Fentress County and Jamestown officials have resolved the issues surrounding Fentress County’s 911 program and the new fiscal year budget.
Fentress County Mayor Jimmy Johnson said the misunderstanding arose over the need for more funding for dispatchers. He said the EMA wants to hire three more dispatchers in order to help meet new state requirements.
“The State of Tennessee has recommended that all, well it’s not a recommendation, it’s mandatory they shall have all their dispatchers CPR certified to initiate over-the-telephone instructions of CPR,” Johnson said.
Johnson said a series of miscommunications from Fentress County E-911 helped lead to budget questions. EMA, Fentress County, and Jamestown all help fund the 911 program. A meeting was held last week with all the parties involved in funding the agency. Johnson said that meeting has helped get everyone back on the same page.
“The county and city just takes care of the calls we were getting,” Johnson said. “But 911 said that had some things to add in after their first budget. They came back with another budget, and some of those were the questions that were on the new budget.”
Johnson said in the past, the county and city each paid a per-call amount to fund 911. He said one change coming out of the meeting is the way Jamestown will pay its portion.
“I believe the city is going to come up and pay a lump sum,” Johnson said. “(Fentress County) will pay basically what we paid last year. Maybe a little more than last year, but that’s basically what we will do this year.”
Johnson said when the county passed it’s 2020-21 budget, they funded the original E-911 budget. He said after the meeting, they will amend that budget to better reflect what the program needs.
“There were some questions that were asked in there about certain things,” Johnson said. “We got all those resolved. At the end of the meeting, we came to agreement on what we can possibly do and what they can do. We came to a mutual agreement. They’ll have their meeting and get back with us, and if they are still agreeable, that’s what our commission will recommend.”