About Us

Mission Statement

To provide a vital link of emergency services between the citizens and first responders of Bartholomew County. This will be accomplished through professional and courteous public safety practices while keeping the safety of all first responders in mind at all times. We will also provide this service in the most cost effective manner possible, recognizing that the citizens 
of this county are funding this operation.

Deputy Director:  
Julie Pierce  
Mike Gorbett                                      Belinda Quillen                                        Amy Long    
Assistant Supervisors:
Nathan Barr
 Emily Moore  




Todd Noblitt2

Todd Noblitt,
Operations Director

Dispatched Agencies

Law Enforcement

  •     Columbus Police Department
  •     Bartholomew County Sheriff
  •     Hope Police Department
  •     Clifford Town Marshal
  •     Hartsville Town Marshal
  •     Elizabethtown Town Marshal
  •     Indiana Department of Conservation Officers

Fire Departments

  •     Columbus Fire Department
  •     Columbus Township Volunteer Fire Department
  •     German Township Volunteer Fire Department
  •     Hope Volunteer Fire Department
  •     Clifford Volunteer Fire Department
  •     Harrison Township Volunteer Department
  •     Clay Township Volunteer Fire Department
  •     Elizabethtown Volunteer Fire Department
  •     Southwest Volunteer Fire Department
  •     Jonesville Volunteer Fire Department
  •     Hartsville Volunteer Fire Department


  •     Columbus Regional Hospital

The center also answers all calls for Bartholomew County Animal Control. The calls are then forwarded to the animal control officer for action.

The center has an annual budget of approximately 1.7 million dollars.

All personnel are certified in the Basic Telecommunicator Course, Emergency Medical Dispatch Course, First Aid, CPR, Automatic External Defibrillator, the Indiana Data and Communications System (IDACS/NCIC), and complete NIMS/ICS training.



Job Opening

The Bartholomew County 911 Emergency Operations Center has a current opening for a Full-Time Emergency 911 Dispatcher.
Emergency 911 Dispatchers are Public Safety Professionals with the primary assignment of performing work in the protection of life and property through emergency communications.

Emergency 911 Dispatchers are required to:

     • Answer incoming emergency telephone communication lines and acquire pertinent information for dispatching emergency response groups.
     • Dispatch appropriate police, fire, rescue and emergency medical response agencies to emergency situations.
     • Provide medical instructions (as needed) prior to the arrival of medical personnel.
     • Manage radio communications.
     • Operate a Computer Aided Dispatch System (CAD).
     • Maintain the status of all police units, emergency response agencies and command personnel during emergency situations.
     • Maintain appropriate certifications.

Emergency 911 Dispatchers must:
     • Be calm and even-tempered
     • Be decisive
     • Be able to process incomplete information, quickly assess the situation and provide an appropriate response of emergency agencies
     • Be able to work independently and as part of a team
     • Be assertive, professional, self-confident and mature
     • Have exceptional speaking and listening skills
     • Be dependable and reliable

Emergency 911 Dispatcher Beginning Salary (Without Experience): $39,811

     • Vacation Days/Personal Days/Comp. Days/Sick Days/Holidays
     • Premium Shift Pay for 2nd & 3rd Shifts (Additional $1.25/hour)
     • Insurance
     • Job Security

Interested Applicants must:
     • Must submit to a written typing test, basic skills computer test, and a basic listening skills test
     • Pass a criminal history check, background investigation, polygraph examination and drug screen
     • Be available to work 1st, 2nd and 3rd shifts
     • Work every other weekend

To apply, please send resume to Todd Noblitt

911 Information

When to Call

  • B4UTXT 
        Anytime you need help with an emergency
  •     When someone is hurt or needs medical help due to an illness such as stroke or heart attack, or needs emergency medical help of any kind
  •     When you see smoke or a fire of unknown origin
  •     When you see someone else being hurt
  •     When you believe a crime is being committed
  •     Anytime you are injured in an accident
  •     Anytime you need help - such as disabled on the side of the highway


When NOT to call

  •     NEVER call 911 as a joke
  •     NEVER call 911 and hang up
  •     NEVER call 911 to ask for information. Always dial the administrative telephone number located in your local telephone book when you need to ask a question.
  •     NEVER call 911 just to see if it works.

Also note

  •     When you call 911, you will be asked several questions concerning your emergency. Try to answer the questions the best that you can. If you need medical help, first aid or CPR, instructions will be given until help arrives.
  •     When you call 911, don't hang up the telephone until the 911 operator instructs you to. Many times the operator will keep you on the telephone until help arrives.
  •     If you accidentally call 911, stay on the line until the operator answers and then tell the operator that you dialed 911 by mistake.

