Board to discuss billing, 911 plan

Published 3:00 pm Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors is set to discuss a request by the Kenbridge Fire Department to start billing and implementing a plan that would improve 9-1-1 service in the region.

County Administrator Tracy Gee noted Monday, however that due to the impending inclement weather conditions from Hurricane Florence the meeting may be postponed.

The Kenbridge Fire Department has requested that the county allow the department to bill in the event of emergencies to fund its services. The department has taken a hit over the past several years due to the loss of donations from generous benefactors who have since died. While a portion of the county and Town of Kenbridge’s taxes do go toward the department, it has not been enough to cover the cost of the department’s operations.

“I can see down the road that the fire department, in the future, is going to have a problem if we don’t start charging,” Kenbridge Fire Chief Richard “Dickie” Harris told the Kenbridge Town Council during its August meeting.

Harris said the department would bill the insurance company, and in the event of structure fires, bill the property owner.

For those without insurance, Harris said they would not be billed.

Members of the Kenbridge Town Council during its August meeting voted to approve the request.

Harris said he is not certain of the revenue billing would bring to the department, but anticipates it could generate approximately $10,000 a year.

The Lunenburg board is also set to discuss how to improve Lunenburg’s 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) in advance of a trend throughout Virginia to improve its 9-1-1 service through Next Generation (NG) 9-1-1. The goal of the state is to have PSAPs, including the system in Lunenburg, fully deployed with the National Emergency Number Association i3 standard. Lunenburg’s PSAP will need to have i3 handling capabilities.

“This standard states that all 9-1-1 calls are delivered to the PSAP on Internet Protocol (IP) circuits with associated caller location data,” documentation from the meeting board packet cited.

Lunenburg’s PSAP deployment window is expected to take place between July-December 2019.