Florence County 911 to see major upgrade - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Florence County 911 to see major upgrade

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FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - A change is coming in the way 911 dispatch answers and shares information about your emergency call. This means dispatchers will be able to take your emergency calls the same way you use your mobile device daily.

The way these 911 calls are answered and received will soon change dramatically.

"Next generation 911 basically takes it to the next level. It's very similar to an office IP network," said Tommy Sullivan, Florence County Emergency Management.

That means you will soon be able to text messages, pictures and video to dispatchers at the Florence County 911 call center.

"Basically our analogue phone systems of today are wire full systems," said Sullivan.

The county says the current dispatch center needs to be updated to be able to share and receive information the way people communicate every day.

"We live in a mobile society where people are traveling and moving," said Sullivan.

And keeping up with technology isn't the only reason for the updates.

"The hearing impaired community has traditionally relied on the TDY machines to communicate with piece apps."

"Some people have you know... speech impediments can't hear it's good that they can just look at their phone and text," said Jovonda Smith.

Next Generation 911 will allow them to share detailed information more quickly when calling 911.

the county will spend 650-thousand dollars to make these changes .

"The technology we'll be upgrading will obviously be our hardware equipment and software equipment and the piece app," said Sullivan.

Right now, Emergency Management is looking at different vendors to decide which products will best serve the county better during this upgrade.

CountyLeaders say, next generation 911 will help emergency personnel provide a higher level of service during your emergency.

"The opportunities it will provide in public safety are endless at this point," said Sullivan.

Emergency Management expects the Next Generation 911 System to be in place by summer 2014.

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