‘Everybody will have all the information:’ Chatham County’s new 911 dispatch system goes live

Published: Oct. 13, 2023 at 6:03 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2023 at 6:14 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - An operation five years in the making.

WTOC is hearing from county leaders about a new 911 system that is supposed to improve emergency response in Chatham County.

It went live on Tuesday.

“We’re talking about seconds, we’re talking about minutes that make sure someone’s life is saved.”

Chatham County’s new computer aided dispatch system put majority of agencies in the county on one system. Before everyone had their own system and had to depend on radio calls from dispatchers.

“Everybody will have all the information. It will be accurate. There’s no room for error,” said Michael Kaigler, Chatham County Manager.

And law enforcement is excited about the change because they’ll have more accurate information and it will shorten response times.

“We’re not in a cue of having to wait for the dispatch to finish one call before they can dispatch the next call because as the calls are coming in, they’re automatically coming up on the computer in real time,” said Garden City Chief Gilbert Ballard.

The deputy director at the 911 center says it will also help free up more people to take emergency calls.

“The automation that we’re able to do, the seamless transitions that we’re able to make now with all of our partners we definitely anticipate this is going to help some of our answer times,” said Deputy Director Russ Palmer with the Chatham 911 Center.

He says call takers can also locate people who don’t know where they are during an emergency with a new feature. A neat feature for an area with lots of tourist.

“Every one of these agencies came together and said yes, unification and working together to create a system that’s better for all the citizens is something we can no longer do without,” said Chief Ballard.

Tybee Island does have their own 911 center.

Their agencies are the only ones not apart of the new upgrade.