OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - When you are in an emergency situation you want first responders to get to you as quickly as possible.
“A fire doubles every minute so if we can get the call out 15, 20, 30 seconds sooner than we can make a difference in protecting you and your property," said Owensboro-Daviess County 911 Director Paul Nave.
On Monday, Owensboro-Daviess County Central Dispatch implemented a new communication system.
“Now they’re able to keep the caller on the phone, dispatch the incident, and it takes care of itself," said Nave.
In the past, a firefighter would answer a call from dispatch, gather important information, then send an alarm to their fire station. But not anymore.
“Now there’s an automated voice that comes on," said Owensboro Fire Department Chief James Howard
Audio example from Owensboro-Daviess County Central Dispatch: “EMS, engine 1, engine 2, engine 2, and engine 3 respond to difficulty breathing 512 west 9th street.”
“While that’s happening the dispatcher who ordinarily in the past would have been on the radio giving that information to you they can actually still be on the call getting more, better, pertinent information that we can still use on the run," said Chief Howard.
Rather than talking to firefighters directly, dispatchers now use a text to speech program.
“It relieves the stress off my staff plus it helps the caller because the caller can be focused on by the call taker while the system is dispatching and we’re getting the call out the door more efficiently," said Nave
This new system has been installed in Owensboro and Daviess County fire departments and trucks.
“In the long run, it’s gonna be fantastic. It’s gonna help us get to the fires faster and help us just in general speed up our responses a little bit," said Chief Howard.
“That’s huge when it comes to someone having a heart attack, having a cold, or your house is on fire," said Nave.
The 911 director says this new technology is part of a big package of infrastructure upgrades that will be coming closer to Early 2021. Nave says dispatch is making these upgrades to better protect the citizens of Owensboro and Daviess County.