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911 call center in Limestone County updates technology

The new system is able to track down callers using an IP Network.

Posted: Aug 15, 2019 6:20 PM
Updated: Aug 16, 2019 11:30 AM

Emergency help can get to you faster than ever because of new technology. A Limestone County 911 call center is using better technology in order to track down your calls. The new technology is called Next Generation 911, which uses a GPS system to pinpoint your exact location if you call 911.

Using the internet, Next Generation 911 makes calls more interactive - offering services that include text messaging and video calls.

Brandon Wallace, director at the Athens-Limestone County 911 Center says "it will allow your location to be delivered to us as well as you sending us a picture of whats going on, or a face time with 911 basically. Sending us a video, whether it be a wreck, that we can get descriptions of video or a house fire or any law enforcement type of event. Having the capability to use those types of things is very exciting for us".

Kristi Sowell is a dispatcher at the call center in Athens and told WAAY 31 these tools help the caller and dispatchers.

"If our tools are updated and are better, we can verify that information faster. If somebody hangs up or is unable to give us their location then we'll get that information more accurately", said Sowell.

The new technology can also help in large crowds and events.

"Having the ability to draw a geofence around that event and any call of any emergency delivered inside of that can be delivered to a command post outside" says Wallace.

The call center is also able to prepare for severe weather by looking at a radar and predicting how and where to respond by seeing where most calls from the area are coming.

Wallace tells WAAY 31, "seeing how what calls are being generated from a storm moving across the state could help us be better prepared"

As of now, 75% of Next Generation 911 is already installed in the Athens call center, but in the next couple of months the center said it will be completed.

This new technology is also coming to Madison County within the next year.

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