County Gets New 911 System

New technology for emergency services has the potential to save more lives. It can also make life easier for 911 dispatchers.

Suwannee County resident Roger Howard knows what it's like to not get immediate attention during an emergency.

"I've been in a rollover accident with my brother. He and I got in a wreck. It took them about 30 minutes to get there. Somebody called from their cell phone and tried to give them directions and tell them where we were and how to get there."

Dispatchers say citizens shouldn't have to worry about situations like Howard’s with the county's new 911 system.

"I'm not going to be wasting precious seconds or minutes trying to figure out where you are. It will tell me where you are then I can automatically start helping you with whichever situation you're in at the time, whether it be law enforcement, fire, or rescue."

The new system is not fully online yet, but dispatchers say it will be quicker and more efficient.

It has a mapping system that can pinpoint an address with great detail. Plus, the biggest addition dispatchers say, is tracking the location of 911 calls from a cell phone.

"We had a couple last week on the interstate that needed medical attention but they were not sure where they were. It took a process of going from one end of our county to the other end of our county to find the people."

All features are expected to be operational within a few months. The system was funded through a grant from the State of Florida.