Alabama updating 911 system with newer technology

This massive overall could cost the department anywhere from $50 million to $60 million.

Posted: Jun 7, 2019 6:18 PM
Updated: Jun 7, 2019 6:42 PM

Alabama is updating its 911 system to make you safer wherever you live.

Alabamians will soon be able to text messages and videos to emergency dispatchers. When you make a 911 call right now, your local dispatcher is relying on systems that have been used since the 1960s.

One man, Dennis Wright, lives in Marshall County, near the DeKalb County line. He says when emergency strikes, sometimes there's confusion on who should respond.

"Sometimes we dial 911, they'll dispatch you to DeKalb County, and then they have to transfer you back to the local place close to you, as far as fire departments, police departments, whatever," said Wright. "When you have an emergency, you have an emergency and you don't need to kill extra time."

New upgrades to the 911 system across the state promise to cut that response time down, by upgrading to an IP-based system and helping call centers across the state communicate faster.

Leah Missildine is the director of the Alabama 911 board. She says the upgrades will ensure calls are routed to the most precise center.

"Basically, we're doing a complete technological lift of what 911 can do, and what they can receive," she said.

Dispatchers can work from just about anywhere, in the event there's an emergency at the 911 center. Some of the biggest improvements the public will see over the next 18 months are the ability to send texts, pictures and videos to 911 with operators being able to text back and newer technology like personal health monitors, crash data in cars and home alarm systems that can send data to dispatch centers.

"It's all sorts of data into the 911 system, whereas in the past, it's just been void," Missildine said.

So far, no North Alabama districts have made the switch, but Missildine says there haven't been any issues for the 16 counties that have. She says soon more states will follow suit, with Alabama leading the way.

"In the coming 5 to 10 years, you'll see everybody moving in this direction," she said.

This massive overall could cost the department anywhere from $50 million to $60 million, but Alabamians have already paid the cost. The 911 department is funded with a less than $2 fee when people purchase phones or make phone payments.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 48588

Reported Deaths: 1042
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5687161
Mobile4315136
Montgomery4275109
Tuscaloosa238248
Marshall181511
Madison16208
Lee146337
Shelby141424
Morgan11575
Baldwin10399
Walker101825
Elmore97519
Dallas9189
Franklin90616
Etowah83413
DeKalb7905
Chambers64727
Autauga64312
Butler63728
Tallapoosa60669
Russell5890
Unassigned53826
Houston5366
Limestone5251
Lauderdale5146
Cullman4905
Lowndes47922
Pike4525
Colbert4426
St. Clair4402
Escambia4358
Calhoun4035
Coffee3923
Covington38110
Bullock36910
Barbour3622
Jackson3432
Talladega3337
Dale3261
Marengo32011
Hale31722
Wilcox2958
Clarke2876
Sumter28512
Winston2773
Chilton2762
Blount2581
Monroe2442
Pickens2446
Marion24114
Randolph2289
Conecuh2187
Macon2029
Choctaw19912
Bibb1981
Greene1888
Perry1791
Henry1403
Crenshaw1253
Washington1217
Lawrence1130
Cherokee1117
Geneva860
Lamar801
Fayette721
Clay692
Coosa601
Cleburne391
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 55986

Reported Deaths: 685
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby12549208
Davidson12234132
Rutherford323437
Hamilton300736
Sumner172755
Williamson151515
Trousdale15035
Knox13929
Out of TN12307
Wilson106017
Putnam9267
Robertson87511
Bradley8744
Sevier8573
Unassigned8302
Lake6960
Tipton6625
Bledsoe6241
Montgomery6207
Bedford5898
Macon5114
Maury4063
Hamblen3974
Hardeman3744
Fayette3443
Madison3392
Loudon3021
Rhea2930
Blount2723
Dyer2703
McMinn25518
Cheatham2432
Dickson2310
Washington1970
Cumberland1934
Lawrence1926
Anderson1662
Lauderdale1643
Sullivan1592
Jefferson1481
Gibson1471
Monroe1416
Smith1362
Coffee1320
Greene1222
Hardin1197
Obion1172
Cocke1160
Haywood1082
Franklin1013
Marshall1011
Warren1000
Hickman950
Wayne900
Marion874
McNairy841
Lincoln780
Giles771
White773
Carter751
Roane710
DeKalb700
Overton671
Weakley671
Hawkins662
Grundy652
Campbell621
Claiborne590
Henderson560
Unicoi560
Carroll491
Chester480
Grainger480
Polk480
Henry470
Crockett443
Johnson440
Sequatchie420
Cannon410
Humphreys352
Perry350
Meigs340
Jackson330
Morgan291
Fentress250
Stewart250
Decatur240
Scott210
Union190
Clay180
Moore170
Houston160
Benton131
Hancock90
Lewis70
Van Buren70
Pickett60

 

 

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