New Technology At SIRCOMM Helps Improve Public Sfaety


By Brandon Redmond

Jerome, Idaho (KMVT-TV) "When I started working for SIRCOMM approximately 16 years ago, we had hard line telephones which was a regular home phone style and we had an antiquated computer system," said John Moore, Director at SIRCOMM.

New technology at SIRCOMM continues to help 9-1-1 dispatchers provide better service to the public.

"Today's technology has allowed us to do everything over the internet through a next generation telephone system as well as a CAD system that actively narrows the search down for people," said John Moore.

With new technology also come new problems for 9-1-1 dispatchers. Cell phones are a great resource for the public, but also create additional problems in the 9-1-1 center. 9-1-1 dispatchers get bombarded with accidental and open line 9-1-1 calls.

"The important thing to remember when you're giving your kids a 9-1-1 phone or just an inactive cell phone is those are designed for safety, that 9-1-1 can still be called. So if your child is playing with it in the crib or particularly very small children, you would be amazed at how statistically they can dial 9-1-1,” said Trevor Churchman, a dispatcher at SIRCOMM.

In addition to more accidental dials and open 9-1-1 line calls, cell phones also create situations where the 9-1-1 center can quickly become overwhelmed with duplicate calls.

"If you're traveling down the interstate and you see a crash and you dial 9–1–1, and if we ask you to hold or if you're calling about a specific location, we're not trying to marginalize you or ignore your call," said Trevor Churchman.

Three to four dispatchers are typically on duty at any given time at SIRCOMM. A serious accident can cause those three or four dispatchers to answer forty to fifty 9-1-1 calls within minutes.

"Just remember that chances are everyone else traveling the interstate with you is also making that call and our priority is getting those people help," said Trevor Churchman.

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