Wiregrass 911 dispatchers announce new communication system

Wiregrass 911 dispatchers announce new communication system

HOUSTON CO., AL (WSFA) - Wiregrass area 911 districts are combining resources with a new and improved digital delivery system.

The joint generation system was fully launched about two weeks ago, and Emergency Communication Directors announced changes on Tuesday morning in Enterprise.

A total of eight counties and three municipalities are using the new digital system in the Wiregrass, including the Enterprise 911 dispatch center.

Emergency communication directors expect the change to improve accuracy.

According to Enterprise 911 coordinator Lon Jones, they didn't have enough data with the old system and they were limited to calls when it came to jurisdiction.

The new emergency communication system provides better mapping by combining 911 districts in the Wiregrass area.

"The previous system worked, but because we didn't have the mapping and we weren't able to conjoin as much," said Houston County E-911 Coordinator Holly Britain. "If somebody called us, we were just having to go by what they said or landmarks."

Jones expects this system to lay the foundation for future improvements, like enabling texting and sending pictures and videos to 911. Some 911 districts already use text 911.

"We have the best service possible for our folks in the whole state. We have a system that you can be assured; if I'm in my car and I'm out on some county road somewhere and I call, we can find you," Jones said.

Chilton County has a stand alone 911 system, but they're expected to be added to the host system. They're currently in the application phase.

Emergency Communication Directors say yesterday's outage in Houston and Henry counties wasn't a 911 problem. They say, the interruption was caused by switching circuits at central office.

Dothan, Henry and Geneva communication lines went down.

Other 911 dispatch centers with working lines, such as Enterprise took calls for areas out of service. All lines are back up.

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