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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: 136055

Reported Deaths: 2364
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19833350
Mobile13471292
Montgomery8865184
Tuscaloosa8744118
Madison797878
Shelby604349
Lee594560
Baldwin558850
Marshall396743
Calhoun354844
Etowah354045
Morgan332728
Houston293521
Elmore269148
DeKalb243521
St. Clair234036
Walker233084
Talladega217729
Limestone213520
Cullman191120
Dallas179326
Franklin179029
Autauga178525
Russell17653
Lauderdale174033
Colbert167526
Blount161815
Escambia161424
Chilton159330
Jackson158911
Covington140327
Dale139944
Coffee13656
Pike120510
Chambers117242
Tallapoosa116685
Clarke110416
Marion97129
Butler91439
Barbour8867
Winston74512
Marengo72620
Pickens66814
Randolph66013
Bibb65710
Lowndes65727
Hale64928
Geneva6384
Lawrence62823
Cherokee61413
Bullock60714
Clay5928
Monroe5908
Washington56113
Crenshaw54232
Perry5426
Conecuh53711
Wilcox53211
Henry5085
Macon48318
Fayette4678
Sumter43819
Cleburne3895
Lamar3772
Choctaw35112
Greene30315
Coosa1723
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 193732

Reported Deaths: 2389
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby31034460
Davidson26685307
Hamilton956495
Knox955080
Rutherford940890
Williamson534136
Sumner488398
Wilson353845
Putnam335541
Montgomery312344
Unassigned30476
Out of TN299727
Bradley296717
Madison294364
Sevier264715
Blount254824
Maury242024
Washington233736
Robertson223135
Sullivan222033
Hamblen194326
Tipton183619
Gibson171323
Trousdale16687
Hardeman158326
Wayne15025
Dyer140314
Bedford137017
Dickson127715
Coffee125513
Cumberland121718
Weakley121219
Fayette120619
Anderson120213
Obion120011
Henderson119124
Loudon11906
Carter117928
Greene116644
McMinn115025
Jefferson113414
Warren10787
Lawrence107713
Macon106821
Monroe105818
Hardin105216
Lauderdale99516
Haywood99221
Franklin98910
Lake9252
McNairy91818
Roane9096
Carroll90520
Bledsoe8624
Rhea85013
White8499
Hawkins82318
Cheatham81910
Marshall7805
Overton7666
Cocke75310
Smith73411
Johnson7292
Chester64610
Giles63717
Henry6289
Lincoln6281
Hickman5998
DeKalb57214
Crockett54419
Marion5388
Decatur5317
Fentress5273
Campbell4564
Claiborne4425
Polk40610
Grainger3863
Union3712
Benton3399
Jackson3325
Morgan3213
Grundy3126
Cannon2950
Unicoi2881
Humphreys2633
Sequatchie2421
Clay2345
Houston2283
Meigs2283
Stewart2192
Scott2182
Lewis2071
Moore1801
Van Buren1660
Perry1530
Pickett1232
Hancock1073

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