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By Alisa Samuels and Alisa Samuels,Staff Writer | May 10, 1993
The way John A. Hampton sees it, communications centers are the lifelines of the community, and in Howard County he's ready to monitor every heartbeat.As new director of the county's $2.1 million Bureau of Central Communications, he's approaching the task with three decades of experience in Washington, D.C. -- as a firefighter, as head of operations and training for the city's emergency communications center and as acting director of the center, one of the busiest in the nation.Because the district was downsizing its fire department, "I felt it was time to move on to come to a position closer to home," Mr. Hampton said in an interview in his new office in the George Howard Building in Ellicott City.
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Kevin Cowherd | May 21, 2012
The 911 call came in like so many do, a frantic voice that cuts through the night like the wail of a siren. "My granddaughter has drowned! She's not responding! Please help me!" Dave McGowan took the call. Last year at this time, he was the veteran public address announcer at Orioles games at Camden Yards. But now, less than five months on the job at the Prince George's County Emergency Communications Center, he faced this: a frenzied Laurel woman on the line and a 2-year-old with the life ebbing from her after a backyard pool accident.
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NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | April 29, 2003
Howard County police activated a backup 911 communications center in Ellicott City yesterday morning after a power outage and problems with an emergency generator shut down the main facility. Trouble with an underground cable at Courthouse Drive and Ellicott Mills Drive caused the outage at 7:06 a.m., said Sharon Sasada, a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. spokeswoman. By 8:30 a.m., crews had restored service to all 1,154 residential and commercial customers who had lost power, she said. The Howard County government complex and businesses on Main Street in historic Ellicott City also were affected.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare and Mary Gail Hare,mary.gail.hare@baltsun.com | July 11, 2009
Baltimore County's 20-year-old emergency operations center is slated for a $14 million modernization that will nearly double its space, upgrade its technology, enhance its connections with other jurisdictions and shorten response times. On a recent tour of the center, federal legislators delivered a promise of $3 million to help pay for the renovations. The funds will help the center move from an analog to a digital system with upgraded phones, computers and radios that will expand communications capabilities in emergency situations across the county and into the surrounding region, officials said.
NEWS
By Shanon D. Murray and Shanon D. Murray,SUN STAFF | November 9, 1995
An Elkridge boy will be honored today for calling Howard County's 911 center to request help for his grandmother as she suffered from chest pains last week.Kevin Eckart, 4, will meet dispatcher Connie Ludvigsen, who answered his telephone call and instructed him.Kevin was consoling his younger sister as he told Ms. Ludvigsen his address and about his grandmother's chest pains. The woman was taken to St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore for a checkup. She will attend her grandson's ceremony.The boy will be honored at the Communications Center in the George Howard county building in Ellicott City.
NEWS
By Alisa Samuels and Alisa Samuels,Staff Writer | March 18, 1993
Howard County officials have selected a Washington, D.C., safety administrator to head the county's 911 communications center, which faced a series of problems after opening in 1991.John Hampton, a Howard County resident, will begin work March 22 as director of the county's Bureau of Central Communications, said County Administrator Raquel Sanudo. He'll be paid about $50,000 to run the center, she said.Mr. Hampton currently serves as acting deputy fire chief, communications director for the Fire and Emergency Management System, and director of the Emergency Communications Center in Washington, Ms. Sanudo said.
NEWS
October 2, 1998
The Westminster Common Council has approved a $205,680 expenditure for a planned 800-megahertz radio communication system for the Police Department.The money will be used for engineering, design, training, programming and construction of a communications center and a computer-aided dispatch system that is necessary to keep up with the county and state systems, Chief Sam R. Leppo said.The cost of the new system will be spread over five years, with the city making 60 monthly payments of $3,646.
NEWS
By Edward Lee and Edward Lee,SUN STAFF | November 3, 1997
Frustrated by what they term poor working conditions, a majority of Howard County's 911 operators are demanding that the county fix several problems that they say could jeopardize the safety of the county's 231,000 residents.The International Union of Police Associations Local 107, which includes 26 of 47 eligible dispatchers in the county, asserts that a computer system ceased functioning for almost eight hours two weeks ago. The union also complains that the ventilation system at the communications center in the basement of the George Howard Building in Ellicott City is so poor many operators become sick.
NEWS
By Lan Nguyen and Lan Nguyen,Sun Staff Writer | May 23, 1994
Fourteen-year-old Eddie Cabic's voice is smooth."Live from the Wilde Lake Communication Center, this is 'Eye Opener,' " he says into a microphone, with the ease and professionalism of one experienced in broadcast voice-overs.Lights come on, cameras roll, and all eyes are on Emily Barth and Sarvin Ghavam, the two 14-year-old anchors who do the daily morning newscast over the "Fish Channel" at Columbia's Wilde Lake Middle School.The channel is named for a goldfish that is Wilde Lake's mascot.
NEWS
By Laura McCandlish and Laura McCandlish,Sun Reporter | April 8, 2007
The Carroll County Sheriff's Office has been pushing for years for a consolidated dispatch center to streamline emergency communications on one channel and under one roof. But the commander of the state police's Westminster barracks said in-house dispatchers have no problem handling 911 calls for the resident troopers and officers from the Hampstead, Manchester, Sykesville and Taneytown municipal police departments. Lt. Dean Richardson, commander of the Westminster barracks, said one integrated system would require more dispatchers and a larger county emergency call facility.
