Four minutes, 57 seconds. Five minutes, 13 seconds. Sixteen minutes, 30 seconds. They add up to minutes and seconds. But when that time is spent on a 911 call during an emergency, it's not as inconsequential.
"If somebody is down there having a heart attack, minutes count. Seconds count," New Lexington Fire Chief Jim Fain said. A 1-mill, five-year levy dedicated for Perry County 911 and communications is on Tuesday's ballot. It will generate what 911 supervisor Derrick Keylor said is a long-awaited annual fund of $854,225 for the center.
"Right now, we seem to be doing good, but there’s no catch, there’s no safety net," said Keylor. "If the budget cycles, you’ll have to cut employees somewhere." Five Perry County fire chiefs have taken issue with the 911 center's services, questioning if additional funding and technology will help a problem that they say is more focused on fostering employee skills.