Monday September 12, 2005
Communications hub connects emergency responders in region
“MetroSafe Communications to Harrison County Emergency Management... please stand by.”
Mayor Jerry Abramson today issued an “in service” radio transmission to emergency agencies in several counties over the new MetroSafe communications system. The first phase of the city’s $71 million MetroSafe initiative, housed at 768 Barret Avenue, combines Louisville’s emergency-communications functions and allows emergency responders with various agencies in Louisville and surrounding jurisdictions to communicate with one another.
The chiefs of the Louisville Metro Police, Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Management Agency and suburban fire departments joined the mayor in opening the communications center.
“The implementation of MetroSafe is a significant step in creating a safer community for all of us,” Abramson said. “Connecting our first responders means better emergency response and increased coordination in a crisis.”
The new MetroSafe facility now serves as the central emergency-communications, 9-1-1 and dispatching hub for Louisville. The center brings 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.
The basement of the former Jefferson County Police headquarters underwent an $800,000 renovation to create the communications facility. It includes 32 dispatcher positions, supported by a $7 million Motorola radio-communications system. Facility to serve as regional emergency hub
In addition to centralizing Louisville’s emergency communications, the Barret Avenue MetroSafe facility allows Louisville emergency responders to communicate with agencies in several other cities and counties.
“MetroSafe provides the capability to serve as an emergency-communications hub for our entire region,” said Doug Hamilton, director of MetroSafe and the Louisville Emergency Management Agency. “The disaster along the Gulf Coast illustrates the importance of a multi-jurisdictional communications link.”
Through the MetroSafe system, Louisville Metro personnel are now 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. With the Barret Avenue facility operational, city officials will now turn attention 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.