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It Is Official


Viewed: 8435

Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jun 27 2017 9:25 PM

DOTHAN, HOUSTON COUNTY:  KINSEY, WEBB, COLUMBIA, GORDON, ASHFORD, COWARTS, COTTONWOOD, MADRID, REHOBETH, TAYLOR; WICKSBURG, BAY SPRINGS, SOUTHERN JUNCTION, HODGESVILLE, LOVETOWN, PANSEY, LUCY:


In the early 1990’s when Dothan Mayor Alfred Saliba and Houston County Commission Chairman Robert Crowder sit in an out of town motel room hammering out a 911 agreement, little did they know....



Today in 2017 a ribbon cutting ceremony was held officially opening the Dothan - Houston County Emergency Operations Center.



A modern up to date facility that houses the Houston County Sheriff - Houston County Volunteer Fire - Emergency Medical dispatch, Dothan Police and Dothan Fire Emergency Dispatch, the 911 Center and Dothan - Houston County Emergency Management.



Today was the ribbon cutting of many people’s vision. But a vision that was taken into a reality primarily because of three key people.




  1. Tonya Shelley:  Tonya has kept the books for the 911 Operations. She is tight fisted with the money. She has kept the 911 Boards being conservative and managed the money well to place the Dothan - Houston County 911 into a great financial posture to be able to build this building.




  1. Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz and Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver. Fully supported by their respective commissions, these two men pushed the train, charged forward, making significant decisions in the path forward. It was their forward thinking, their innovative ways of getting things done that lead to Dothan - Houston County Emergency Operations Center becoming a reality.



Since the summit between Mayor Saliba and Chairman Crowder the 911 Board consisted of the Mayor and sitting Dothan Commissioners along with an Advisory Committee. Years later two Houston County Commissioners were added to the board.



The Advisory Committee would meet and were considered the experts on the 911 system.



Eight years ago when Mike Schmitz became Mayor he started looking at the current centers for 911. Mayor Schmitz and Chairman Culver started kicking the ideas around of the joint center with the Advisory Committee and making the Advisory Committee the actual 911 Board.



After discussion of changing the make up of the 911 Board legislative drafts were 


Initiated with State Representative Paul Lee and State Senator Harri Anne Smith.



Simultaneously Mayor Schmitz, Chairman Mark Culver and Dothan Police Financial Administrator Tonya Shelley started working on financing for the center.



The Board hired it’s first full time Coordinator, Steve Collins. It was Collins along with the Sheriff Chief Dispatcher that introduced Lee Moore of 911 Consulting to the board and Advisory Committee. 



The board hired Lee Moore to assist in the development of the Emergency Operations Center.



Later Collins retired and Holly Brittan was hired as A full time 911 Coordinator.



Mayor Schmitz, Chairman Culver and Lee Moore went to New York and met with financial institutions in order to obtain financing for the Emergency Operations Center.



Tonya Shelley, behind the scenes, was the productive instrument that prepared the documentation in order to secure the funding. But it was Mike Schmitz, Mark Culver and Lee Moore that secured the excellent credit rating and funding to make this project a reality.



Plans drawn. Financing secure.



Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz called a press conference and made an announcement to the people of Dothan, Houston County and the surrounding area. The project is ready to bid. While the bid process is followed with procedures outlined in the law, Mayor Schmitz and Chairman Culver wanted all construction businesses and subs to know - this project is being placed out for bid.



The contract was awarded to Ricky Saliba of Saliba Construction. Ground was broken and the project underway.



In 2015 the Alabama Legislature approved the new City of Dothan/Houston County E-911 Board. It consists of four mandatory appointments: Sheriff or designee;Dothan Police Chief or designee; Dothan Fire Chief or designee; President of Houston County Volunteer Fire Association or designee: appointments from the Houston County Commission and by the Dothan City Commission; for a total of 9 members.



Today a state of art modern communications center has been built at 405 East Adams. It is built to standards to withstand hurricanes. It is a secure facility that keeps the staff safe and the emergency operations safe and secure.



From this facility, all 911 calls are answered. For the Houston County Sheriff Department, Sheriff Valenza said was 73,000 calls. 



When the emergency calls are received trained call takers and dispatchers take and route those calls for the appropriate emergency service agencies to respond.



With cell phones in everyone’s hands the volume of calls are tremendous.



In addition to the Law enforcement, fire and EMS, this Emergency Operations Center is the new home to Dothan - Houston County Emergency Management.



Most think of EMA and weather. That is only a small portion of the duties of Emergency Management. Their duties include the establishment of resources for emergency agencies to have when emergencies strike, but they operate hand in hand with all agencies, most especially the volunteer agencies across this county.



The Emergency Management Office is in the process of state of the art emergency center to manage a large range of information to always be proactive and not reactive.



Chris Judah took over the reigns of Dothan - Houston County Emergency Management in January. He has worked non stop in working to bring EMA "Houston County Strong". And Dothan sits in Houston County.



Houston County Strong - means all over this county.



Thanks to all of the emergency responders  and communications people who make things happen.



Thanks to Mayor Mike Schmitz and members of the Dothan Commission, Chairman Mark Culver and members of the Houston County Commission, all members of the City of Dothan - Houston County E-911 Board, the local legislative delegation and all whom made this facility a realty.


This state of art center belongs to everyone in Dothan - Houston County:


DOTHAN, HOUSTON COUNTY:  KINSEY, WEBB, COLUMBIA, GORDON, ASHFORD, COWARTS, COTTONWOOD, MADRID, REHOBETH, TAYLOR; WICKSBURG, BAY SPRINGS, SOUTHERN JUNCTION, HODGESVILLE, LOVETOWN, PANSEY, LUCY:









It Is Official

It Is Official

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It Is Official

It Is Official

It Is Official

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