Hardly anyone has known about it. but a new hi-tech communications center is up and running in Bell County. They're one of just a few in the state to keep up to date with technology. It's a new generation of 911 technology could help save your life.
Howard Harris is a 911 Operator for Bell County Communications. He , more than anyone, knows that these calls can be the difference between life and death.
"When I was a very young child I had actually drowned in a swimming pool and I was clinically dead for two to three minutes and CPR saved my life and if it had not been for the quick response of 911, I wouldn't be here talking here today," said Harris.
Now that response time is getting quicker.
"Definitely state of the art technology. This moves is into what's called Next Generation 911," said Dalton Cross, Director of Bell County Communications.
The Comm. Center installed the new system last July, it's been years in the making and is now working without a hitch.
"It's just allowed me to answer a lot more calls and everything and to make the hold time for 911 a lot less if we do get a lot of calls about the same emergency coming in," said Harris.
The old analog system worked more like your old standard phone but new IP voice system is more like a smart phone.
"With a digital phone call we can have all the GIS, geographic information attached to the phone call and in the future when the state's ready a citizen will be able to text us 911 or even send us a picture," said Cross.
Most importantly, when a caller dials 911 with a digital line, the new system can pull up their location instantly. That saves time when a caller might now know where they are.
"Every second counts, especially in emergency situation when somebody stops breathing or there's a vehicle accident," said Harris.
And every second saved, could be saving a life.
The Bell County Communications Center will continue to upgrade their systems. They expect their back up station in Killeen to be up and running next month.