New technology will allow citizens to report emergencies through text message, photos and video to 911 dispatchers. Post & Mail photo / Nicole Ott
COLUMBIA CITY â€” Emergency dispatchers are going to be more than just a comforting voice in the time of distress.
Within the next year, an old technology will be put to new use, as people will have the opportunity to send text, photo and video messages to 911 dispatchers.
While the technology may not be fully functional for a year, Whitley County is having all the necessary equipment installed this month.
Whitley County 911 Coordinator Scott Jones said everything will be up and running April 30, and personnel will be trained within the next two weeks.
He warns, though, that just because Whitley County is prepared for the transition, the system isnâ€™t fully operational yet.
â€śPeople canâ€™t send messages to 911 until the cell phone companies are ready,â€ť Jones said. â€śBut weâ€™ll be ready for it when that happens.â€ť
Whitley County is part of a multi-county emergency dispatch network, that will be the first in Indiana to install the system. Other counties include: Allen, Wells, Noble, DeKalb, LaGrange, Adams and Steuben.