Anytime you call 911 and hang up, the operator will attempt to call your number as it appears on the 911 screen. If the operator is unable to contact someone or the line is busy, a police officer will be dispatched to your residence to investigate and see if there is a problem. 911 hang-ups take valuable time away from the 911 operator and from the law enforcement agency responding to your residence. They could be needed to help someone else who really needs their help. So never hang up, even if you dialed 911 by mistake.

Remember: Always call 911 when you have an emergency, anytime you need a police officer in an emergency situation, see a fire or smell smoke of an unknown origin, or when emergency medical help is needed.


Emergency Operations Center (911 center) - Administration 812-379-1689

Columbus Police Department - 812-376-2600

  •     Use this number when you have a question concerning records, handgun permits, etc, or when you would like to speak directly to an employee of the department.
  •     Do not call 911 when you need a police officer. If the call is a non-emergency, use the Emergency Operations number listed above

Bartholomew County Sheriff – 812-379-1650

  •     Use this number when you have a question concerning records, handgun permits, etc, or when you would like to speak directly to an employee of the department.
  •     Do not call 911 when you need a police officer. If the call is a non-emergency, use the Emergency Operations number listed above

Bartholomew County Jail – 812-379-1732

Columbus Fire Department – 812-376-2679

  •     Use this number for administrative calls only. Do not call this number to report a fire.

Indiana State Police, Versailles Post – 800-566-6704 • 812-689-5000

Road Conditions – 800-261-7623

Indiana Conservation Offices - 800-847-4367

  •     Use this number for administrative calls only.




Severe Weather

Severe Weather Information

Once the Emergency Operations Center receives notification from the National Weather Service of approaching severe weather, the Center will notify via radio all county fire departments, all police agencies, city fire, various industry, Columbus Regional Hospital, and the Bartholomew Consolidated School System. If a Tornado Warning is issued or there is an actual sighting by a trained weather spotter, the emergency sirens will be activated for Columbus and the communities of Hope and Jonesville.

A test of the emergency siren system will occur at 12:00 (noon) the first Friday of each month for the City of Columbus and the towns of Jonesville and Hope.

Please do not call the Emergency Operations Center to ask why the sirens are activated. This ties up personnel and telephone lines that may be needed to provide citizens with emergency services. Tune to your local radio station for information concerning severe weather

Watches and warnings are issued for many different weather conditions, including severe thunderstorms, snow and ice storms, flash floods, freezing temperatures, frost, high temperatures, and high humidity.

Your local weather forecast service will usually provide current information about specific watches or warnings.



A tornado is a violent storm with whirling winds of up to 300 miles per hour. It appears as a funnel shaped cloud, from gray to black in color, which extends to the ground from the base of a thunderstorm. Tornadoes move at an average speed of 30 MPH and generally move from the southwest to northeast. Their direction of travel can be erratic and may change suddenly. These short-lived storms are the most violent of all atmospheric phenomena and the most destructive over a small area. Tornadoes are most likely to occur during the mid-afternoon and evening hours and during the months of April, May, and June. However, they can occur at any time, often with little or no warning.

The National Weather Service broadcasts severe weather conditions on radio, TV, or NOAA Weather Radio. A tornado WATCH means conditions are right for a tornado to occur. A tornado WARNING indicates a tornado has been sighted in the posted area or is visible on radar. A location of the sighting is normally given along with its projected movement.


Tornado watches:

Stay tuned to a local radio or television station or listen to your NOAA Weather Radio
Secure any loose objects outdoors, or move them inside
Survey local structures for the most suitable shelter
Keep watching the sky to the south and southwest. If you see any funnel-shaped clouds, report them immediately to the nearest law enforcement agency and take cover


Tornado warnings:

A tornado has been spotted near your area or is predicted to come your way. Take shelter immediately. Do not leave shelter until you are sure no further danger exists. Remember, there is no guaranteed safe place during a tornado. However, there are some locations that are better than others.

In a motor vehicle: The least desirable place to be during a tornado is in a motor vehicle. Never try to outrun a tornado in your car. Stop your vehicle and seek shelter elsewhere. Do not get under or next to your vehicle. A ditch or ground depression will help, if a tornado is not nearby.       

At school: Follow the school disaster plan. Stay away from auditoriums, gymnasiums, and other areas with wide, free-span roofs. Go into center hallways and stay away from windows.

Open country: Move away from the tornado's projected path at right angles. Seek shelter in a ditch, ravine, or culvert. Even a low spot in the ground will give you some protection. Stay away from trees and remember to protect your head.

In a residence: The best place to go is the innermost hallway, on the lowest floor. An interior closet is relatively safe; an interior bathroom is even better. Not only does a bathroom have four walls closely tied together, but the plumbing helps hold the structure together. In addition, the bathtub, sink, and toilet help support debris in case the house collapses. One basic rule to follow is to avoid windows. Flying debris causes most of the causualties and the worst kind of flying debris is broken glass. Do not open any windows to equalize pressure when a tornado approaches. If a tornado actually gets close enough for a pressure drop to be experienced, the strong winds have already caused the most significant damage. Opening windows, in fact, may actually increase damage.

