February 9, 2017

Minutes of the February 9, 2017 Meeting
The Rotary Club of Mobile

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by club president Les Greer at 12:15 PM. Norman Nicolson offered the invocation and Jeff Zoghby welcomed members’ guests and visiting Rotarians. Larry Sindel led the club in song and the Pledge.

Student Guest: Andrew Barfoot, a senior at Satsuma High School, was introduced by Jay Turner and then presented with the Youth Merit Award.

Announcements:
• Board Meeting: The board will meet following the meeting on February 16.
• Please contact Aimee Risser or Peggy regarding Rotary Youth Leadership Camp to be held March 9-12 for high school juniors and seniors.
• The Rotary Golf Tournament is scheduled for April 18.
• The Rotary District Meeting and cruise will be on April 27.
• Les Greer reminded the audience that the club will match with points a member’s cash contribution to qualify as a Paul Harris Fellow. The offer is valid through the month of February. Please check with Robert Greer to see how many points you need.
• A Rotary General Fund Grant in the amount of $8,000 has been awarded to the Dumas-Wesley Center. Kate Carver thanked the club and said that the funds will assist with computer updates to aid after school programs and a nine week summer camp. She also invited members to stop by for a visit and see the work being done at the center.

Program: Charlie McNichol– The Mobile County Communications District

Rich Landolt introduced Charlie McNichol, executive director for the MCCD which handles county wide 911 calls. Mr. McNichol traced the history of the 911 system noting that the first call in the state was made in 1968 but that Mobile did not have the system until 1984 thanks to legislation introduced by Ann Bedsole (now Holmes).

He explained that the MCCD is located near the Mobile County Fairgrounds and operated by a board appointed by the county commissioners. Funding comes entirely from a fee paid on telephone bills, he added.

Mr. McNichol said that in December some 21,606 calls were answered at the center and did say that unfortunately between 10-12% of calls are “dropped.” When this occurs the operator is required to call the caller back to confirm that an emergency does not exist. At this time of year they are often called by locals wanting to know the parade route for that evening’s Mardi Gras event and the operators have that information at hand.

Mobile has an efficient center and the operators are carefully trained with the latest technology for the best response times. McNichol added that Mobile’s was the first center in the state to accept texts from callers. He welcomes site visits and in fact the center is now on local schools’ field trip lists.

After answering a number of questions, Les thanked the speaker and said that in his honor a donation has been made to the Rotary International Foundation.

The meeting adjourned at 1:00 PM.

Tom McGehee