COLUMBUS, Neb. – The city of Columbus and Platte County are joining forces on their 911 emergency services with hopes that other counties will come along in the future.
“Everybody’s equipment is dying, we’re having end of life issues with all of those,” says Columbus city council Charlie Bahr.
Bahr, a member of the 911 technical committee, told the council on Monday that the change is a needed one as both entities were set to buy new equipment. After Bahr’s explanation the council voted unanimously on the change.
According to Mayor Bulkley, the state of Nebraska has said in the past that they would like more consolidation with 911 services. The state has yet to materialize any formal timeline on when they would like to see the mass consolidation done, but Bulkley is pleased that the area will be ready when the time comes.
“We just feel, if we can get this going and then the hub idea materializes, well we got a hub, so we’d feel like we’d be a shoo-in to maintain that hub,” says Bulkley.
Bahr says that a bigger consolidation could be a smooth transition, as they already share software with six nearby counties.
Bulkley believes citizens could potentially see even faster service with the new joint-effort.
“We just hope it stays as good or better, because of new equipment and consolidation will just make the dispatch of the calls that come in that much more efficient,” says Bulkley.
The 911 emergency service would be operated by the city, with funding coming from both the city and the county.