The Pryor Times

May 18, 2013

MESTA pursues expanding dispatch

Staff Writer
Susan Wagoner

— Board members of Mayes Emergency Services Trust Authority voted to allow Director Rick Langkamp to proceed with the possibility of expanding the existing 911 dispatch center to accommodate police dispatching.

The discussion came as a result of inquiries to provide dispatch services after Mayes County Sheriff’s Office announced the fees would double at the end of the fiscal year.

“I think Adair has already approved it in their council meeting that they will come to us if we can make it happen,” Langkamp said.

MESTA already provides dispatching services for Pafford EMS out of Rogers County. They have dispatched for Grand River Dam Authority Police in the past.

“I’ve already drafted a letter to Gene Thaxton asking for OLETS certification again,” Langkamp said, adding that MESTA had the required Oklahoma Law Enforcement Telecommunications System certification when it dispatched for GRDA.

Thaxton is the Telecommunications Manager for the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety.

“I contacted him today to ask about my request, but he said he hasn’t had the chance to look it over,” Langkamp said. “I’ve also applied for an additional frequency from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and it looks favorable for approval.”

Langkamp said even if MESTA doesn’t do additional dispatching, the additional frequency would be good to have.

“Adair and Langley are interested and Salina Police is here and listening to what we have to say,” he said. “There are others who are even looking in Craig County. I would like to go on record saying that I feel we should try to keep the services here in Mayes County instead of having to transfer 911 calls out of the county.”

The board authorized Langkamp to continue pursuing the expansion, including issuing price quotes to those towns interested in using MESTA for dispatch services.

In other business, the board voted their approval to convert two more ambulances to natural gas fuel bringing the total to four. The two newest trucks were chosen. The cost of the conversion is $8,500 per unit.

“The CNG (compressed natural gas) has been going for a few months now. Fuel costs when compared to another unit without CNG showed over a $600 savings for the CNG truck compared to the straight diesel truck,” Langkamp said.

He reported that the average cost for fuel was $1.40 per gallon.

“We did some research into putting a fill station here at MESTA. The cost is estimated around $12,000 total for the system. The price of the fuel to MESTA then would be around 70 cents per gallon,” he said. “MESTA has written a grant to the O.D. Mayor Foundation for the amount of $12,000 to pay for a fueling station here.”

The board approved an expenditure of $10,340 for the purchase of 10 narcotic safes with memory card identification capabilities. The cost is $975 each plus additional software and hardware.

“Currently, our narcotics are kept in a little metal cash box with a latch lock,” Langkamp said. “We carry some things that need to be locked up properly.”

The safes are manufactured by Knox. Personnel will enter a security code to access the safe which will then identify who was in the safe and when.