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Front Page » February 20, 2007 » Local News » Enhanced 911 makes emergency response even better
Published 3,652 days ago

Enhanced 911 makes emergency response even better

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The Emery County dispatch center will begin using the enhanced 911 system soon. Shaun Bell works to train new dispatcher Jennifer Jensen.

The 911 system in Emery County is getting better. With the introduction of the enhanced 911 the phone system will become computerized. The Emery County Sheriff's Office dispatch employees recently underwent extensive training on the new system with Qwest personnel Val Read and Paul Stromberg. The new system is CTI, computer telephone integration.

The new system is completely computer operated. As a phone call comes in it is recorded and saved in the computers data base. The dispatcher will have the capacity to play the call back to the responding deputy so they know exactly the nature of the call before they arrive on the scene. This capability will enable the deputies to be more effective in their response.

Each 911 call that comes into the dispatch must be checked out, even if it is children playing on the phone. The 911 system gets a number of these nonemergency 911 calls. The deputy has to locate each residence where a 911 call has taken place and ensure that everything is OK at that residence. The new system can automatically call back on a 911 call and the dispatch can receive voice verification that everything is alright at that residence, but a deputy will also visit the home. Three way calling is also possible with the new system.

All of the responding organizations can be arranged on a speed dial system and the dispatcher can select which responding parties need to be alerted and they will automatically be dialed. The address of a 911 call will also come up on the computer screen and the dispatcher will be able to automatically give the address to the ambulance and responding deputies. The address will also be shown on a GPS map which will give exact directions to the home where the emergency is located and the course will be plotted for the ambulance driver.

Emery County recently finished readdressing for the entire county so this capability could be added to the 911 system.

Each call will also have a history tab where information can be added about that caller. Information might include health history or drug or criminal problems at the residence; domestic violence calls and other pertinent information that might be useful in a future emergency call from that residence.

Qwest trainers work with dispatchers Devin Seely and Maureen Copatch.

The new system is also setup to receive and understand calls from deaf users.

The addressing data base will be kept by Intrado. They are located in Colorado and they are a nationwide addressing data base company. Any corrections to addresses will be supplied by Emery Telcom to Intrado. Any mapping changes will be completed by Sgt. Bliss Mead who is the dispatch supervisor for the sheriff's office. With the new 911 system the Intrado data base must be used.

With the new system the location of 911 calls coming into dispatch can be located on the map. The location of the caller can be pinpointed so assistance can be sent directly to that location. Also the Emery County dispatch center receives calls from stranded motorists and other emergency calls from out of the area. These emergency calls will now be transferred immediately to the closest dispatch center to that caller without losing the connection. The dispatch will not have to give numbers to the caller or call the closest dispatch center to that caller. The calls can be transferred automatically which lessens the chances for dropped calls and lost contact with the people in an emergency.

The cell phone companies are working to be able to forward their call information to the address data base where that information can be retrieved by the 911 system for the mapping purposes. The phones will give GPS coordinates which can be plotted on the map to locate the caller. This process is called Phase II and Verizon, Nextel and Alltel as well as Sprint are working towards this capability. The FCC is also giving grants to help the cell phone companies come into compliance.

There will be two of the new work centers in the dispatch and one in the Emergency Operations Center at the sheriff's office. The new system will have a 30 minute recall where the 911 calls can be replayed immediately. All 911 calls are recorded and stored in a permanent record on the hard drive.

Sgt. Mead said, "We are still working the bugs out of the system, but when everything is up and running it will be a real asset to the county. We have two dispatchers on day shift on Monday through Friday and one on dispatch on night shift. Our dispatchers work three 12 hour shifts and then are off for three days. All of our jailers have previous dispatch experience and can move into dispatch to help at any time. Our current dispatchers are, Maureen Copatch, Devin Seely, Jennifer Jensen-training, John Burdick, AJ O'Neil and myself."

Sheriff Guymon said, "We are really pleased to be able to offer the residents of Emery County this new 911 system. It will further our attempt to respond quickly to an emergency situation. The mapping will be a real asset in locating people in need. The money for the new system has come from a series of grants we were able to apply for and secure. It is our goal to continue to supply our county residents with the updated and modern technology to keep them safe and to serve their needs."

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