By Margie Wuebker
A new problem has befallen Mercer County's 911 system in recent days, meaning the computer is not generating the name and location of callers. Officials expect the problem to be resolved later today.
The uninterrupted power supply to Mercer County Central Dispatch has failed twice in less than a week, the most recent incident occurring early this morning.
The first problem surfaced Saturday when the power supply failed and knocked out all sheriff's office telephones, 911 telephones and the radio consoles. The dispatcher on duty at the time had to use a personal cell phone in order to contact Monte Diegel, the 911 administrator.
Radio and telephone service was restored in approximately 15 minutes, according to Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey.
Similar problems knocked out the same system shortly after 6 a.m. today. The power supply was reset within 10 minutes but the second interruption resulted in the failure of an important component of the system. Computer cards controlling the county's 911 data base were lost. This loss means dispatchers do not have access to computer-supplied information such as the name and address of the caller. "Callers have to stay on the line longer until we can receive the information that normally pops up on the screen," Diegel said. "We are having to look up information and that takes longer. New computer cards are on the way as we speak."
Emergitech and Verizon crews have been assisting and restoration of full services is expected within several hours.
Unrelated problems occurring earlier this year have resulted in a planned upgrade. The latest wrinkle is not linked to those problems, according to Diegel.
Any questions should be referred to the 911 administrator at (419) 586-7724.