The Cherokee County 911 Center recently underwent a much-needed renovation that includes new dispatch consoles along with several other upgrades.
Cherokee County EMA/911 Director Shawn Rogers says that the center was completely renovated to better allow for dispatchers to have the option to either stand up or sit down, reducing fatigue during a twelve-hour shift.
We spoke with 911 Dispatcher Josh Prater about the new upgrades.
Cherokee County’s 911 Center serves as a Central Dispatch for Emergency Services throughout the county. Dispatcher’s field and dispatch calls for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, all 13 Cherokee County Fire Departments, Cherokee County Rescue Squad, Floyd EMS, Piedmont Rescue and municipal police departments including Centre, Cedar Bluff and Leesburg.
Additionally, Dispatcher’s also answer a number of miscellaneous calls throughout the course of the day. Rogers said that the 911 Center answered over 30,000 911 calls last year.
The 911 center currently employees a total of 9 dispatchers and an administrative assistant, two per shift on a twelve-hour rotation. Rogers said that in the future there are plans to add text to 911 services. This would allow someone who’s in a situation but is unable to speak to contact 911 via text message. Rogers said there is a number of situations he can think of where it might be unsafe for someone to call 911 such as, if someone is at home and their house is broken into. The homeowner may be hiding and needs to call 911 but is afraid to talk in fear of the burglar hearing them. Text to 911 would allow the homeowner to text their emergency to 911 and 911 would be able to communicate with the caller through text messages.
In conjunction with National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week the Cherokee County Communications District will be offering the public an opportunity to tour the 911 Center and see exactly what our dedicated dispatchers do on a daily basis.
If you are interested in touring the Cherokee County 911 Center, you can contact the 911 Business Office at 256-927-3911. The tours will are ongoing throughout the week and will end the evening of Friday April 19th.