Jasper Co. Emergency Services Budget Increase to Help Improve Communication Software

Jasper Co. Emergency Services Budget Increase to Help Improve Communication Software
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An increase in the Jasper County Emergency Service budget will allow for some much needed upgrades. Ones that will help the community.
They never make it to the scene of an emergency but the dispatchers answering the phones inside the Jasper County 911 Center are the true first responders. These workers dispatch out to 27 different law, fire and EMS agencies.
Kima Burnett has been working as a dispatcher for 20 years.
“I love what I do,” she says.
She’ll field dozens of calls a day.
“Everything from call taking, dispatching public safety agencies, police, fire and ambulance, to calling tow trucks,” she says of her daily responsibilities.
Currently they use the communication software Telex.
“It’s a radio software system that allows the dispatchers and telecommunicators to use the computer to talk on the individual radios and that allows us to talk to our first responders out in the field,” says April Tarrant, Executive Director of Jasper County Emergency Services.
With this software, dispatchers often have to repeat the same information to several different people. But, a $400,000 budget increase will allow for some changes to the way they handle calls.
“It’ll make us more efficient,” says Tarrant.
They’re looking to replace the Telex software and hardware. Once they do so they’ll be able to talk to more than 1 agency at the same time, getting emergency crews to a scene faster.
“Every second counts when we’re dispatching lifesaving apparatus to people in need, whether its police, fire or ambulance, every second counts,” says Burnett.
And while those who call 911 won’t be thinking about the hardware and software that make getting first responders to them in their time of need possible, these upgrades will help save lives.
“I think it will make a positive improvement in outcomes of calls,” says Burnett.
The budget increase will also give dispatchers a well-deserved raise.