Road-Block in Combining E-911 Centers

By: Deborah Tuff
By: Deborah Tuff

County officials say city leaders made negative comments about the local EMA. The comments could serve as a road-block in plans to combine both E-911 centers.

For sometime now, talks have been in the air to combine both Dothan City and Houston County E-911 centers.

Also, it's been widely known the Houston County EMA would be housed in the same facility.

But during Tuesday’s City Commission meeting some leaders seemed to question the move, an inquiry which upset Houston County leaders.

"I was a little concerned about some of the comments and attitudes I saw in that meeting," said Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver.

Some city leaders even went on to say if the EMA wants in on the project, they should pay up.

"The comment was made, 'EMA doesn't have a checkbook' I didn't think that was really a good comment to make. I don't think any department has a checkbook," Houston Co. E.M.A. Director Clark Matthews said.

County leaders say they don't seek to butt heads with the city, just let them know:

A. The Houston County EMA is under the umbrella of the county so they shouldn't have to pay a dime.

B. The move saves taxpayers money.

C. With all three entities under the same roof, in case of a disaster, it’s better for responders.

Meanwhile, county leaders say they want to get past the confusion, and on with the original plans.

The move will not merge the systems, just put them in a centralized location.

Recently, the city disconnected Houston County's EMA from the city and county's CAD system.

That’s the system where all 911 calls initially go. Money for that system comes from E-911 funds.


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