Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced today the completion of the Dutchess County Wireless 9-1-1 Locator implementation.
The latest phase of this effort provides for the passing of the Wireless (cell phone) 9-1-1 caller’s Latitude and Longitude position (commonly referred to as X-Y coordinates) to the Dutchess 9-1-1 Center. When plotted on a map 9-1-1 Center staff can determine the location of the cell phone caller.
The Exec said,” We have made the availability of a new Computer Assisted Dispatching System (CADS) a top public safety initiative of my administration. We anticipate this capability to be fully on-line this summer.”
The new CADS will include a mapping system that will automatically plot calls made from cell phones. In the interim, County computer technicians have developed a plotting tool for the 9-1-1 Dispatchers to use until the new CADS is fully on-line.
According to County Executive Steinhaus, “We have all read news accounts from across the country of tragedies including deaths where Emergency Services and police agencies could not respond to a caller in distress because the caller could not describe their location or were to injured to communicate with the dispatcher. Implementation of this service and the plotting tool provided by our own information technology department has already paid off, locally.”
Recently the County 9-1-1 Center received a call from a motorist who was involved in an auto accident and did not know their location. Using the X-Y coordinates provided from the caller’s cell phone and plotting them on the map, the Dispatcher was able to determine the caller was on the Taconic State Parkway. “Emergency Services were dispatched to the location and found the injured motorist without any delay,” said Mr. Steinhaus.
All six wireless carriers serving Dutchess County are now sending Wireless 9-1-1 calls to the County’s 9-1-1 Center. These carriers include: Verizon Wireless, Cingular, Dobson (aka US Cellular), Nextel, Sprint and T-Mobile.
County Executive Steinhaus added, “All owners of wireless or cell devices are encouraged to contact their service provider and make sure their wireless device will transmit the X-Y coordinates properly in the event of an emergency requiring a 9-1-1 call.” He also added, “The technology advances are significant, but what is most important, is ensuring the safety of our county residents and this new capability could very well save someone’s life.”
The 9-1-1 Center is County run under the Department of Emergency Response. In 2005, 9-1-1 dispatched service response to over 150,000 incidents with 46,000 of them generated from cell phone calls.