Hilliard Northwest News

Local emergency calls

Chiefs say dispatching transition to Dublin was smooth

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The Oct. 1 transfer of most emergency-dispatching services to the Dublin Division of Police went smoothly and continues to go as expected, according to local safety officials.

Hilliard police Chief Doug Francis told the Norwich Township trustees Oct. 1 there were no disruptions.

Norwich Township fire Chief Bob Kaufman said Oct. 7 the transfer has continued to prove as efficient as expected.

"It's gone extremely well," Kaufman said. "There have been a few bumps in the road, but nothing significant."

Those bumps, Kaufman said, had nothing to do with receiving calls and dispatching fire and EMS units, but rather with a few technical glitches with software interfacing. That includes how on-board equipment in Norwich Township vehicles receive information already reported by the dispatcher, Kaufman said.

As a primary safety answering point, the Dublin police department already received 911 calls placed from cellphones in Hilliard and Norwich and Brown townships. However, Dublin previously rerouted them to Hilliard police for dispatching.

Now, Dublin directly dispatches 911 cellphone calls for EMS and fire services, as well as those calls placed from landlines. Hilliard police will continue to dispatch all 911 cellphone and landline calls for law-enforcement services until Jan. 13, when Dublin will take those over, too.

Kaufman estimates about 70 percent of all 911 calls from Norwich Township and Hilliard residents were placed from cellphones and already were being received at Dublin's PSAP, one of five answering points in central Ohio capable of triangulating the location of cellphone calls.

Trustee business

In other action at the Oct. 1 Norwich Township trustees meeting:

* Kaufman reported he and Bobby Fisher, deputy chief of the Hilliard Division of Police, recently accepted a donation of stuffed moose toys from the Hilliard Moose Lodge.

Norwich Township firefighters and Hilliard police officers will carry the plush toys in their vehicles to give to children at traumatic scenes, such as a house fire or car accident, Kaufman said.

* Capt. Eric Manske of the township fire prevention bureau reported about 130 firefighters and private investigators from throughout Ohio participated in a Sept. 27 training exercise at the Joint Safety Services Building, 5181 Northwest Parkway.

Two furnished rooms built inside a fire-retardant box were purposefully burned to allow firefighters and investigators an opportunity to practice identification of arsons.

The specially crafted boxes will be given to the Franklin County Fair Board and are large enough to serve as a booth for ticket-takers during fair week in July, Manske said.

* Norwich Township Administrator Kate Cavanaugh reported the township is extending the opportunity to purchase an engraved brick at the future reflection garden on the front lawn of the Joint Safety Services Building.

Two years ago, city and township officials dedicated a flagpole salvaged from the ruins of the World Trade Center in New York City. It was placed on the lawn of the Joint Safety Services Building.

Construction of the reflection garden will begin later this month; pavers purchased through Oct. 1 will be placed at this time.

Pavers ordered through Dec. 31 will be placed in the second phase of the garden in spring 2014.

Engraved bricks with a maximum of 16 characters or spaces on each of three lines are $100 each and may be ordered at norwichtownship.org or by check or cash only at the Joint Safety Services Building.

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