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New technology assists Moore County First Responders

Posted on Friday, March 29, 2019 at 10:46 am

By David Knox

As the day of the landline disappears in favor of cell phones, it creates unique challenges for first responders.

Since wireless phones are mobile, they are not associated with one fixed location or address. While the location of the cell site closest to the 911 caller may provide a general indication of the caller’s location, that information is not always specific enough for rescue personnel to deliver assistance to the caller quickly.

New technology now helps Moore County dispatchers quickly locate callers from cell phones to get help to them.

But in Lynchburg, new technology can aid in getting help to you quickly when you dial 911.

Metro Moore County E911 is now receiving fast and accurate device location data for 911 calls from iPhones with iOS 12 via the RapidSOS NG911 Clearinghouse.

This capability is integrated into Moore County’s existing 911 call-taking, computer-aided dispatch software, providing invaluable information to dispatchers as they work to quickly send help.

“With this new technology, we can pinpoint a caller’s location more accurately and get units responding faster to your location,” said EMA/911 Director Jason Deal.

What if you don’t have an iPhone?

“Android phones will work with it,” Deal said. “I just don’t think they are as automated like iPhones are, but they do work.”

The equipment that is capable of handling this new technology was purchased by the Moore County Emergency Communications Board. The board purchased all new next-generation equipment, with call-taking, computer-aided dispatch software in fall of 2017 for around $126,000. All funding for the Communications Board comes from the Tennessee State Communications Board. The Tennessee Emergency Communications Boards collects the fees from 911 charges on your cell phone and local landline charges and distributes these funds back to local 911 operations.

For any questions or concerns about Moore County emergency services, contact Deal at 931-759-7323.