911 Call Center warms up

The Mercer County Emergency 9-1-1 Communication Center in Princeton, W.V. is the areas public safety answering and dispatch point when requesting police, fire or emergency services. Cities in this jurisdiction include Bluefield, Princeton, Bramwell and Athens totaling more than 60,000 West Virginians. Ensuring citizens can get the immediate help they need during an emergency is the call center’s primary mission. Keeping their building up and running became Southern Air’s mission.

Mercer County’s 9-1-1Call Center had a heating and cooling system serving its two story building with a single thermostat. The employees found they were cooling their building to the point they were uncomfortably cold just to keep their IT server room at its required temperature. If they were cold in the summer, just imagine their building in the winter! This is a customer Southern Air’s Bluefield Service Department has served for years, developing both positive business relationships as well as personal friendships. They were proud to update a building serving such a valuable role in the community.

The solution to improve comfort levels throughout the building required mini-split systems for zoning and Southern Air Service technicians Steve Thornton and Tom Hicks. They installed a 2-ton split air conditioning system with a gas furnace for the first floor office spaces. Upstairs, they put in two ductless ceiling cassettes, and a ductless wall unit connected to a single condenser which serves their kitchen, training rooms, and storage. Our technicians also installed a stand-alone ductless wall unit connected to its own condenser solely to cool the IT room. The computer room now stays chilly year-round while employees may adjust the thermostat in other parts of the building to their liking.

To maintain the building’s professional appearance, we fabricated a metal “line hide” to conceal the refrigerant piping from the condensing units and landscaped the area with timbers and pee gravel. Our Bluefield Service team added additional layers of professionalism by conducting an exit interview with the customer. This resulted with our team returning well after the completion of the job to provide an operation and maintenance manual, complete with copies of warranty registration, equipment literature and additional instructions or information.

“This wasn’t just a customer; these are our friends, folks we see in the grocery stores and high school football games,” says Brandan Nowlin, Southern Air Bluefield Service Manager. “We want to go the extra mile to make them happy for doing business with Southern Air. Our guys owned this opportunity and most definitely made Southern Air shine!”

When operators and dispatchers arrive to work at the Mercer County Emergency 9-1-1 Communication Center this winter, they can remove their knitted caps for a phone headset and focus on providing their community with the emergency services they need when the phone rings.