BEND, Ore. - Deschutes County 911 said Friday it now has another tool to better serve residents, adding a first-in-state live direct link between its dispatchers and Oregon State Police and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
The county says the new connection will greatly reduce the amount of time spent calling for service/assistance between the agencies.
This system improvement is the first LIVE connection between any 911 facility in Oregon and the state, according to the county.
Working with Hitech Systems, 911's dispatch software vendor, Deschutes 911 staff are now able to send and receive information or service requests directly without making phone calls.
Previously, when assistance was needed for anything from assisting a police or fire emergency to requests for sand during a storm, 911 had to spend time on the phones to make and receive such requests.
The time spent by dispatchers calling or receiving phone calls from the State affected 911's ability to promptly respond to actual emergencies.
The new interface between State agencies and Deschutes County 911 is funded by grants and took six years to coordinate.
Rick Silbaugh, the county's public safety system manager, said the project has been covered by two grants totaling more than $1.1 million, from the Department of Homeland Security and a transportation grant the county worked with ODOT on. They covered development, installation, equipment and training, he said.
Now, with the first phase of connectivity complete, Deschutes County 911 and the state will begin working with 911 centers throughout Central Oregon to connect them as well.
Once the regional process is complete, ten 911 centers in Central Oregon will be able to exchange information quickly and efficiently with each other and the state. The goal is to ensure the public receives the best care when precious seconds matter the most in an emergency.
Deschutes County 911's primary responsibility is to dispatch emergency calls to assist the residents of Deschutes and surrounding counties.
For more information about the new connectivity at Deschutes 9-1-1, please call (541) 388-0185.