911 center system will aid dispatch

Not many of us would be capable of keeping our wits about us if day in and day out we were asked to be a lifeline for those experiencing emergencies. But there is a special breed of hero among us who does that and much more — dispatchers at the 911 dispatch call center at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Those men and women keep calm when someone else’s world is falling apart. And for years, they have guided those callers with the help of a flipbook system filled with questions and answers that might require more flipping and tab-pulling as the dispatcher learns more from the caller. A quick glance at the flipbook is enough to set the average mind spinning. But, again, the folks at the 911 dispatch call center have for years navigated it and saved lives.

“It’s very hard to know exactly where to flip to each card because you’ll have like nine cards here and it’ll say well go to ‘X3’, so then you got to find it,” said Lt. Jeni Erb.

Now their task is a little easier, thanks to a computerized system that provides the medical protocol prompts on a screen, with answers and more questions just a click away. Dispatchers using the system believe it will make for an even smoother transition from crisis call to the arrival of help and transport. Kudos to those who are working to implement the system.

Washington County residents who already knew they were in good hands with the 911 dispatch call center can now be even more confident they will receive the calm, informed help they need.


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