E-911 gets new equipment
By Jeff Whitten
Citizens of McNairy County should rest assured that their 911 calls will go through, according to McNairy County E-911 Director Dana Swims.
“We’re receiving calls when we’re supposed to. We’re capable of receiving mass calls,” she said in an interview with the Independent Appeal, following unfounded rumors that the service was missing calls.
She explained they have three stations in dispatch and each one has three lines. If all three lines are occupied, a new call will roll over to one of the four non-emergency lines.
“I have never known, either during the tornadoes or the Cars for Kids accident, us not receiving calls. If anyone, for any reason feels they have a problem reaching 911, give us a call so we can do testing with them,” she said.
Swims said county E-911 was recently tested by the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board and passed.
People who need to call 911 can even do so if they have a cell phone with no available minutes.
As long as someone lives in a house with a phone jack for their landline, they can still make 911 calls, even if they do not have service.
However, the two most common cell phone providers do use different techniques for locating the call.
E-911 is in the process of updating equipment.
Swims said Thursday that they are installing new radio consoles at E-911, which were scheduled to be installed by early this week.
The Sheriff’s Department and E-911 use the same software for incident reports and they are currently in the process of linking them together in one system.
This should be finished in a month, Swims said.
Swims urged county residents to do three things that will help E-911.
One is to notify E-911 anytime they move, so the database will be accurate.
Another is anytime people build a new house or put a new mobile home at a location, they should call E-911 a couple of weeks in advance.
This is so a truck can go out and establish the point with GPS.
“I would urge people to display their addresses on a sign in their yard. It would help first responders so much,” she said.