Google Donates $10K To Mayes County Emergency Services

Monday, July 23rd 2012, 1:09 pm

By: Dee Duren

Mayes County 911 will have new, computer-aided dispatch software thanks to Google. MESTA, or Mayes Emergency Trust Services, has received a $10,000 grant from the search engine giant.

Google has a huge data center in Mayes County.

The company has announced it is giving money to the Mayes County 911 to help with quicker emergency response.

Mayes County 911 service works well, until dispatchers try to transfer calls to police and fire.

Information from an emergency call is sometimes lost.

That will soon change with a $10,000 Google community grant.

Rick Langkamp is the director of MESTA.

"Excited in the fact that someone would acknowledge the need in the community, and we had a company that was willing to stand behind Mayes County as a whole," Langkamp said.

He said the Google grant is part of a nearly $300,000 project to get a "next generation" 911 system.

"A lot of areas around the nation are going in to what we call a central 911 center, taking everyone and consolidating under one roof. That sometimes isn't possible in rural America," Langkamp said.

Instead, Mayes County will use the money for a virtual 911 center.

All the emergency agencies like the sheriff, the 911 center, police and fire, will now be connected and instantaneously share the same information from an emergency call.

Langkamp said he believes this will cut down response times by two or three minutes.

"It could be a life," Langkamp said.

For that reason, Mike Wooten, with Google, said the grant selection process was a no-brainer.

"The thing that sold us on this grant, and made it so that we couldn't say no, was the impact to Mayes County," Wooten said.

4/4/2012 Related Story: Google To Expand Its Facility In Pryor's Industrial Park

Google usually chooses an educational purpose for community grants, but the need in Mayes County was too great.

"It improves response time of 911 service across the board, and we know in the recent events in Aurora, emergency response time is vitally important," Wooten said.

Just like Google, Mayes County will see how technology can have a huge impact.

Mayes County 911 has already purchased the equipment and software.

The new system should be up and running by September 15.

The grant was made through Google, Inc.'s Charitable Giving Fund of the Tides Foundation.


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