Lee Co. leaders invests $400K to enhance 911 center

Lee Co. leaders invests $400K to enhance 911 center
Lee Co. Dispatch Supervisor Dawn Harrod (Source: WALB)
Lee Co. Dispatch Supervisor Dawn Harrod (Source: WALB)
Public Safety Interim Director Wesley Wells (Source: WALB)
Public Safety Interim Director Wesley Wells (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - After three violent storms in South Georgia already this year, Lee County is beefing up their 911 system.

Two of the biggest enhancements will improve their ability to track where cell phone calls are coming from, and speed up response times.

When you're in an emergency situation, waiting for deputies or an ambulance, every second could mean the difference between life or death.

"Lee County 9-1-1 what's your emergency?" remarked Dispatch Supervisor Dawn Harrod.

For the past 18 years, Harrod witnessed the many changes in the office.

But none match the upgrades she and her colleagues will soon use to save lives.

"We've had several calls where it took us awhile to locate the individuals," explained Harrod.

Last week, Lee County Board of Commissioners approved $400,000 to enhance the 911 center's telephone system and the computer-aid dispatch system.

These new enhancements at the center could shave off an additional 30 seconds, allowing emergency personnel to get to the scene more quickly.

"Major events such as tornado wipes them off the road and they call in then with these improvements we'll be able to identify exactly where they are," said Public Safety Interim Director Wesley Wells.

"Right now if we get a call and we don't know where it's at and we can't find it in our 911, this is our map," added Harrod.

If not, then Harrod will use a flip chart to look up streets, which can be difficult with folks calling from their cell phones.

"The mapping will show our dispatchers exactly where on the map these callers are calling in from, and from that they will also see the closest unit to send to them," said Wells, and also pinpoint prank calls from juveniles.

"Sometimes one child will call 10 to 15 times a day," remarked Harrod.

Everything in the center will be new including the monitors and headsets.

Wells said residents will not have to pay for these enhancements, it will be funded by the 911 surcharge telephone system.

They plan to start upgrading the system later in the month.

And Wells hopes to have it up and running by July.

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