NEWS
By Laura McCandlish and Laura McCandlish,Sun Reporter | April 8, 2007
The Carroll County Sheriff's Office has been pushing for years for a consolidated dispatch center to streamline emergency communications on one channel and under one roof. But the commander of the state police's Westminster barracks said in-house dispatchers have no problem handling 911 calls for the resident troopers and officers from the Hampstead, Manchester, Sykesville and Taneytown municipal police departments. Lt. Dean Richardson, commander of the Westminster barracks, said one integrated system would require more dispatchers and a larger county emergency call facility.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | April 29, 2003
Howard County police activated a backup 911 communications center in Ellicott City yesterday morning after a power outage and problems with an emergency generator shut down the main facility. Trouble with an underground cable at Courthouse Drive and Ellicott Mills Drive caused the outage at 7:06 a.m., said Sharon Sasada, a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. spokeswoman. By 8:30 a.m., crews had restored service to all 1,154 residential and commercial customers who had lost power, she said. The Howard County government complex and businesses on Main Street in historic Ellicott City also were affected.
NEWS
By Brenda J. Buote and Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF | March 10, 2002
Carroll County will soon have a state-of-the-art community media center that will allow residents to produce their own television shows and watch live candidate forums - without having to drive to the debates. Scheduled to open next year, the proposed $1.5 million Community Media Center of Carroll County on Washington Road south of Westminster would offer everything needed for residents, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations and county and municipal governments to produce programming - including training and equipment.
NEWS
By Brenda J. Buote and Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF | March 10, 2002
Carroll County will soon have a state-of-the-art community media center that will allow residents to produce their own television shows and watch live candidate forums - without having to drive to the debates. Scheduled to open next year, the proposed $1.5 million Community Media Center of Carroll County on Washington Road in Westminster would offer everything needed for residents, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations and county and municipal governments to produce their own programming - including training and equipment.
NEWS
By Laura Barnhardt and Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF | January 21, 2002
To reduce distractions in Anne Arundel County's 911 center, police Chief P. Thomas Shanahan has ordered officers to limit the types of radio and telephone calls they make to emergency dispatchers. The chief's directive, issued last week, also reduces the number of radio channels that 911 operators are required to monitor. The orders were handed down as part of a review of the communications center that began in August when a 911 call about a fatal carjacking was botched. Although Shanahan said the call was mishandled because of "human error," the chief ordered a review of the 911 center's staffing, equipment and operating procedures.
NEWS
October 2, 1998
The Westminster Common Council has approved a $205,680 expenditure for a planned 800-megahertz radio communication system for the Police Department.The money will be used for engineering, design, training, programming and construction of a communications center and a computer-aided dispatch system that is necessary to keep up with the county and state systems, Chief Sam R. Leppo said.The cost of the new system will be spread over five years, with the city making 60 monthly payments of $3,646.
NEWS
By Alisa Samuels and Alisa Samuels,Staff Writer | January 13, 1993
Howard County has a new nonemergency telephone number that county officials hope will free up an overwhelmed 911 line that sometimes has left callers listening to recordings.The change, a return to an earlier policy of using 911 for only true emergencies, follows complaints from people who said they couldn't get through to report emergencies.County residents now should call 313-2200 when reporting abandoned vehicles, stolen bicycles or other nonemergency situations, said Raquel Sanudo, the county's chief administrative officer.
NEWS
By Laura Barnhardt and Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF | January 21, 2002
To reduce distractions in Anne Arundel County's 911 center, police Chief P. Thomas Shanahan has ordered officers to limit the types of radio and telephone calls they make to emergency dispatchers. The chief's directive, issued last week, also reduces the number of radio channels that 911 operators are required to monitor. The orders were handed down as part of a review of the communications center that began in August when a 911 call about a fatal carjacking was botched. Although Shanahan said the call was mishandled because of "human error," the chief ordered a review of the 911 center's staffing, equipment and operating procedures.
NEWS
By Edward Lee and Edward Lee,SUN STAFF | November 3, 1997
Frustrated by what they term poor working conditions, a majority of Howard County's 911 operators are demanding that the county fix several problems that they say could jeopardize the safety of the county's 231,000 residents.The International Union of Police Associations Local 107, which includes 26 of 47 eligible dispatchers in the county, asserts that a computer system ceased functioning for almost eight hours two weeks ago. The union also complains that the ventilation system at the communications center in the basement of the George Howard Building in Ellicott City is so poor many operators become sick.
NEWS
By Shanon D. Murray and Shanon D. Murray,SUN STAFF | November 9, 1995
An Elkridge boy will be honored today for calling Howard County's 911 center to request help for his grandmother as she suffered from chest pains last week.Kevin Eckart, 4, will meet dispatcher Connie Ludvigsen, who answered his telephone call and instructed him.Kevin was consoling his younger sister as he told Ms. Ludvigsen his address and about his grandmother's chest pains. The woman was taken to St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore for a checkup. She will attend her grandson's ceremony.The boy will be honored at the Communications Center in the George Howard county building in Ellicott City.
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