Staunton is among the first in the state to have the latest 911 technology

STAUNTON, VA. (WVIR) – Staunton’s Emergency Call Center uses the latest technology, Next Gen 911, i3. That means a system that is faster and more efficient. Staunton is one of the first in a statewide initiative just behind three locations in Northern Virginia.

Staunton has traded decades of technology for Next Gen 911. This is a complete overhaul of the way calls are actually delivered to the shipping center, and it could save lives.

“When you’re having a medical emergency, a few seconds can make a huge difference,” said Kurt Plowman, Staunton’s chief technology officer.

With this new technology, every new call that comes in to the dispatchers now knows who the number belongs to and where it is. It saves critical time in an emergency. “If that call hits us, it actually presents all of this information when it hits our front door,” Plowman said.

The GPS-based system also helps dispatchers to know exactly which agency should respond. “We can have Staunton calls routed to Staunton, Augusta County to Augusta County. We could actually have interstate calls routed to the state police, ”Plowman said.

The transition to this new improved 911 system went smoothly after rigorous testing. “We had to make hundreds and hundreds of 911 calls to test every possible path a call could go through,” Plowman said.

The switch, which now takes two weeks, has gone largely unnoticed, according to Plowman, and it should be. “This is one of those projects that you don’t want anyone to know was done until it’s done because if someone noticed, something probably wasn’t going right.”

The project was funded by the state, which came up with a plan to bring all locations to Next Gen 911, i3.

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