Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

County hires director to oversee 911 systems, merger

NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco commissioners on Tuesday hired a consultant from New York to oversee the merger of the county's 911 operations.

Dona D. Fernandes is working as a consultant helping install the New York City Fire Department's computer-aided dispatch system. She'll start her new job Aug. 5, overseeing Pasco's 911 consolidation project.

The Sheriff's Office and Pasco Fire Rescue currently handle 911 calls separately inside New Port Richey offices. After Oct. 1, those separate systems will operate within a single communications center headed by Fernandes. Commissioners Tuesday voted unanimously to hire Fernandes. Her job pays $90,000 yearly.

Until last year, the merger idea was shelved repeatedly because of turf battles and technical issues. A 2010 consultant's report found instances where calls from cities were picked up by county 911 operators, then transferred to the city operators.

Callers found themselves having to describe their emergencies all over to another operator — or worse, their calls were dropped and they had to call back. Most cellular calls, even those from a city address, end up being routed to the county system.

Officials say the upgrade will eliminate the time delays and dropped calls and lower operational costs in the long run. The work has been going on for about a year and is expected to be finished by Oct. 1.

Dade City and New Port Richey have expressed interest in joining the systems, which would add another dimension to the merger but resolve long-running technical problems.

County hires director to oversee 911 systems, merger 07/23/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 4:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Plant City police searching for drive-by shooter


    PLANT CITY — Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a reward for information leading to an arrest in an early morning drive-by shooting outside a home.

    John J. Keeper, 49, was shot in the thigh in a drive-by shooting early Tuesday outside this home at 516 E Laura St. in Plant City. [Hillsborough County Property Appraiser]
  2. FSU-Tulane coming to Amalie Arena in December


    Florida State basketball is coming to Tampa.

  3. Taylor Swift congratulates Russell Westbrook on MVP Award


  4. Strategic Property Partners launches website for Water Street Tampa


    Strategic Property Partners has launched its official website for Water Street Tampa, its 53-acre redevelopment project in downtown Tampa Tuesday.

    Strategic Property Partners on Tuesday announced the name of its new development: Water Street Tampa. [Photos courtesy of SPP]
  5. Is Mikhail Sergachev, who debuts with Lightning at Wednesday camp, ready for the NHL?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — When defenseman Mikhail Sergachev was taken ninth overall by the Canadiens in the 2016 NHL draft, a horde of Montreal media surrounded him for his first news conference.

    Mikhail Sergachev takes a shot during warmups prior to a game between the Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes in October in Montreal. [Getty Images]