Paducah Fire Chief Steve Kyle told the city commission Tuesday night there are still too many unknowns to make a recommendation on whether to contract with Kentucky State Police for 911 operations or continue self-operations. Kyle says a major concern for the Emergency Communication System is the ability of the Mayfield KSP’s proposed 10 dispatchers to handle Paducah-McCracken County’s entire call volume with a decrease in certain services and connections.
“We have trouble believing they can absorb that much volume without that information with just ten. We can’t believe there’s that much left with from the other counties that have merged with them.”
The Paducah-McCracken County 911 Center has 18 dispatchers and operates with a 1.6 million dollar budget. The board estimates transitional costs to KSP would be about two million dollars over two years and one point three million dollars to operate annually.
Service losses that would occur under a KSP transition would include the loss of integration with GIS, communication back up for the DOE property, communication with public works agencies, direct access to audio files of calls, direct computer link for Paducah Fire Department, public safety cameras, and the possible reduction of the Fire Department’s ISO rating.
Kyle expressed concerns that emergency sirens might not be activated effectively with the loss of these services.
“Significant item here, loss of your full-time weather alert activation. Tornado sirens, you can still activate them but 911 is the place where those get activated. That’s staffed 24 hours a day,” Kyle said. “Could you send it to KSP? Yeah, but do you want to? You want to have that, you want to have that button close by because you know what that threat is.”
The E-911 board will meet again January 15th.