Oak Harbor concerned about Ottawa Co. 911 changes

OAK HARBOR, OH (Toledo News Now) – Changes to the Ottawa County 911 services have some in the Oak Harbor community upset, and they brought their concerns to Ottawa County Commissioners Tuesday afternoon.

A 911 committee in Ottawa County has decided to upgrade the county's services.  In doing so, they've voted to eliminate the land-line terminal in Oak Harbor.  All 911 calls made from land lines will now come to the Ottawa County's Sheriff's Dispatch. That decision is not sitting well with everyone.

The Ottawa County commissioners meeting included dozens of public safety officials who would discuss the upcoming changes to 911 services.

Currently, Oak Harbor has its own 911 center, and directly takes calls coming from land lines. A panel voted to divert those calls to the main center in Port Clinton, which is the way cell phone calls are handled. This is causing concern for Oak Harbor dispatchers.

However, the committee says that the Oak Harbor center only receives an average of 13 land line calls per week. By diverting those calls to the main center, the county will save up to $125,000 over ten years.

"When you get right down to it, exactly the number of people, the number of calls affected, and the fact that when someone dials 911 they're going to get help, the same amount of time- you had to be responsible I think that this was the right move." says William Rofkar of the 911 committee.

County Commissioners say the plan will move forward, despite concerns from Oak Harbor and neighboring townships.

The upgrade is expected to take place as early as Fall 2012.

Copyright 2012 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.