Emergency dispatchers get new home in Hancock County

Emergency dispatchers get new home in Hancock County

KILN, MS (WLOX) - Hancock County is celebrating yet another post-Katrina milestone.

After being housed in a double-wide trailer for more than ten years, the county's central dispatch system for all first responders now has a permanent place to call home.

Dispatchers are set up in the Emergency Operation Center on Highway 603 in the Kiln.

It's the place where life or death decisions are made.

"I need you to calm down and I need an address," said one dispatcher as she spoke on the phone to a woman in distress.

Getting help to a person quickly makes all of the difference.

"Her boyfriend just went next door to get someone to kill her," explained the dispatcher as she asked another dispatcher to help her find the location of the distressed woman's home.

When the dispatchers moved out of the old double-wide trailer, their new digs in the EOC building came with updated state of the art equipment.

"For the safety of the public, the safety of the officers and the firemen we have out there it's very critical because if we don't respond like we should respond or get help as fast as we can, somebody could die or suffer for longer than they need to," explained Tracy Borja, the director of the Central Dispatch Center.

The new equipment is designed to speed up response times.

Borja said, "The latest, the greatest."

License tag information, personal information, and the cars a person drives can be pulled up almost as fast as the speed of light.

"Its faster and it's got more information in it. We can dig it up from anywhere in this new system. It's going to give you information vital to if your officer is going to a scene or a fireman what they're dealing with, because it's got history on the calls at certain addresses," said Borja.

It's now a place where everything is recorded.

"It's not just telephone recording anymore, it's radio traffic, all phones in coming out, going, everything," explained Borja.

For the workers, it's high tech equipment in a more comfortable environment.

"There are some things we can do now that we couldn't do before. A lot easier and faster," said veteran dispatcher Shaena Ladner.

That she says can save lives.

FEMA,the County, and insurance proceeds funded most of the new modernized equipment.

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