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Fire department contract with Active911 OK’d

LISBON — Local firefighters will begin receiving alerts by cellphone instead of pagers, which will save the department $9,000 a year.

Village Council this week gave the fire department permission to contract with Active911, a software program and service for emergency services personnel that sends alerts directly to cellphones, tablet and computers.

Firefighters are currently issued pagers to carry at an annual cost of $9,450. The Active911 software and app will cost $390 a year for 30 firefighters (there are 27 currently), but Little said they wanted three additional apps should the need arise.

Active 911 will allow the fire department to monitor which firefighters are able to respond to a particular call and track their progress as they make their way to the fire station and then to the call. It also provides firefighters with a GPS location of the fire call.

Active911 had already been integrated into the police department’s dispatching program prior to council’s decision and has been use for the past couple of weeks on a trial basis, and officials said it has worked fine so far.

“This is proven and this is the future,” he said.

At some point the fire department intends to purchase iPads for each of the fire trucks, allowing them to download the Active911 ap onto the device.

As with any fire department purchase, the cost will be split with Center and Elkrun townships, which contract with the village for fire services.

There was some question where fire chief Paul Gresh Jr., who is off after having surgery and not present, had some reservations about the change. Assistant Chief Gilbert Flory told council it was because Gresh believed they still need to keep the pagers as back up, but pagers will continue to be used until the current contract expires.

In related news, council gave the fire department permission to send four firefighters to grain rescue training for two days in Van Wert. The cost, including room, meals and mileage, is $5,002, but firefighter Bobby Huffman said Heritage Co-Op, which operates the local grain mill in town, has offered to contribute $3,412 for two people.

In addition to Heritage Co-Op, Huffman said there are numerous local farmers who have grain silos.

Council also gave the fire department permission to purchase six new sets of firefighter turnout gear for $13,964. Like other expenditures, this cost will split three days.

During the meeting, Mayor Roger Gallo reported the swimming pool building lost some shingles from Sunday’s windstorm and a number of three limbs in the park were done, but that appeared to be the extent of damage to municipal property.

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