Submitted by Marshall McCrary
Deputy City Manager
On April 2, 2013, the City Commission approved moving ahead with a new telephone system to replace the aging, and frequently out-of-order, system currently serving the City’s administrative offices. The new system will finally put all City Departments, regardless of location, in a single, integrated system that will work. City employees will be able to reach each other, as well as County offices, through simple, four-digit direct-dial extensions; and, residents will no longer have dropped calls or find a Department unreachable.
The City is making good progress, and technicians are currently installing equipment in City buildings. The entire project is expected to be completed by the end of August. During this installation and cut-over, there should be little impact on the current ability of residents and visitors to contact City Departments – and no effect on the ability to call 911 or to have the Fernandina Beach Police or Fire/Rescue respond within normal timelines.
How will all this affect City residents and visitors? First, Police and Fire/Rescue will retain their current phone numbers. You can dial the direct number for Police at (904) 277-7342 or Fire/Rescue at (904) 277-7331, just as you do now. Of course, if you have an emergency, you will dial 911. The current number for the City Manager’s Office, (904) 277-7300, will become the main City number, with all Departments reachable through a voice menu. In addition, each City Department will have its own number, as will all individual City staff members. All of these numbers will lie in the range of (904) 310-3100 to (904) 310-3499.
Once the installation is complete, how will you know what a Department’s or person’s number is?
First, if you call the old number at any time up to one year after the City goes live with the new system, you will hear a recording with the new number.
Second, the City will publish all new Department numbers on the City’s website, in news outlets, on City bulletin boards, and on all City publications.
Third, you will be able to reach individual Departments through the voice response unit at (904) 277-7300. Once you reach the Department, ask for the new number and make a note of it.
“While we know there will be a learning curve associated with these changes,” McCrary wrote, “we also know the City’s employees, residents and visitors will be far better served under the new system.”
August 6, 2013 1:22 p.m.