Some major upgrades to public safety are headed to Harrison County. They have started working on the new 911 center. The new location is just one floor up from the current office at the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office. The walls have just been painted and carpet installation will start within the next week.
This is all possible because of the 2014 911 levy passage. The improvements are called Next Generation 911, Currently, there is only one dispatcher per shift. Then the new center is ready, there will be an additional dispatcher for every shift and a third during emergency situations such as floods, ice storms, etc. People will also soon be able to text messages, send picture and videos to 911 dispatchers.
With the increased number of people in the county due to oil and gas jobs, Harrison County has seen an increased number of emergency situations and calls.
“Dispatch can be a quiet place or it can be a chaotic place. What we’re looking to do is better manage those chaotic moments, and we definitely feel these improvements will help us do that,” said 911 Director Eric Wilson.
Dispatchers will also go through training to better help assist those on the end of the emergency call such as in the immediate situation as a choking or bleeding person.
These improvements will also keep Harrison County ahead of new emergency center requirements in pending legislation. They hope to have the new 911 center fully operational by March 2016.