Worthington News

City relying on neighbors as it solves 911 issue


Phone calls to 911 are being routed through Westerville city dispatchers because Worthington's system broke down about six weeks ago.

"All calls are being answered and there has been no adverse effects on public service," said James Mosic, Worthington's police chief.

Worthington's 911 system stopped working correctly when the city upgraded its phone system in September. The phone system and the aging 911 system proved to not be compatible, Mosic said.

Calls from Worthington land lines were coming into the dispatching center at the police department, but the callers' identifying information -- phone number, address, jurisdiction -- did not always show up with the calls.

As soon as the breakdown was noticed, incoming calls were switched to Westerville. Now Westerville dispatchers take the calls, transfer them to Worthington, and stay on the line to make sure the information does not get lost.

Westerville is always the back-up system for Worthington, Mosic said.

If too many calls come in to Worthington, Westerville automatically takes over. In this case, Worthington manually "threw the switch," said Mosic.

Wireless calls are always routed through Dublin, which relays them to Worthington once the location is determined.

A meeting has been set for Dec. 5 to discuss possible solutions with the sales representatives for the 911 system and the phone system. The city's 911 system, called Positron Lifeline 100, is no longer manufactured.

Worthington will either purchase a new 911 system or piggyback on an existing system, probably Dublin's, Mosic said.

Worthington, Dublin, and several other jurisdictions are studying the possibility of a switching to a centrally located dispatching center, which would probably be in Dublin. With that in mind, it may not be feasible to purchase a new system for Worthington, the chief said.