Juanice Gray | Editor
New 911 Director Kim Tolliver has hit the ground running. She presented a director’s report to the Commission Tuesday, Oct. 19 at their regular meeting. There was no meeting in September out of respect for board member John Nicholas who passed away Sept. 14.
There are many new faces on the 911 Commission. The meeting began with Clerk of Court David Stamey swearing in those whom are beginning a new term. They included Mary Jones, Sheriff Stuart Wright, Chris Paige, Calvin Braxton, Police Chief Nikeo Collins and NRMC EMS Lead Supervisor Eric Keel.
Braxton has served less than a year on the board while Collins and Keel are new. Jones, Wright and Paige are renewals. The seat occupied by Nicholas has not been filled. Commissioner/Parish President John Richmond said a member of rural fire protection has traditionally held the seat. Applications are being accepted.
Tolliver said in her report that she and the dispatchers underwent training on *TDD, a program for the hearing and/or speech impaired. The training stemmed from communication with a resident whom is unable to speak. Tolliver said purchasing equipment for the home is an option, however there is an app for both IOS and Android phones. Tolliver said once training was completed, they practiced a scenario and ensured the resident’s app was properly working.
Tolliver also provided a rundown of calls handled by the facility. In August, the Sheriff’s Office fielded 7,063 calls and 7,029 in September. This included incoming, outgoing, administrative and emergency calls. In August there were 1,925 emergency (911) calls and 1,807 in September.
The Police Department dispatchers fielded 4,988 calls in August and 5,145 in September. Emergency calls totaled 432 in August and 395 in September.
The addressing office processed nine applications for new addresses for residences and purchased three new road signs. In September they processed eight applications and updated one existing address. Another three road signs were purchased. Commissioners discussed the possibility of changing a road from a name to a number, such as Parish Road 123, should theft or destruction of signs in a particular area become redundant. Richmond stated the Parish Highway Department also purchases signs, poles and hardware and provides installation.
Commissioners approved a $6,400 battery purchase. These Uninterrupted Power Supply batteries provide power to the NATCOM facility in an outage. They are usually replaced every four years.
The 911 District derives its income primarily from wire line and wireless fees.
Tolliver said there were 106 cell phone providers operating in the parish that she could find. Each is required to report and remit their surcharge fees to the 911 district. That process is currently an honor system. “You have to trust that they’re reporting what they owe,” Tolliver said. She composed new remittance forms that she will send to each company. She said auditing the companies would be an astronomical task and is looking into software to track their usage.
Commissioners are Chair/Fire Chief John Wynn, Vice-Chair/Parish President John Richmond, Secretary/OEP Director Mary Jones, City appointee Calvin Braxton, Police Chief Nikeo Collins, Chris Paige and Sheriff Stuart Wright.
* TDD-Telecommunication Device for the Deaf – A TDD is a teleprinter, an electronic device for text communication over a telephone line designed for use by persons with hearing or speech difficulties.