Cole County Commission approves data system for emergency backup

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Cole County Commission voted Wednesday in support of a "data cradle," a new safety measure that EMS can use in the event of a power outage.

Back in mid-October, Jefferson City had a complete power outage lasting roughly four to five hours.

During the outage, EMS headquarters had serious issues transmitting necessary data, like names, addresses and individual condition to its ambulances.

In order to prevent this data block from happening again, the Cole County Commission voted to purchase a backup system from Verizon. The system will cost $552.49 with roughly a $40 dollar-per-month contract.

Cole County EMS Director Mike Shirts said, The system would work by either using a landline signal or cellular data, depending on which signal is stronger, similarly to how a cell phone will either run on cellular data or wifi depending on which is stronger.

"In the god-forbid event that this happens again we have a fall back, like I say, a backup source to provide that data push. It's something that we won't utilize everyday but like I said in the event that this happens again we have something to fall back on that we haven't had before."