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Alabama updating 911 system with newer technology

This massive overall could cost the department anywhere from $50 million to $60 million.

Posted: Jun 7, 2019 6:18 PM
Updated: Jun 7, 2019 6:42 PM

Alabama is updating its 911 system to make you safer wherever you live.

Alabamians will soon be able to text messages and videos to emergency dispatchers. When you make a 911 call right now, your local dispatcher is relying on systems that have been used since the 1960s.

One man, Dennis Wright, lives in Marshall County, near the DeKalb County line. He says when emergency strikes, sometimes there's confusion on who should respond.

"Sometimes we dial 911, they'll dispatch you to DeKalb County, and then they have to transfer you back to the local place close to you, as far as fire departments, police departments, whatever," said Wright. "When you have an emergency, you have an emergency and you don't need to kill extra time."

New upgrades to the 911 system across the state promise to cut that response time down, by upgrading to an IP-based system and helping call centers across the state communicate faster.

Leah Missildine is the director of the Alabama 911 board. She says the upgrades will ensure calls are routed to the most precise center.

"Basically, we're doing a complete technological lift of what 911 can do, and what they can receive," she said.

Dispatchers can work from just about anywhere, in the event there's an emergency at the 911 center. Some of the biggest improvements the public will see over the next 18 months are the ability to send texts, pictures and videos to 911 with operators being able to text back and newer technology like personal health monitors, crash data in cars and home alarm systems that can send data to dispatch centers.

"It's all sorts of data into the 911 system, whereas in the past, it's just been void," Missildine said.

So far, no North Alabama districts have made the switch, but Missildine says there haven't been any issues for the 16 counties that have. She says soon more states will follow suit, with Alabama leading the way.

"In the coming 5 to 10 years, you'll see everybody moving in this direction," she said.

This massive overall could cost the department anywhere from $50 million to $60 million, but Alabamians have already paid the cost. The 911 department is funded with a less than $2 fee when people purchase phones or make phone payments.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6433170
Mobile4753139
Montgomery4430112
Tuscaloosa263253
Madison21199
Marshall192611
Shelby164225
Lee157237
Morgan12695
Baldwin120711
Walker106131
Elmore102920
Dallas9969
Etowah95114
DeKalb9417
Franklin93216
Autauga67614
Russell6750
Chambers67427
Unassigned65328
Butler65129
Tallapoosa62869
Limestone6223
Houston5857
Cullman5716
Lauderdale5686
St. Clair5133
Colbert4956
Calhoun4905
Lowndes48122
Escambia4808
Pike4725
Coffee4244
Jackson4182
Covington41412
Barbour3942
Dale3911
Talladega3897
Bullock37710
Marengo35211
Hale34823
Chilton3232
Clarke3126
Wilcox3038
Blount2961
Winston2965
Sumter29113
Marion27514
Pickens2696
Randolph2589
Monroe2553
Perry2362
Conecuh2308
Bibb2211
Macon2159
Choctaw21212
Greene1959
Henry1533
Washington1418
Crenshaw1273
Lawrence1250
Cherokee1237
Geneva960
Lamar871
Clay852
Fayette821
Coosa651
Cleburne421
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 61006

Reported Deaths: 738
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby13423223
Davidson13162143
Rutherford352539
Hamilton330538
Sumner189756
Williamson170816
Knox15919
Trousdale15085
Out of TN138410
Wilson114817
Putnam10117
Bradley9594
Robertson92413
Sevier9153
Unassigned9102
Montgomery7327
Lake6970
Tipton6967
Bledsoe6291
Bedford6239
Macon5977
Hamblen4724
Maury4543
Hardeman4114
Fayette3685
Madison3522
Blount3403
Loudon3322
Rhea3150
Dyer2913
McMinn27619
Cheatham2693
Washington2610
Dickson2580
Lawrence2326
Cumberland2134
Sullivan2104
Anderson1952
Jefferson1821
Lauderdale1804
Gibson1771
Monroe1556
Greene1512
Smith1502
Coffee1410
Cocke1360
Hardin1257
Warren1230
Obion1192
Haywood1183
Franklin1163
Marshall1152
Wayne1150
Carter1031
Giles1031
Hickman1030
McNairy1011
Marion944
Hawkins862
Lincoln860
DeKalb850
White853
Roane810
Overton721
Henderson710
Weakley701
Campbell691
Claiborne680
Grundy652
Chester630
Unicoi590
Grainger560
Polk550
Carroll521
Crockett523
Henry510
Cannon490
Sequatchie490
Jackson470
Johnson460
Humphreys392
Meigs380
Perry370
Morgan311
Decatur270
Fentress260
Scott260
Stewart260
Union250
Moore210
Clay200
Houston200
Benton151
Hancock110
Lewis110
Van Buren90
Pickett70

 

 

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