Fixing 911?

December 10, 2014

County to vote on 911 improvements Thursday

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

The Moultrie County Board will decide Thursday whether to sign off on 911 upgrades totaling more than $45,000.
Given the current state of 911 here in Moultrie County, the board and its public health committee have long struggled with how to address the issues with both the lack of automatic location information as well as the extra time it takes in paging out emergency responders.

Photo by Keith Stewart A.J. Roley, a 911 dispatcher at the Coles County Emergency Communications Center, handles an emergency call last Thursday night.

Photo by Keith Stewart
A.J. Roley, a 911 dispatcher at the Coles County Emergency Communications Center, handles an emergency call last Thursday night.

Right now, if you dial 911 from your cell phone in the county, here is what happens:
Your call gets sent to CECOM, the 911 center in Coles County, where a dispatcher will ask for and record your emergency information, including your address. From there, your call becomes a three-way conversation as the dispatcher then calls either the Moultrie County sheriff or the Sullivan Fire Department depending on the nature of the call. CECOM verbally relays the emergency information to the county and then typically disconnects unless further needed. Either Sullivan fire or the county sheriff’s department takes over, and sometimes, requests either more or the same information that the caller gave CECOM before then paging out the appropriate responders, whether that be Lovington Ambulance, Bethany Fire, or Sullivan Police, to name a few.
That whole process can take several minutes–minutes that can make a difference in life-threatening situations and minutes that the county is trying to eliminate by making improvements to its 911 service.     Login or Subscribe to read the rest of this story.

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