Renovations complete on $6.5 million Houston County EMA call center

WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The jobs of 911 operators in Houston county just got a whole lot easier with the addition of some new state of the art equipment.

Director of the EMA call center Captain Ricky Harlowe says the old equipment needed to be replaced since it was more than a decade old.

911 operator Landra Walden says when it comes to answering emergency calls, every second counts.

“We’re (supposed) to have the phone answered within three seconds from the ring and we try to have them picked up by the first ring,” she said.

Receiving 700 to 800 phone calls a day minimum, there’s a need for speed they can now meet with $6.5 million worth of new equipment.

“With the new system we have several new features,” said Captain Harlowe.

Features like a new phone system, and the ability to live stream building security footage in the event of any burglary to name a few. Captain Ricky Harlowe says it was long overdue.

“The upgrade software equipment is like any other electronic…it comes to a certain point in time that it’s at the end of life and we need to go to the next platform to stay current with the technology,” Harlowe said.

But what won’t take long is getting first responders to every emergency they’re called on because of the switch.

“We’ve got quicker buttons to get to everything, and everything we can do is going to come down to this pad here which has easier access to answer and to hang up,” said Walden.

Captain Harlowe says another feature they’ll add soon will allow Houston County residents to contact them via text message. That won’t start until beginning of 2018.

The EMA Center is used 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. They have about 10 EMA call operators working at a time to cover the county.

Categories: Houston County, Local News

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