Ohio's Cuyahoga County will spend $1.5 million to consolidate its 45 emergency dispatch centers over a decade, and county Executive Ed FitzGerald said it would result in the formation of four regional 9-1-1 systems within Cuyahoga County. The regional centers, which will be supported by communities using the system, will have updated equipment and will dispatch calls based on geographic area.
The FirstNet Board approved hiring a general manager but will not release the identity of the person chosen until background checks are conducted. The board also approved budget requests for fiscal years 2013 and 2014, and $1 million in additional support for FirstNet's outreach and advocacy efforts.
The ManDown application for smartphones was developed by four New York City Fire Department firefighters as a personnel tracker that will send an emergency alert to everyone on a user's preprogrammed list of contacts. Firefighters can activate the app before starting work; it issues an alert, advising contacts of the user's name and location if the firefighter is lost or down during a fire.
The Dallas 9-1-1 Call Center has made significant improvements, including adding 45 dispatchers, increasing salaries, improving technology and implementing quality controls, city officials said. Call answering times have dropped to an average of 2 seconds, but officials said more work needs to be done to update equipment to be able to handle the increase in 9-1-1 calls made from cellphones.