If 911 were to fail …

Emergency services signs MOU for backup 911 services

By Kevin Spradlin

ROCKINGHAM — North Carolina law requires that each of the state’s 123 Public Service Access Points, only 31 have approved backup plans should the 911 emergency dispatch system fail.

Make that 32.

RCESDonna Wright, director of Richmond County’s emergency services department, requested of the Richmond County commissioners on Monday night during their regular monthly public meeting that they authorize her to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with her counterparts in Scotland County to provide backup 911 services should the Richmond County center fail.

“Basically, if our center goes down, Scotland County will handle our call volume,” Wright said.

There would be “very small downtime … where calls will be answered quickly if it fails.”

There are, Wright said, two general backup solutions available to emergency services departments. One is a mirrored site — essentially a duplicate. The cost is a cool $1 million or so, Wright said — and that’s just to copy the technology “before we talk about structure.”

The other solution is to use another agency’s backup center. But that’s still about $1 million in expenditures. Instead, Wright said the county has roughly $6,000 tied up “to make this backup work.”

“We’re able to save significant amounts of money,” Wright told commissioners.

It was an easy sell with no further discussion. Commissioner Jimmy Capps made the motion to approve and Commissioner Ben Moss seconded Capps’ motion. The motion passed with a 7-0 vote.


Pass 7-0.

Filed in: Latest Headlines, News, Public safety

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