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franklin county times

E-911 radio equipment working again

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
May 24, 2001
Lauderdale County E-911 radio equipment was up and running Wednesday after being struck by lightning almost two weeks ago. Tower lights are the next repairs to be made.
The system was hit by two lightning strikes on May 12, one at the tower site and one at the dispatch center. Mott said personnel worked on hand-held radios until the system was back up.
Mott said the side lights went out on the tower about two months ago. Lauderdale County Fire Coordinator Clarence Butler told county supervisors at the time no one would climb the tower to replace the lights because they were afraid the old tower wouldn't hold them.
Mott said he got a Federal Aviation Administration waiver and the FAA will notify aircraft in the area the lights are not functioning properly, he said.
Mott said E-911 personnel have been using the tower since it was built in the early 1970s and it would take a minimum of six months to get a new tower built.
E-911 has some base stations at the Lauderdale County Emergency Management Agency that could be used in an emergency situation, he said.
Mott said he does not know the cost of the lightning damages. Comsouth has the maintenance contract and BellSouth repaired the telephones, he said.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.