First responders get new dispatch system

Shown celebrating the Computer Aided Dispatch System for the City of Haleyville, from left, Travis Pruitt, director of Computer Aided Dispatch operations; Zack Perkins, public safety training officer; Scott Wright, technical marketing manager; Neal Brooks, accounts manager; Haleyville Mayor Ken Sunseri; Police Chief Rodney Lewis; Haleyville Firefighter Jeff Postell and Dan Barcus, project manager for Southern Software of Southern Pines, N.C.

HALEYVILLE    -  A Computer Aided Dispatch System will not only provide the latest updates in technology for Haleyville dispatchers, in sending out first responders more quickly, but also ensure better safety for those first responders.
CADS went online at the dispatch center at Haleyville City Hall on Tuesday, June 11, meaning even faster response times from first responders as well as a precise means of knowing the exact location of an officer or firefighter during emergency situations.
Officials from Southern Software Inc. of Southern Pines, North Carolina, visited the City Hall on  June 11, to bring online a system that will mean a major difference in how both the city’s fire department and police department will respond to calls, stressed Police Chief Rodney Lewis.
In the past, when a call comes to dispatch, the dispatcher takes down notes the caller gives, then dispatches the appropriate first responders.
CADS means that this information will reach the necessary first responders before the official dispatch tone goes out, according to Lewis.
“This is something that should have been implemented years ago,” Chief Lewis pointed out. “The main thing is that it’s going to speed up dispatch, but it also, in today’s time, it’s an officer safety thing...We’re keeping up with them when they are in a situation that could be potentially deadly for that officer.
“We’ve been doing pen and paper,” Lewis noted. “We have a daily log that the dispatch had, and, when a civilian called in to report a call, (the dispatcher) would write it down.
“(The dispatcher) would write the location and what the call was,” Lewis added. The dispatch would then take the information he had written from the caller information and dispatch the necessary authorities, he further explained.
“He would write it down, and he would either call RPS or the ambulance service, or he would radio police or fire, to give them the location,” Lewis said.
CADS will now allow the dispatcher to give minimal information over the radio, while sending computer generated messages to new lap tops that first responders have as part of the new system.
“The officers will be able to see the call, from the lap tops in their car,” Lewis pointed out.
“As (the dispatcher) is typing it into the computer back here, they’re seeing it in the car,” Lewis added. “As (the dispatcher is) getting the call, he’ll type it into the computer. They will see it, but he will still dispatch over the radio.
“There are some calls, we don’t need to put a lot of information over the radio. We don’t need the public to know,” Lewis emphasized.
The CADS will allow the dispatcher to give instantaneously first responders the responding address and necessary information to see on their lap tops, without releasing any extra details over the radio, authorities said.
“This way, he can give them the address and maybe the nature of the call, but then he can give them details through the computers on their lap tops,” Lewis stated.


See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.
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