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Newton County receives grant

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
July 21, 2001
The Newton County Emergency Management Agency has received a technology grant to help pinpoint the location of E-911 calls made from cell phones.
The grant is in the form of a Geographic Information System, which NEMA Director Gary Galloway said is worth $8,000-$10,000.
He said the federal government will require wireless carriers start to begin providing location information to E-911 by October, but doubts they can meet the deadline.
He said the new software will be an asset once that information is available
The software will also help other county departments, he said, explaining that the technology creates maps based on data entered into a computer.
He said road crews can use it to pinpoint particular bridges based on capacity. It can be used to locate turnarounds on interstates, which keeps emergency personnel from having to travel to the next exit to turn around. Law enforcement officials can use it to mark dangerous intersections or high-density crime areas.
He said 200 counties nationwide are to be awarded similar grants. They are awarded jointly through the National Association of Counties and ESRI, a GIS and mapping software company located in California.
Galloway said he expects to receive the GIS software next week; ESRI representatives will teach him and his staff how to use it.
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.

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