County 911 dispatcher assists in baby delivery

Wed, 08/17/2022 - 8:45am

It’s a girl, and a Lincoln County 911 emergency dispatcher helped deliver her. On June 13, Anita Sprague received a call from a woman in labor. Sprague comforted the woman who made the call from her driveway alongside a new friend she met the day before. For her efforts, Sprague received a special pin Aug. 16 during the county commissioners’ meeting. 

Communications Director Tara Doe read a Maine Emergency Medical Services letter and presented Sprague with a Stork pin. “Your directions in assisting with the delivery of a new baby to her mother had a successful outcome. In recognition of your service in a chaotic situation we present you with this pin,” Doe read.

Communications Center supervisor Rob Bickford is getting a promotion. Commissioners unanimously approved his move to deputy director. A new dispatcher was also hired. Commissioners approved Lana Ferry of Gardiner. The department still has one dispatcher’s and supervisor’s jobs vacant. 

In other action, the sheriff’s department’s search for a K-9 vehicle was successful. Chief Deputy Rand Maker reported the department did a nationwide search before locating a 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe at Quirk’s in Bangor. “We searched from Aroostook County to the Midwest. It wasn’t the typical search, but we found one large enough for our K-9 team,” he said.

Commissioners approved buying the vehicle for $44,987.96. “The price is a little more than we expected, but it’s in the ballpark,” Maker said. “But the resale value should be high when it’s time to sell it.”

Commissioners authorized a contract renewal with Kieve/Wavus to host the sheriff’s department’s October alternate sentencing program. Maker reported the $2,000 fee is well below what the camp typically charges. “That covers the cost of food for those participating. Usually, the program would cost $17,000, but they are getting some work done so it’s still worth it to them,” he said. 

The department is receiving $1,050 into its drug forfeiture account. Commissioners approved accepting funds forfeited due to a Jefferson drug investigation, according to Maker. 

Commissioners approved a contract renewal with NetMotion Software. The department received a $12,000 State Criminal Alien Assistance Program federal grant this year. The grant pays for taking care of aliens in local jails. Commissioners approved using $2,708.64 in paying recent nonresident inmates’ care.

The sheriff’s department is outfitting three new cruisers with new vehicle repeaters. Commissioners authorized a total of $6,407.70 for mounting each repeater in three sergeants’ new cruisers. The repeaters boost radio communication in locations with poor reception. 

Commissioners authorized the sheriff’s department to seek bids on its 2014 Ford Taurus. Sheriff Todd Brackett reported previous online bidding had worked well in the past. “The vehicle was used by our CID (criminal investigation division) but we haven’t used it due to a safety issue. There is a problem with the steering wheel, and we didn’t want to fix it,” Brackett said.

County Administrator Carrie Kipfer reported the communications center’s floor is getting a new look. The floor is being ripped up as part of the center’s renovation project.  The new console has a different configuration leaving “swiss cheese holes” in the floor, creating a safety hazard, she said. The floor is covered by predominantly blue tiles, but due to a shortage a different colored tile will be used. 

Kipfer explained the new floor will have black and blue tiles. “I’m concerned about safety, and we need to install 104 square feet of tiles,” she said.

For years, Jefferson Tower Road has been inaccessible, but Doe reported that has changed. County officials contacted the road’s owner U.S. Cellular in April, and by August, repairs were finished. “They put down over 200 yards of gravel. They ditched and packed it. They created drainage on both sides and cleaned up brush and debris leading into the road,” Doe said.

In appreciation, commissioners sent U.S. Cellular a “thank you” note for their efforts. 

Kipfer also reported two service agreements with Cummins of Scarborough for generator maintenance. One is for the courthouse. The county will pay $2,858.07 for a three-year service agreement. The second is a sheriff’s department’s generator agreement. It is also a three-year contract and requires $3,325.26 in total payment. 

The county is changing its phone system. Last month, Business Communications of Maine provided new desk phones and equipment accessories. This month, commissioners approved a monthly contract with the firm. The contract requires a $984 monthly payment covering four courthouse phone systems.

Commissioners meet next at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6 in the county courthouse.