Upgrades coming to Brown County's 911 system - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Upgrades coming to Brown County's 911 system

The new system being installed inside the Mt. Sterling Police Department The new system being installed inside the Mt. Sterling Police Department

In a rural area, it can often be hard for first responders to find you in case of an emergency. But that process is being made easier in Brown County with an upgrade to its 911 system.

The dispatch center in the Mt. Sterling Police Department is being renovated as they install the new system. Something the county has been working towards since 2011. Now they are just weeks away from providing better service to residents.

Mt. Sterling resident Rolland Hall suffered severe pain from kidney stones just a few months ago, making it hard to communicate with first responders.

Now, he hopes the new system will make that process easier.

"Sometimes I'm out with the dog, walking the dog and if something like that would happen out at the lake or some place like that, it would be a big plus for them to be able to find where I was at," Hall said.

Brown County Ambulance Director Brian Gallaher said the state of Illinois is requiring all counties to upgrade to the enhanced 911 system by the end of this year. The new system costs around $150,000, but the county has been planning for this for several years.

"This really got underway in 2011 when a referendum was passed to implement a surcharge on landline telephones," Gallaher said.

Officials said the biggest difference with the new system is a map that will show up to dispatchers that will show the location of where a 911 call comes from.

"We've had numerous calls in the past where there's been a delay getting to people because the caller didn't know their location," Gallaher added. "By this information being displayed in front of the dispatcher that's just going to be huge."

Residents will also be able to send a text to 911 with the new system. With those upgrades, the new system brings peace of mind to residents like Hall.

"I know farmers when their out in the field sometimes their in some of the out of the way places, hunters also," Hall said. "It would be a big positive to be able to get to them quicker."

Gallaher said the installation of the new system should be done in the next couple of days and they should be able to go live under the new system by the end of May.


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