A 9-1-1 Of A Kind - myfoxcarolinas.com

A 9-1-1 Of A Kind

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MONROE – Union County’s Department of Emergency Communications (9-1-1 call center) has implemented a new technology that is the first of its kind – worldwide.

The county has partnered up with NexGen Global Technologies to launch a service that allows those calling 9-1-1 to add a bit more information – video and picture.

Basically, when a caller dials up the emergency services, they go through a standard set of questions that involve name, location, etc. The operator is then prompted to ask if they would be willing to provide video or picture – and it’s quite simple.

If agreed, the operator will instantly send a text message through the computer system to the caller. The caller can simply attach a video or photo from their phone, directly to the computer system at the emergency center – located in downtown Monroe.

From there, the video or image is immediately sent out to the officer(s) on call – in a way to give them a more-clear picture of the scene, situation, etc.

“It’s key for every response we have, especially in an emergency, for the officers to know what they’re getting into,” director Larry Brinker said.

While the system is newly installed, they have already been able to use it on calls such as a light pole hanging into a shopping center – where a caller was concerned it could collapse on something or someone.

The department is hoping that the technology gets use from all angles of emergency – including more serious cases where time is of the essence.

“Something that’s in progress,” operator Susan Furr said. “Maybe a missing child or an Amber Alert where we can get the vehicle description or suspect description where we can send a picture out to the officers responding.”

The technology is here to help assist officers and, most importantly, protect anyone that me be in harm’s way.

So if you’re dialing for an emergency here in Union County, check your surroundings. Instead of providing a description, you may simply be asked to snap a picture.

Technology, eh?

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