Huntsville Madison expanding 911 system with new building, more jobs

As Madison County grows, so does the need for more emergency dispatchers and operators.

Posted: Dec 31, 2019 6:22 PM
Updated: Dec 31, 2019 7:22 PM

Construction is underway at the new Huntsville Madison 911 Center. It is set to be complete in March and 30,000 square feet in size. 

"There are centers where you call 911 and you get a recording that says your call is very important to us," said Ernie Blair, CEO of the Huntsville-Madison Co. 911 System. 

"Well Huntsville is growing as everybody knows," Blair said. 

As the area grows, so does the amount of crime and emergencies. Right now, Blair said the current center is not big enough to hold the amount of employees it will need. 

"We're elbow to elbow in there, with our 8 agencies that are there," Blair said. 

However, this summer, those telecommunicators will be in the brand new building. It is twice the size of the current center.

"So this will give us a chance to spread out, add more positions," Blair said. "So each agency will have additional positions."

A building with upgraded technology, powerful generators in case of a power outage, and its own LTE network. Blair said these changes are necessary in order to continue serving those who find themselves dialing 911.

"I don't think response times will go down significantly," Blair said. "But if we could maintain what we're doing with the future growth, that'll be pretty good."

Blair adds the system is working on educating the public on how to best communicate with an operator or dispatcher. 

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