CALHOUN'S 911 CENTER GETS HELPING HAND - State's Emergency Operation Center Brought To Mt. Zion, Mason County Extends Help


Emergency service has been established at Calhoun
Control by the state's Emergency Operation Center

Calhoun's back-up system at the Arnoldsburg VFD kept 911
services alive yesterday, dispatcher Lisa Purvis operating console

By Bob Weaver

Calhoun County's 911 center got some special help from Charleston yesterday, following a powerful lightning strike that destroyed most of its' electronic equipment Thursday night.

(See earlier Herald story)

"It's been a hectic day," said 911 Director Gary Buchanan, who said the state's Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management dispatched their new high-tech emergency operations center to Calhoun to "give us a hand."

Mason County 911, hearing about Calhoun's dilemma, is loaning a console and radios to the center, and technicians who have been at the center during the past 24-hours are working on making the equipment operational.

The state's mobile communications van can be quickly moved to a location and made operational in short order.

The van arrived at the Mt. Zion center yesterday evening and radio communications was restored on the county's emergency frequencies in short order.

Calhoun resident Bill Wood, the state's communication
officer, working to restore services at 911 Center

The van not only has radio transmitters for multiple frequencies, but is satellite-linked to Charleston and other emergency channels. A 50-foot antenna can also be extended from the van for quick operation. The van has multiple TV screens hooked to a satellite system.

The van's transmitters have been hooked to the center's nearly 200 foot antenna.

"Things are working well tonight," said dispatcher Kathy Wood, with the center "having lots of people working on equipment."

Technicians with the Emergency Operations Center are remaining on-site with the van.

Yesterday, the center was switched to the alternate operations center established at the Arnoldsburg Volunteer Fire Department.

"People have been working around the clock, and lots of people have been helping," said Wood, including free pizza from the Pit Stop.

Bill Kershner, a planning officer from the Division
of Homeland Security and Emergency Management,
demonstrates equipment inside $700,000 emergency center