Nine counties agree on new phone system

Elk County will soon be one of nine Pennsylvania counties with a new state-of-the-art 911 phone system.Mike McAllister, the county's emergency management director, reiterated Tuesday during an Elk County Board of Commissioners meeting that the current system is outdated, having received an "end-of-life" letter approximately one year ago; parts and maintenance are now no longer available for the outdated system.While individual counties are free to look at options for a 911 phone system, the costs can be exorbitant."Counties can go out alone and purchase a 911 phone system, that can be as much as $400,000 or $500,000 apiece," McAllister said. "We're doing a 9-county regional phone system which will give us two main switches, then all nine counties will have access to support the 911 system from each county. "The other thing provided that we don't currently have is if our system would fail today, we have no redundancy to it; this system, if it would fail or if we were not able to be in our facility, any of the other eight counties would be able to answer our 911 calls and the same goes for any other county, we'd be able to answer for them."Pick up a copy of the Wednesday, July 18, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.Elk County Board of CommissionersWhen: Tuesday, Aug. 7Where: Elk County Courthouse Annex, Conference Room No. 2Time: 10 a.m.