Jessica Purdy, left, and Joy Fairfax, right, answer 911 calls Thursday morning on the newly upgraded dispatch system for McCormick County. The upgraded technology allows incoming calls to be mapped instantly as the dispatcher responds.
(MADDY JONES | INDEX-JOURNAL)
Jessica Purdy, left, and Joy Fairfax, right, answer 911 calls Thursday morning on the newly upgraded dispatch system for McCormick County. The upgraded technology allows incoming calls to be mapped instantly as the dispatcher responds. (MADDY JONES | INDEX-JOURNAL)
McCORMICK -- A mock-up of a cellphone dial pad flashes on the screen and with the press of a button, a map of McCormick County pops up, showing exactly where the 911 call originated. The entire process takes less than six seconds.
That kind of responsiveness is the hallmark of the new upgrades to McCormick County’s 911 dispatch center. The county’s dispatch center receives about 200 calls per month for emergency medical services, fire, law enforcement and other situations. The upgrades are the first in seven years. Emergency services director Chris Doolittle said the systems had become outdated, beyond just the normal wear-and-tear.


“The fact that our systems were outdated and had reached their end of life (for technical support) was a big reason for the upgrade,” he said. “It’s normally a five-year replacement cycle. The good thing about these upgrades is our support contract was paid for all five years upfront.”
Most of the equipment and support come from GeoConex, a Knoxville, Tenn.-based company. With sales in 14 states, mostly in the Southeast, GeoConex specializes in emergency dispatch equipment. Account manager Ned Patterson said the equipment combines into a system that can swiftly and accurately detect the exact location of the call.

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