FARMINGTON – The director of Franklin Regional Communications Center told commissioners that dispatchers are continuing to report issues with the center’s console, purchased back in 2017.
While the equipment’s manufacturer, Zetron, had sent a team of observers to the dispatch center in an attempt to troubleshoot issues with the center’s Zetron MAX console, Communications Director CL Folsom told county commissioners that he believed that it was time to set a “hard date” to get the equipment working correctly. If Zetron couldn’t address the issues, Folsom said, he would recommend the county find another authorized service provider to fix the problem.
The Zetron MAX was purchased in March 2017, prior to Folsom’s employment with the county. It replaced a 12-year-old Motorola model at the cost of $166,000, half of which came out of the county’s tax increment financing fund. Over the next several months, dispatchers and first responders grappled with issues relating to audio quality and lost transmissions. The Dispatch Advisory Board, local fire and police chiefs brought their concerns to commissioners and Zetron deployed software fixes in early 2018 that addressed those issues.
However, Folsom told commissioners Tuesday, issues have persisted at the dispatch center. According to an email from Folsom on Tuesday, the problems include workstations freezing, requiring resets before working again, non-responsive screens and computer mouses in the middle of calls and emergency tones transmitting independent of dispatcher input. Additionally, patching the console continues to be an issue.
Folsom told commissioners that, if Zetron couldn’t get the console working correctly, he wanted to move ahead with another authorized service provider, ideally at the company’s cost. Part of his reasoning, he told commissioners, was that Oxford and Franklin County were the two counties experiencing the console issues. Both counties received service through Zetron.
“We’re going on three years now,” Folsom said. “We still haven’t signed off on the product.”
Folsom said that he intended to meet with the Dispatch Advisory Board after working with the Zetron team.
Commissioners agreed that the problems needed to be addressed, as they represented a public safety issue.
In other business, commissioners recommended that William K. Gilmore of Freeman Township be appointed to another four-year term on the Land Use Planning Commission. Gilmore, who currently serves on the LUPC board, was the only applicant for the position.
The commissioners make a recommendation to the LUPC; the position is reviewed by the Legislature.