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Posted on: July 14, 2021

911 Phone System Upgraded in Eaton County

911 Phone System Upgraded in Eaton County

~Eaton County installs new phone equipment and fully joins a ‘next generation’ 911 network. ~

Eaton County officials announced today that a full replacement of the 911 call handling equipment has been completed.  According to 911 Director Michael

Armitage, “these upgrades will keep the 911 system reliable for those that live, work, and visit Eaton County.  These investments are vital to keep the technology current, especially since this system is vital to public safety,” according to Armitage.  The Eaton County Board of Commissioners Chairman, Jeremy Whittum, praised these upgrades, along with the 911 staff members, “these essential upgrades will enhance the communication abilities in mid-Michigan’s premier 911 center.  Central Dispatch is the hub of emergency communication, and I rest easy knowing that we have a great group of men and women who dedicate themselves to the safety of all life and property in Eaton County.”

The $210,073 project was primarily paid for by a subgrant from the State of Michigan.  The subgrant was funded as a result of the Federal Next Generation 911 Advancement Act of 2012 (Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2021). The system has redundancies and includes eight (8) permanent 911 call-taking stations, along with three (3) portable 911 call taking stations that can be used for major events, or if there is a need to move operations to a back-up location.  The call handling equipment was installed and will be maintained by AT&T.

In addition to replacing the equipment, Eaton County also completely converted to a next generation 911 network.  This technology replaces the traditional 1960’s-era copper 911 network and, instead, is built using a redundant fiber optic network. This new network improves the ability to share more data, such as phone location information and texts-to-911. The Eaton County Board of Commissioners Public Safety Committee Chair, Tim Barnes has worked in emergency services for four decades, and appreciates the need for updated technology, “the investment in the safety of our citizens and the accuracy of our response teams is paramount to saving lives in our county.”  Eaton County selected Peninsula Fiber Network of Marquette, Michigan to provide the next generation 911 network.

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