Dorchester County, South Carolina – The 911 dispatch system in Dorchester County hasn’t been updated for 15 years, but nearly $1 million investments should improve the dispatch system in the upcoming months, county officials confirmed.
The county officials said that the improvement process is underway and they expect that by September 2022, the Dorchester County residents will experience the benefits of the upgraded system that should result with faster response times.
The improvement of the CAD system will cost nearly $1 million and is funded using federal help.
Taking into consideration the expansive growth in the area, an upgrade of the 911 system is more than needed. David Chinnis, Public Safety Committee Member with Dorchester County Council, said that the system hasn’t been upgraded for 15 years.
“If this CAD allows us to save one life, to put out one house fire before it gets too far gone or to respond to an accident at an intersection that much quicker, then it’s worth every dime,” said David Chinnis.
From the American Rescue Plan, $935,000 will go toward upgrades in Dorchester county’s computer aided dispatch program used by the sheriff’s office, EMS and firefighters.
“We’re collecting this data to be able to send people where they need to be. You’re getting benefits from computer aided dispatch right now, but this is going to improve what we’re able to do and allow us to track that to basically grade ourselves on how quickly were responding,” Chinnis said.
Once the project is completely finished, dispatch operators will be able to directly find and assign the units which are closest to the scene, something that will by far improve the response times.
“When dispatch calls out for a fire if it’s within Summerville, even if the Dorchester County truck is closer, Dorchester County is going to respond to that fire. They may be the first truck on scene even if it’s in the town of Summerville because we are in fact automatic aid,” said Chinnis.
County officials agree that once the upgrade process is done, there will be a lot of benefits for both the local area residents and the first responding crews.
County officials said once this new system is implemented, dispatchers will go through intense training, so they’re comfortable and knowledgeable about how to use it when people have emergencies.