Just in time for the holidays, the new Thomas County 9-1-1 dispatch center is open for business! Thomas County dispatchers made the switchover from their old office adjacent to the Jail and Justice Center to their new location on Crawford Street just before 8 a.m. Wednesday morning.
They say it's just in time for what is usually a very busy season for them. This time of year, 9-1-1 operators always have a lot on their hands, but dispatchers in Thomasville say they're actually looking forward to the work now that they're in their brand new facility on Crawford Street.
"When I first started dispatching, it was with punch cards and pencils, writing everything down. I've gone from that to a healthy medium with SOME technology, and now to this," said Tonda Tucker.
Dispatchers at the new center have state-of-the-art technology at their fingertips! Now they can merge their radios for better communication in the field, dispatch multiple units in a single step, communicate better with the hearing impaired and even talk with silent callers.
"You have an intruder, somebody can call and they don't have to speak to us. They can just hit the phone pad and not worry about the intruder hearing them," said Brandon Waddell.
The new center is the gift of these dispatchers' dreams, just in time for them to help keep Christmas merry for other Rose City residents.
In the former facility, only three dispatchers were on at a time. The new center has room for six dispatchers and four call takers per shift. The finishing touches haven't been put on yet. The 9-1-1 director estimates the final cost will be more than $1.3 million. She says she's very grateful the county backed it financially.