911 Grant

The 911 system is in distress and will finally get a jolt of electricity in the coming months.

Landi White is one of several Gadsden County dispatchers comforting distraught residents who are in crisis, getting critical information to rescuers and ultimately saving lives, but the current e-911 system has been a hindrance rather than a help.

Landi White says, "You have to look in the map book and it's pretty difficult when you're trying to do so many things at one time having to get up and look at the map on the wall, and sometimes you just don't have the time.

And time is of the essence, knowing every second counts. Officials say they've had to deal with hosts of problems, including faulty equipment.

Doug Brown, Communications Chief, says, "It's gotten to the age it's starting to fail on us and we have to baby-sit the system 24 hours a day to ensure it's 100 percent operational."

The 14-year-old system will now be replaced with state of the art computers and a back-up system. Gadsden County emergency officials acquired a grant totaling $385,000 to enhance the 911 system.

911 Coordinator Devane Mason adds, "With the new system we will be bring it on the screen to see exactly where the call comes from.

That critical information is a matter of life and death. The new 911 system will be installed in the next three months. The department will be moved to the ground level of the Sheriff's Office, where the library is housed.