Montgomery County

Montgomery County Council Considers $3M in Emergency Upgrades for Public Safety Building

Building houses 911 system that crashed in July 2016

Montgomery County Council members are expected to approve $3 million in emergency upgrades to the county’s 911 public safety building in Gaithersburg, the News4 I-Team learned.

The repairs will include heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

In summer 2016, a failure of cooling systems in the building caused the county’s 911 system to crash, disrupting dozens of callers seeking emergency help.

The 911 system failed for about two hours on July 10 and 11 after investigators said air conditioning equipment failed in the IT room of the Alternate Emergency Communications Center building. During the outage, crews responded to two emergency calls, which involved fatalities, a 91-year-old woman from Olney and a 40-year-old man from Twinbrook.

According to a memo written earlier this month by County Executive Isiah Leggett, emergency funding is needed to repair the building’s HVAC system because the “building support systems are in need of improvement.” The memo said the project “addresses a safety concern and offers an opportunity to achieve significant future savings.”

The County Council is scheduled to discuss the emergency funding Tuesday.

Emergency officials said as many as 100 people might have tried to call during the July 2016 outage

The county’s 911 operations center is located inside a county homeland security and traffic management facility along Quince Orchard Road in Gaithersburg.

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