Monday May 9, 2005
Mayor Jerry Abramson today marked the start of construction of a facility that will comprise the first phase of MetroSafe, the network that will combine Louisville’s emergency-communications functions and allow emergency responders with various agencies to communicate with one another.
The mayor was joined by leadership of the Louisville Metro Police, Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Management Agency and suburban fire departments in beginning demolition work in the basement of the former Jefferson County Police headquarters at 768 Barret Avenue.
“As we tear down these walls, we begin our work to break down the barriers to our emergency communications,” Abramson said. “Connecting our first responders – so that they can communicate with one another – will mean a safer community for all of us.”
Currently, Louisville’s emergency-service providers operate on separate radio systems and through separate dispatching centers. When operational this September, the MetroSafe facility on Barret will be the central emergency communications, 9-1-1 and dispatching hub for Louisville. The center will bring together Louisville Metro police, urban and suburban fire, EMS, EMA and other public-service agency call takers and dispatchers that had previously been based in four different locations.
“Centralizing our dispatch and communications center means that all of our dispatchers can interact and work as a team in an emergency,” Abramson said.
The facility will include 32 dispatcher positions, supported by a $7 million Motorola radio-communications system. Amstar and BMV Electric are the construction contractors, and Cox Allen & Associates is the architect/engineer firm for the approximately $800,000 project to renovate the space for the communications center.
Facility to serve as regional emergency hub
In addition to centralizing Louisville’s emergency communications, the Barret Avenue MetroSafe facility will provide the infrastructure to allow Louisville emergency responders to communicate with agencies in several other cities and counties.
“MetroSafe will serve as an emergency-communications hub for our entire region,” Abramson said.
Through the MetroSafe system, Louisville Metro personnel will be able to communicate with emergency personnel with the following jurisdictions:
· Kentucky State Police
· Jefferson County Sheriff
· Anchorage, Ky.
· Jeffersontown, Ky.
· Shively, Ky.
· St. Matthews, Ky.
· Bullitt County, Ky.
· Henry County, Ky.
· Meade County, Ky.
· Nelson County, Ky.
· Oldham County, Ky.
· Shelby County, Ky.
· Spencer County, Ky.
· Trimble County, Ky.
· Indiana State Police · Clark County, Ind.
· Floyd County, Ind.
· Harrison County, Ind.
· Washington County, Ind.
MetroSafe’s next phase will heighten safety, security
The total MetroSafe initiative is expected to be a $71 million project, fully complete in 2007. After the Barret communications center opens, Abramson said attention will turn to the project’s second phase, to be located downtown at 410 S. Fifth St., in the former Federal Reserve Building.
When it is complete, the downtown MetroSafe facility will become Louisville’s primary emergency-communications center, complete with a state-of-the-art and highly secure emergency-operations center. The Barret MetroSafe facility will become the backup communications center in the case of a major disaster or if the downtown facility becomes inaccessible.
“When fully implemented, MetroSafe will put our community among the top tier of American cities in terms of emergency preparedness,” Abramson said.