By Ginny LaRoe
The Hamilton County Emergency Communications Districts 911 board at its monthly meeting today gave final approval to a $50,000 contract to study unifying the countys 911 operations.
But Dan Johnson, chief of staff for Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield, questioned whether a third study is necessary.
There are two previous studies that recommend consolidation he said, referring to studies from 1989 and 2001.
Hamilton County Sheriff John Cupp, chairman of the 11-member board, said for the first time since its 1984 inception board members want to merge 911 operations. But he said the study will provide the road map on how best to implement the changes.
We only have one time to do this correct, the sheriff said.
Merging 911 operations may improve the unanswered call-rate in the city because telecommunicators would share the call load, officials said. Currently, 911 staff members employed by various agencies in the county answer calls placed in their own jurisdictions.
The California-based firm Maxmus has four months to complete the study.
E-mail Ginny LaRoe at firstname.lastname@example.org
See tomorrows Chattanooga Times Free Press for full coverage.