs and maintainance of the 911 system.
"If we have to pick up and operate from another location, we can do that seamlessly, with no disruption in services," she said.
McClure said while the advantage of the new system may not be noticeable to the public, it is an advantage in service.
One capability officials say the new system doesn't have, but likely will in the future, is the ability to text to 911.
"A lot of bigger agencies have had that capability for a while, this would be new to us," Huff said. "Hopefully at some point you will be able to see that."
The updated 911 system was one of the final steps of phase one of city hall renovations that included a new
City officials say phase one renovations cost just over
Phase two of the renovations will focus on
Phase two will also include a renovation of the police administration offices. Huff said phase two is still in the early planning stages.
"Until we get an architect on board, we won't really know what the time frame will be," Huff said.
Once an architect gives a projected cost for the phase two renovations, the plan will be submitted to the
An open house for the new EOC will be held at
(c)2014 the Ames Tribune, Iowa
Visit the Ames Tribune, Iowa at www.amestrib.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services