911 Centers to get upgrade thanks to federal money

911 changes to include texting

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -New changes coming to a 911 center near you --you may soon be able to text your emergency to 911.

At the Jefferson County 911 Emergency Communications District there are those who have been answering phones for a long time.

“22 years!”

And it’s a busy job!

“About 900 911 calls come in per day,” says Chief Operations Officer Lee Gaither.

And now the center is about to get an upgrade, thanks to $2.5 million in federal grant money to be spread across the state. Each center moving to “Next Generation 911” capabilities, including texting to 911, which can come in handy several ways.

“Children calling in, if they think someone’s broken into their home and they’re hiding in the closet,” says Gaither.

It also includes advanced mapping to benefit the first responders.

“Better accurate locations of where the caller is actually calling from,” says Gaither.

Image and video processing will also be a new feature.

“In the future, they’ll be able to text photographs, video, which can be shared with first responders en route to the scene.,” says Gaither.

So these veterans can do their job better and bring you the best service possible.

Copyright 2019 WBRC. All rights reserved.