After last month’s opening of the new headquarters station on Pleasant Hill Church Road, Barrow County Emergency Services is preparing for its next big move – relocating the E911 center.
“The goal right now is to have the new E911 Center up and fully operational in May of this year,” said interim chief John Skinner.
With some contracts approved already and the remaining ones scheduled to go before the county commission in the near future, work is progressing on the project.
In the meantime, crews continue to settle into the new station.
“Crews will continue to work on organizing everything and moving the remainder of the equipment into the station over the next few weeks,” Skinner said. “It is great that we finally have the fire and EMS offices and the ambulance and fire engine where they belong.”
Crews from Station 1 and Station 6 worked throughout January, moving equipment and supplies from three different locations. By the end of the month, the majority of the department’s administration was moved into the new station also.
Last month, communications officers with Barrow County Emergency Services handled a total of 16, 312 calls. Of those, 5,586 were emergency calls. In addition to 4,594 calls for law enforcement, communications officers dispatched fire and EMS crews to one multi family structure fire related call, 22 single family structure related calls, four vehicle fires, 13 fire alarms, 52 motor vehicle collisions, four woods fires, six gas leaks and 509 medical calls.
Average dispatch time for January was one minute, 14 seconds. Barrow County fire and EMS crews arrived on scene within an average of seven minutes and 59 seconds of being dispatched.
In addition to responding to calls, firefighters spent more than 20 hours conducting fire and life safety classes throughout the county. More than 350 children and 20 adults participated in these classes. The department also spent more than 13 hours performing public relations, such as the Lunch with a Leader program at the Barrow County Schools Performance Learning Center.
The Fire Investigation Team conducted five separate origin and cause investigations in January. Of those five, two were determined to be electrical malfunctions inherent to the structure, one was determined to be a space heater placed to close to combustible material, one was undetermined due to the amount of damage from the fire and one is still currently under investigation.
Emergency services personnel also dedicated several hours to training and continuing education last month. The department as a whole spent 617 hours training in over 138 different subjects. During January, communication officer Jimmy Beck was recertified as an emergency services dispatch instructor for the E911 department and firefighter Brenda Adams completed her training and received certification as a paramedic.
“This department continues to focus on training and improving their skills,” Skinner said. “This will allow us to constantly offer the best service possible to our citizens.”