GALLATIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – If you have an emergency in Sumner county the ambulance or police car will now be able to respond to you much faster. The long-awaited Sumner County consolidated E-911 center will soon begin operations.
We’ve done stories in the past about the struggles for Sumner County residents calling 911, delays in response time and dropped calls, problems officials say the new Sumner County Emergency Communications Center will curb.
If you call 9-1-1 in Sumner County today, your call goes to the Sheriff’s office, which then transfers your call to the appropriate agency.
“Not always, but there was a clear danger that it could be dropped and then of course any time it bounces from one center to another then that is going to take a longer response time,” Sumner County Mayor Anthony Holt tells News 2.
Every municipality has its own dispatch center, but now there will be one home.
“I don’t know if I can stress how important this is for the citizens of Sumner County,” Holt explained.
The new facility will consolidate emergency agencies, including Hendersonville, Gallatin, Portland, Goodlettsville, Millersville and Westmoreland under one roof.
“We want to stop the transfers. It’s very urgent to get the people their help and so we want to make sure that those phones are answered properly, in a timely manner and then dispatched in a timely manner so it’s just all about timing, because that’s what saves lives,” Rhonda Lea ECC director told News 2.
Officials say the new call center will improve efficiency in how emergency calls are managed.
“This, I think, is really going to move us light years ahead in public safety” said Mayor Holt.
The goal is to speed up the emergency call process by more than 5 seconds. Plus, it’s designed to withstand an EF-5 tornado without interruption to service.
“Time can save someone’s life so we want to make sure that when a person calls in and they are calling 9-1-1 they get the immediate help that they need” said Lea.
In addition to consolidation, the facility has all new state of the art equipment.
The ECC will employ approximately 50 employees and we are told everyone was given the opportunity to come to the new facility.
The center was initially scheduled to open nearly three years ago, but the opening was pushed back due to a dispute with the contractor.
The ECC held an open house Friday afternoon at the location on Airport Road in Gallatin.
They plan to be fully operational by July 17th.