Havre Daily News
After years of discussion and debate, enhanced-911 is coming to Hill County in a few weeks, Havre-Hill County 911 Board members said Tuesday.
State workers will install e-911 equipment on April 22, Havre Fire Chief Dave Sheppard said.
Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation also may bring e-911 capability to tribal emergency workers. A state official met with tribal council members last week to discuss bringing the service to the reservation.
The city-county board on Tuesday made the final decision it needed to as members chose a company, Minneapolis-based GeoCom, to provide mapping software.
The software displays the caller's location on a monitor, along with the phone number and best route to the location. Dispatchers now only have caller ID.
Hill County Commissioner Mike Anderson, who is a member of the 911 board, said the two software companies the board was considering, North Dakota-based Bullberry Systems Inc. and GeoCom, are similar in price and product.
Members of the 911 board made calls to dispatch centers around the state and the general consensus was that GeoCom is more user-friendly and has good technical support, Anderson said.
Anderson said the systems - one at City Hall and a backup at the Hill County Detention Center - will be up and running by the beginning of May.
Each call center will cost about $90,000. The board has about $400,000 in funds raised from a fee on local phone bills.
Blaine County already has e-911 equipment installed and has not chosen software.
Blaine County Sheriff Glenn Huestis said he will meet with the Blaine County Commission today to decide on software.
Huestis said the two boards may benefit from choosing the same software. That would allow Havre and the two counties to combine data and act as backup call centers for each other.
The Chippewa Cree tribe also is looking into the possibility of linking into an e-911 system.
Montana 911 program manager Becky Berger met with the Rocky Boy tribal council last week to discuss the tribe's options.
Berger said she hopes her presentation to the tribal council will spark initial discussions. The tribe could possibly join in with the Havre and Hill County dispatch centers or run its own center. Federal funding may be used to bring e-911 to Rocky Boy, she said.
Rocky Boy public safety director Myron Oats Sr. today said dispatchers are able to use caller ID.
Berger said the first step for the tribe to join into enhanced-911 is to develop addresses for structures on the reservation, which will be the “biggest expense and task,” with a cost of about $100,000.
Tribal economic development planner Joan Mitchell today said some addresses have been created, but the process will take a while to be completed.