Weber County dispatch officials are so concerned about addressing problems in Morgan County that they are unwilling to be held responsible if emergency crews are unable to find addresses.
“They have put us on notice, saying, ‘We can’t give you sufficient service when we don’t have the information,’” Morgan County Sheriff Blaine Breshears said. “Our GIS [Geographic Information System] database is messed up.”
“The outcome is that citizens’ very life could be in jeopardy,” Councilman Don Mathews said. “We need to do something.”
County officials voted to transfer $20,400 to the GIS department, to be reimbursed by an Automated Geographic Reference Center (AGRC) of the state of Utah grant. The county will be required to contribute a 20 percent match, amounting to no more than $3,400.
The money will be used to establish a standard county-wide process to create and maintain a master address list.
According to some county council members, work on the address list cannot start fast enough.
“Make this a priority,” Mathews said.
“I am concerned for the needs of dispatch,” Councilman Robert Kilmer said. “Get this done as soon as possible. The safety of our citizens is top priority.”
Blaine Gehring, planning and development services director, said work to get address points into the system can begin immediately. In order to get this project completed, GIS Technician Dave Manning will eventually need additional training. The council and Gehring will search for suitable training.
The grant requires the project to be completed by November, a time line Gehring believes can be achieved. The biggest obstacle will be assigning addresses to cabins and summer homes in remote areas of the county, Gehring said.
Breshears said addressing problems have caused many problems in the past. For example, if a caller had not specifically mentioned the name of the family residing at an address, emergency crews would not have been able to find an address involved in a suicide attempt call.
“Any delay is significant,” Breshears said.