MARSHALL COUNTY — Fiscal Court commissioners here unanimously approved a bid Monday from AK Associates for approximately $250,000 for a new emergency phone system after the current system failed on Christmas day.

The county’s 911 service was down for roughly 9 ½ hours last month, Commissioner Justin Lamb said.

Judge-Executive Kevin Neal said the incident was “unacceptable.”

At a previous meeting, 911 Director Chris Freeman said the Christmas morning bombing at an AT&T facility in Nashville knocked out the servers. The new system under AK Associates will add a layer of redundancy and geo-diversity, meaning that in addition to a second separate server, it would be stored in a separate building. Should one server go down, the other server will take over and keep the system running.

Should the current system fail, it could take approximately 25 minutes to get the phone lines rerouted, Freeman said. With AK Associates, it would happen instantly, he added.

“After Christmas, of course, I like the idea of geo-diversity. We could get by with the redundant, but for the cost, if something happened to that cabinet, it’s split out and we would not have to worry about losing that second server,” Freeman said.

The court also approved a bid for four chest compression devices, totaling $63,702.56. Kathy Teague, a Marshall County resident, was present to stress the need for such devices to the court. Her grandchild, 13-year-old Annabeth Teague, went into cardiac arrest in October 2019, and she was down too long before emergency personnel could get her to the hospital.

“If you’ve ever done CPR on anybody, you know that it wears you out fast and quick. And to have a device that could actually deliver the compressions, and free up the people to do other things, might save somebody’s life,” Kathy said. “Could it have saved Annie’s life, we don’t know--we don’t know God’s plans, but it would be a blessing to have something like that in a rural community. It might save the next child.”

EMS Director Bryan Kurtsinger said the devices had excellent capabilities, including chest compressions, ventilation alerts, and even WiFi capabilities to transfer the “post-event data.”

An agreement was also approved wherein the court is leasing 706 square feet of space at the Marshall County Judicial Building to Marshall County Probation and Parole of Kentucky.

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