Webster County now has most advanced 911 system in state

WEBSTER COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – When there’s an emergency, time is everything.

That’s why 911 centers are always working and trying to make response time as fast as possible.

The Webster County Emergency 911 Center is doing just that, by rolling out its newest emergency system.

The new emergency system is the most upgraded version in the state.

Its advanced mapping program can pinpoint a caller’s exact location, making for faster response times for emergency crews and law enforcement.

“The program that we’re installing now, has the most updated version of any system in Mississippi, right now. There’s a lot of mapping programs across Mississippi, but here in Webster County, the new updated version we have is the best that you can get in Mississippi,” said Webster County 911 Director, Jimmy McLemore.

Here’s what it looks like.

The GEOCOMM Mapping Program has been up and running in Webster County for 10-12 years.

Recently, it was time to update, and  McLemore said the county decided to go with the mapping company’s newest version.

“Before this one, we would get basic information from your call; your telephone number, close location of where you are. This one, we will get an exact location of where you are, basically, within four or five feet of where your phone is.”

Since the system provides more information from 911 callers, it means better response time in emergencies.

“The 911 call taker takes the call. The information comes into the phone. That information is transmitted into the map. The call then zooms and pans to the location of the call and a little icon pops up. It flashes and they get caller information based on the information that we’re provided from someone, like Toby,” said GEOCOMM Implementation Trainer Jennifer Rupert.

Toby Sanford works for Golden Triangle Planning and Development District.

He does the addressing for Webster County and keeps its map data up to date through Geographical Information Systems data.

GIS and GEOCOMM work hand in hand for faster response times.

“It takes real world locations and puts them into a computerized map, kind of like Google Maps, except it’s your own map, you own all of the data, and if you are looking for a certain address, every address is trackable, findable and I know the space between it and anything else.”

The first step of the two year process includes mapping every structure in the county and there are nearly 7,000 in Webster County.

“You get in a car. You drive to everything that’s out there, do your logging, we take a digital photo of it, so in case you dial 911, a photo of your structure comes up and where that comes in handy is, if there is a lot of houses together, the dispatcher can tell the first responders that it is the blue single-wide trailer and not the green one.”

Dispatchers and administrators have been training and learning the new system for the last two days.

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