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The Adams County sheriff's dispatch room in the county jail recently received a much-needed renovation to help improve efficiency, and comfort, for county dispatchers, according to Sheriff Shane Rekeweg.
Rekeweg first approached the Adams County Commissioners with the project back in April of this year, with plans to install new flooring, lighting, walls, ceiling and furniture at a cost of approximately $76,300.
Rekeweg said to his knowledge the dispatch room has not been overhauled since the jail was built in the early 1980s. In fact, the only improvement to the room Rekeweg was aware of was new carpeting installed during Sheriff Tom Coleman's third term in the 1990s.
The redone room includes three new two-tierd dispatch desks that are fully adjustable to fit each individual dispatcher, easing the strain put on dispatcher's backs and necks, said Rekeweg.
The addition of a fully functional third dispatch center allows for a third dispatcher to assist during crisis situations, such as the June 29 storm that kept 911 dispatchers hopping with 915 calls.
"We were able to have a third dispatcher in here who was able to help answer calls, which helped out a lot," said Rekeweg, who said the average number of 911 calls in a day is 40 to 45.
Other improvements include updated radio equipment, new carpeting, ceilings and walls, which Rekeweg said are acoustically designed to diffuse echoing in the room, making it easier for dispatchers to hone in on radio traffic with fewer distractions.
Rekeweg also said a new lighting system is individually adjustable to each dispatcher's preference. "These guys spend a lot of time in this room," said Rekeweg. "The way it was set up before, there was really no way to adjust anything for them. Now, they can adjust the height of the desk, chair, lights, everything. It's just a lot better, and a lot more efficient."
The Chief Dispatcher is Bill Grimm. Full-time dispatchers include MaryAnn August, Darin Line, Jeff McDonald, Taya Yoder, Marlene Bieberich, and Dawn Grimm, and part-time dispatchers Heather Kongar and Kris Burkhart.