911 Center in line for modernization - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

911 Center in line for modernization

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A couple of important votes in tonight's Albany City Commission meeting could improve emergency response.

Commissioners are scheduled to vote on money for the second phase of the renovation and update of the Albany 9-1-1 center. Emergency responders say those upgrades could save lives. Just think about your cell phone, and how much technology has improved in the last 20 to 30 years. Most of the equipment being used in the 9-1-1 center is between 20 to 30 years old.  And it's time for an upgrade there, especially considering lives are on the line there.

Emergency responders know that every second matters when they get the call for help.

"Albany 9-1-1, what is the nature of your emergency?"

And first responders know the Albany 9-1-1 center is the first step to providing that care...and say the proposed upgrades will help save lives.

Dougherty EMS Director Greg Rowe said "It will be a huge help for the community. The system we are working off of is many years old. It's really outdated."

Most of the 9-1-1 center equipment was decades old when it was moved to its current room in the courthouse in 2002. Officials say now is the time to upgrade the equipment and set it up properly.

Albany Fire Chief James Carswell said "In the last 12 years different things have been added and just stacked or piled into an area. And it's really not the best area for efficiency. It's just where we could put it.

If all three phases of the revamp are approved by Commissioners, $2.85 million will be spent to buy the latest equipment and lay out the center for the best use.

Carswell said " So with the total revamp of the center I think we can bring it up to the 21st century so we can be more efficient for our citizens."

With that better equipment, the 9-1-1- will share information to all law enforcement and emergency responders, making their response more efficient and time saving. Technology has given emergency response a big improvement over 30 years ago.

Rowe said "People that would not have survived years ago are walking out of that hospital a couple of days later."

So emergency responders are hopeful to get the commissioners vote Tuesday night, and start work on the renovation in mid April.

This 9-1-1 center upgrade will take about one year to complete, mainly because they have to keep the center up and running while doing the renovation.

Commissioners are also scheduled to vote on whether to spend nearly one million dollars to built a new fire station to replace the one on Holly Drive which is being damaged by a sinkhole.

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