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E-911 keeping up with technology
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The new CAD will allow communications officers to know the location of public safety vehicle in the county. It will also allow for silent dispatch, which keeps burglars from knowing law enforcement officers have been sent to their location. In addition, Effingham County residents will soon be able to text to 911. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

SPRINGFIELD — One of the best is about to get better.
Effingham County E-911 plans to upgrade its computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system with a new one.
“As technology progresses, we have to keep up,” said Jay Spinks, E-911 director.
Effingham County’s current CAD was purchased in 2009 when E-911 moved into the office complex at 181 Recycle Way.
“We’ve simply outgrown it,” Spinks said. “Hopefully, within the next 12 to 16 months, we will have a new computer system, an even more efficient computer system. We look forward to that.”
The new CAD will allow communications officers to know the location of public safety vehicle in the county. It will also allow for silent dispatch, which keeps burglars from knowing law enforcement officers have been sent to their location.
In addition, Effingham County residents will soon be able to text to 911.
“If you have an intruder in your home and you are scared hiding in a closet, you might not be able to dial 911,” Spinks said. “If you have your cell phone with you, you can text to 911 and it will come up (on our computers).”
Spinks said providing the best for its citizens in all public realms is a priority for the Effingham County Board of Commissioners.
“I have worked with other county agencies where we weren’t so lucky,” he said. “The citizens of Effingham County can be very proud of their board of commissioners and the public safety interest that they hold.”
E-911’s mission is to improve the qualify of life for the citizens, businesses and visitors of Effingham County by serving as a communications bridge between those who are in need of public safety assistance and those who provide the service in a timely and accurate manner.
The dispatchers — called communications officers — are at the front line of all sorts of situations.
“We’ve got the law enforcement side of things. We have to keep up with current law, — criminal and civil,” Spinks said. “The you have the EMS side. You have to be proficient in the emergency medical services.
“And then you have fire. You have to be proficient will fire technology and fire strategy. It’s not a matter of just sitting in there, answering a phone and finding out what is going on and where, and sending help.

“Back in the old days, it was, but as time progresses it becomes more complex where you have to ascertain and actually maintain a higher skill set.”

See the May 23 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.