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Cabell 911 trains on new software

Apr. 11, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Cabell County 911 has agreed to purchase software from a Connecticut company with hopes it will provide more consistency in the way emergency dispatchers handle calls.

The software, Total Response Computer Aided Call Handling, will provide dispatchers with step-by-step questions to ask for emergencies of all disciplines -- police, fire and medical.

For instance, each time the phone rings the program starts the dispatcher with, "What is your emergency?" It reduces potential typing by presenting the dispatcher with a list of answers. When selected, those answers guide the dispatcher to another list of questions and/or instructions.

"It's just a way of standardizing what we already do, but we're all human so it takes a little of the guesswork out of it, it takes a little of the stress out of it," said Mike Davis, director of Cabell County 911.

Steve Rutherford, support services coordinator for the agency, said the new program also will be a boost for training, ensuring the lessons taught to one shift will be shared with others.

Dispatchers have been training on the new software for a couple of weeks. The system will be fully implemented and online by July 1.

Davis estimated its cost at $85,000, which was paid with federal grant funds. The expenditure will satisfy a state mandate for medical computer-aided call handling, however Davis said it also provides dispatchers with the materials needed to handle police and fire calls.

Follow Curtis Johnson via Twitter @curtisjohnsonHD and on Facebook.

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