Broken HVAC unit at Carbon County 911 could disrupt dispatching – Times News Online

Published November 06. 2021 07:17AM

A heating and cooling system at the Carbon County 911 communications center is down, a problem that could disrupt the dispatching system if temperatures rise in the building above a certain threshold.

Commissioners’ Chairman Wayne Nothstein said on Thursday that one HVAC system in the communications center is down completely and is an essential part of the operations. Several pieces of equipment need to be in climate controlled environments, because they put off a lot of heat. Allowing the equipment to not have the humidity and climate control that is needed for a long period of time could cause the equipment to fail.

Gary Williams, 911 director, said Friday morning that the unit is the one that services the dispatching area and the computers in that area, but a separate HVAC unit is still operational in the server rooms that keep other critical equipment in a climate controlled environment.

One thing both Williams and Nothstein said was that this issue happened at a good time of year when temperatures outside are already cooler.

“If it was in the summer months, we would be in really big trouble,” Williams said.

The center is currently using fans to circulate air in the dispatching area when needed.

“We’re keeping it comfortable for now,” he said, but noted that next week may be a slight challenge since the forecast calls for a slight warmup before another cool down.

Nothstein said that the board will most likely do an emergency declaration to get the unit repaired or replaced once they get the final details from the company who would do the repairs. The board had tabled a motion during the meeting to hire A&W Plumbing of Nesquehoning to replace the HVAC at the communications center at a cost of $60,000, pending clarification of prevailing wage requirements.

“It’s imperative that we have the repairs made or replacements as soon as possible,” Nothstein said, but added that the county needed to wait on the contract because they are waiting for a qualified letter stating the problem so the emergency declaration can be made.

Nothstein said this is a “life and safety issue” for the 911 personnel, as well as all residents of Carbon County.

The HVAC unit in question is 16 years old and the county is hoping the company can still get the parts to fix the unit.