Historic Triangle 911 Centers Share Technology Award

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A dispatcher works at a 911 terminal at the York-Poquoson-Williamsburg Emergency Communications Center. (Photo by Gregory Connolly/WYDaily)
A dispatcher works at a 911 terminal at the York-Poquoson-Williamsburg Emergency Communications Center. (Gregory Connolly/WYDaily)

It’s only been nine months since the Historic Triangle’s connected computer-aided dispatch system has been completely up and running, but this new technology linking the area’s 911 centers has already received an award from the state.

The York-Poquoson-Williamsburg Regional 911 Emergency Communications Center and the James City County Emergency Communications Center shared the Governor’s Technology Award for innovative use of technology in local government for its CAD to CAD system Sept. 9.

Terry Hall, chief of emergency communications for the York-Poquoson-Williamsburg Regional 911 Center, said the system allows the two 911 centers to see call data simultaneously and dispatch the unit closest to the emergency.

This unit could be from any of localities that participate in the Historic Triangle’s mutual aid agreement, Hall said.

Previously, when a 911 dispatcher from the regional center entered information for a call, he would need to call the James City County center and tell its dispatcher the same information. Hall said this resulted in a delay of up to 10 minutes for emergency responders to be dispatched.

“It increases response times and helps us save lives,” Hall said.

Hall said the technology has been developed over several years with help from grants and local funding. The newest phase of the CAD to CAD system was completed last November and became fully operational at the beginning of the year, Hall said.

“We don’t sit around and wait for things to be developed. We try to work with the community and get grants and come up with new technology and ways to enhance what we do,” Hall said.

York County received a 2013 Achievement Award from the Virginia Association of Counties for the Virtual Public Safety Answering Port, a technology that links the together the telephone and radio systems of the two centers.