Preparing for the worst: City to purchase offsite alternate dispatch center

Drew Butler

Ardmore City Commissioners approved the purchase of an alternate offsite dispatch station to be used in the event of an emergency during a regular meeting Tuesday at City Hall. The new system will be installed in Fire Station 3 located on Veterans boulevard. The cost of the new system will be $84,257.63 and comes with five years of support.

Director of Information Technology Robert Newell said a recent emergency management exercise illustrated the need for an offsite dispatch station. City Hall contains both the regular dispatch and an onsite alternate dispatch. The recent training exercise examined what would happen if City Hall were destroyed.

“We actually used the footprint of the train explosion from our history and what happened after the explosion,” Newell said. “City Hall was actually in that range and it got destroyed. It was chaos there for awhile but we recovered. It showed a need that we spread out and make sure that we’re covered in the event of any emergency.”

Newell said Fire Station 3 was actually built with this purpose in mind and contains a safe room with the intended purpose of also serving as an offsite dispatch.

The system will be purchased from Motorola Solutions because they are the sole provider and currently hold the state contract for the system. The cost for the base system and five-year prepaid software and on-site support is $82,086.73 with an additional $2,170.90 for locally stored spare parts.

This purchase is a budgeted item and will be paid out of the GAPS fund.

Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the purchase with Commissioner Sheryl Ellis commenting that she found it to be a very forward thinking idea.