E911 dispatch upgrades to digital

911 dispatch centers say the transition to digital is a process, but necessary.

The Carlisle County dispatch center worked to be an E911 call center months ago. Just this week it officially made the change-over to digital, which means they can accept and send analog and digital calls and signals. 

Emergency Management Director Wayne Floyd says driving an ambulance in a rural county has its challenges, but his job just got a lot easier.

"Now they can put us right on the doorstep," says Floyd.

The new call centers can even pinpoint a location when anyone calls 911 on a cell phone. And it's because of all the cell phones, E911 Director Josh Glover says improving the old system was an inevitable change. He says if a natural disaster happens in the state, the E911 phones won't be affected.

"If you have a regular phone system a lot of times your 911 system would be down," says Glover.

Especially because migrating to a next-generation 911 can give exact coordinates when minutes matter.

"With the phone system and the capability we're able to do now, it just gives us a lot of security, a lot of peace of mind," Floyd says.

Glover says the new E911 system actually saves the county money, more than $10,000 per year. Glover says there's a strong possibility they'll add the capability to text 911 at the end of the year. He says the county recently signed with a vendor.

Glover says even when texting is established, they'll prefer calls.

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