In a mobile home: One of the least desirable places to be during a tornado is in a mobile home. If a tornado approaches seek other shelter immediately. Go to a tornado shelter on foot, if possible. Do not drive your car. Do not get under your mobile home; if no other shelter is available, lie down in a ditch or ground depression.



Some thunderstorms can be seen approaching, while others hit without warning. It is important to learn and recognize the danger signs and to plan ahead.

A severe thunderstorm watch is issued by the National Weather Service when the weather conditions are such that a severe thunderstorm (damaging winds 58 miles per hour or more, or hail three-fourths of an inch in diameter or greater) is likely to develop. This is the time to locate a safe place in the home and tell family members to watch the sky and listen to the radio or television for more information.

A severe thunderstorm warning is issued when a severe thunderstorm has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. At this point, the danger is very serious and everyone should go to a safe place, turn on a battery-operated radio or television, and wait for the "all clear" by the authorities.

Learn how to respond to a tornado and flash flood.  Tornadoes are spawned by thunderstorms and flash flooding can occur with thunderstorms. When a "severe thunderstorm warning" is issued, review what actions to take under a "tornado warning" or a "flash flood warning."

Develop an emergency communication plan
In case family members are separated from one another during a thunderstorm (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact". After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.


Before a Storm

Learn the thunderstorm danger signs:

    Dark, towering, or threatening clouds
    Distant lightning and thunder

Have disaster supplies on hand:

    Flashlight with extra batteries
    Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
    First aid kit and manual
    Emergency food and water
    Non-electric can opener
    Essential medicines
    Cash and credit cards
    Sturdy shoes

Check for hazards in the yard

Dead or rotting trees and branches can fall during a severe thunderstorm and cause injury and damage

Make sure that all family members know how to respond after a thunderstorm. Also, teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, fire department, and which radio station to tune for emergency information


During a Storm

If indoors:

    Secure outdoor objects such as lawn furniture that could blow away or cause damage or injury. Take light objects inside
    Shutter windows securely and brace outside doors
    Listen to a battery operated radio or television for the latest storm information
    Do not handle any electrical equipment or telephones because lightning could follow the wire. Television sets are particularly dangerous at this time.
    Avoid bathtubs, water faucets, and sinks because metal pipes can transmit electricity

If outdoors:

    Attempt to get into a building or car
    If no structure is available, get to an open space an squat low to the ground as quickly as possible. If in the woods, find an area protected by low clump of trees--never stand underneath a single large tree in the open. Be aware of the potential for flooding in low-lying areas
    Crouch with hands on knees
    Avoid tall structures such as towers, tall trees, fences, telephone lines, or power lines
    Stay away from natural lightning rods such as golf clubs, tractors, fishing rods, bicycles, or camping equipment
    Stay from rivers, lakes, or other bodies of water
    If you are isolated in a level field or prairie and you feel your hair stand on end (which indicates that lightning is about to strike), bend forward, putting your hands on your knees. A position with feet together and crouching while removing all metal objects is recommended. Do not lie flat on the ground.

If in a car:

    Pull onto the shoulder of the road away from any trees that could fall on the vehicle.
    Stay in the car and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rains subside.
    Avoid flooded roadways.

Estimating the Distance from a Thunderstorm
Because light travels much faster than sound, lightning flashes can be seen long before the resulting thunder is heard. Estimate the number of miles you are from a thunderstorm by counting the number of seconds between a flash of lightning and the next clap of thunder. Divide this number by five.
Important: You are in danger from lightning if you can hear thunder. Knowing how far away a storm is does not mean that you're in danger only when the storm is overhead.
Hail is produced by many strong thunderstorms. Hail can be smaller than a pea or as large as a softball and can be very destructive to plants and crops. In a hailstorm, take cover immediately. Pets and livestock are particularly vulnerable to hail, so bring animals into a shelter.


After a Storm

Check for injuries:
A person who has been struck by lightning does not carry an electrical charge that can shock other people. If the victim is burned, provide first aid and call emergency medical assistance immediately. Look for burns where lightning entered and exited the body. If the strike caused the victim's heart and breathing to stop, give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until medical professionals arrive and take over. Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance--infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities.
Report downed utility wires. Drive only if necessary. Debris and washed-out roads may make driving dangerous.

Contact your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter for more information on thunderstorms and lightning.


Business / Residential Contact

In order to better serve Bartholomew County and Columbus, please fill out the Contact Information form.  You have an opportunity to help the Emergency 911 Center keep updated information in our Computer Aided Dispatch System files should the need arise for police and fire officials to contact you during Emergency Situations.

All information is kept confidential.  Please list the individuals you wished to be contacted during Emergency Situations in the order you wish them to be called.



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