MFPD switching phone service, will save money


By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

The Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors voted to leave AT&T for its office phone services Nov. 3. 

MFPD will use a voiceover IP system instead through Tech Electronics. This means phone services are through the internet, as opposed to “plain old telephone service.”

Chief Financial Officer Brian Bond said a phone service change has been years in the making and will help catch the district up technology-wise. Bond did say it is possible the internet could go down and leave the office phone-less, but that’s a rare occurrence and 911 lines would not be interrupted.

The switch saves a significant amount of money — annual costs will drop from $77,000 to $13,000. The contract is for the next three years.

Secretary Ed Ryan has been looking for a viable way to leave AT&T for years due to some “sloppy” customer service.

“Customer service is something the chief, assistant chiefs, deputies and every individual in the Mehlville Fire District does everyday with people who call for emergency services. I continue to be overwhelmed by how good of a job they do,” Ryan said.