Danville mayor reviews key issues facing Danville

Published 8:40 am Wednesday, August 2, 2017


Danville Rotary

Mike Perros, Mayor of Danville, has served as president of the Red Cross’s Local Chapter, Heart of Danville’s Main Street Program, Danville-Boyle County Chamber of Commerce, Danville School’s Educational Foundation and president of the county’s UK Alumni Association.  On July 28, he provided Rotary members with a “State of the City” speech.

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“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share some information regarding three topics that I think are very important:

911 and emergency medical dispatch (EMD); EDP’s new structure and the strategic development plan; and our fire station and ladder truck.

“EMD and 911 began 20 years ago as a joint venture between the city and the county, as a hand shake. Today, Danville’s 911 center is viewed by many in the state of Kentucky as the model for 911 emergency services. Our personnel are often called upon for presentations and counsel for existing and new 911 centers. In our last fiscal year (2015-2016), the Communications Office of the City of Danville spent $592,716 for 911 services. Of that total, we received $90,000 from the state, Boyle Fiscal Court contributed $137,361, Junction City contributed $6,952 and Perryville contributed $521, leaving the city with a balance of $315,092.

“Danville’s Police Department’s 911 Center is the center for Boyle County. Danville is a part of Boyle County. Our 911 Center handles emergency and non-emergency calls for all who live, work or even pass through the county. Our law enforcement, fire and ambulance services total approximately 350 responders for nine agencies, including Danville Police, Boyle County Sheriff’s department, Junction City Police, Perryville Police, Danville Fire Department, Junction City Fire Department, Perryville Fire Department, Boyle County Fire Department and Boyle County Ambulance Service.

“You should know that our five-year volume average is 18,667,911 calls (only 911 calls). In addition to that, they have dispatched calls for service 23,415 a year. Administrative calls average about 110,000 per year. That’s about 150,000 calls a year. Divide that number by 365 and you can see they handle a lot of calls in a 24 hour period.

“911 can receive anywhere from 30 to 50 calls when a serious accident occurs. And the calls continue until the public sees that responders are on the scene. Unlike most agencies that handle one call at a time, 911 dispatchers must handle as many calls at time as they receive. All calls must be answered, no matter what the nature of the call is. And the confidentiality level for their calls is very high. On our recent visit there, we have witnessed a very impressive level of efficiency and multi-tasking capabilities.

“The 911 center also provides the National Crime Information Center services for thirteen agencies within Boyle County. The database covers stolen property, missing or wanted persons, criminal histories and domestic violence.

“In March of 2016, we received a report from the state of Kentucky giving our center a ‘serious error rate’ of 0.0 percent. That is the reason we make it a secure area with limited access to ensure the accuracy and protect the access to information on the database.

“… Now let’s move on to Emergency Medical Dispatch: What is it? Why is it important? What does it cost?

“Emergency Medical Dispatch is a process utilizing credentialed information delivered by credentialed and trained individuals involving medical cases. When minutes matter, the increased capabilities of the NG911 system enable the caller to provide on-site, hands-on treatment under the direction of the dispatcher until experts arrive. Last year, we had 36 cardiac events that we serviced by EMS; none of them survived. Which system do you want to handle your call regarding a loved one?

“… The cost is about $240,000 per year, because we will need to train and support six personnel and we pay these highly skilled and dedicated people the grand sum of about $40,000 per year.

“I want to switch now to EDP’s new structure and the strategic development plan … The $84,000 study (that produced the strategic plan) has resulted in a spirit of cooperation among the current members that has resulted in changing the makeup of the board to better represent the taxpayers’ interests, and shifting the focus of our marketing efforts away from large-box manufacturing toward small businesses. I believe we will look back and feel that the $84,000 was very well spent. It is a ‘new direction’ and a ‘new day.’ I’m very excited about our future.

“Lastly I want to address the fire station and the ladder truck. In 2004, the city of Danville received a study that told us we needed to replace our fire station. In 2005, the city elected to build a new fire station on the south side along the bypass. About six months ago, firefighters began to discover cracks in the back of the (downtown) building, and the brickwork over the bay doors was sagging. In a subsequent effort to remodel the kitchen, daylight was discovered when a cabinet was removed. The wall was separating from the rest of the building. Review by four structural engineers and a workshop later, we learned it would cost far more to renovate than to build new. Therefore, we have elected to build a new fire station that will serve the community for 50 years (just like the old station has).

“The new facility will have three bays rather than two and in all likelihood will remain downtown. Among the reasons for choosing downtown is our ISO rating (Insurance Service Office). This organization is a for-profit that provides statistical information on risk. The ISO rating has a large impact on the location of most fire departments, because it lowers the cost of insurance for businesses and residents. Basically, it means the fire trucks arrive at the fire more quickly.

“The new ladder truck issue is a lot like the 911 issue. Parts are hard to find and quite expensive, if we can find them at all. It is not a question of should we replace it; It is a question of when. We believe it is better to do it now, rather than kick the can down the street to the next administration.”