911 Call Centers Begin Adopting IP Phone Systems

While 911 call centers have been struggling to stay on top of new communications technologies for some time now, it seems they are getting closer to bridging the gap—thanks to communities working together in order to make sure first responders have what they need.

The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office and the Greenup County Enhanced 911 Center are both in the process of updating their current 911 systems to ones that will allow residents in the area to make requests for help using text messages and photos in addition to traditional phone calls. These new kinds of calls for help will be sent through a 911 dispatcher at the 911 call center, meaning that people will no longer have to wait for someone to answer the phone, or wait on the line in order to tell people where they are or what they need.

For call centers handling time-sensitive and urgent situations, this upgrade in communication capability could make a huge difference.

The police in Greenup County, Ky., are also looking at upgrading their 911 call center tech. That county is going to be relying on an IP phone network. The county is looking to replace its analog phone system with an internet-based one that will also allow it to receive and send text messages. The system is expected to be in place by the end of June of next year. The IP-based phone system will reportedly be priced depending on how many operators are working for the call center at any one time.

The cost of the new system seems to be secondary to the ease of use and quick response time that will come from using an IP based phone system over an older analog setup. Finding a way to contact first responders and medical professionals through new technology is getting more popular all the time. Most upgraded 911 dispatchers being able to receive and send texts will be a huge boon to the community.

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