Charlottesville-area 911 center gets upgrade

Virginia is making an effort to improve responses for 911 calls.
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 3:42 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Virginia is making an effort to improve responses for 911 calls.

The Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle Emergency Communications Center recently launched its next generation 911 upgrade. It says the system more-accurately directs calls and enables faster processing.

The new system, EZInet, is a state-of-the-art emergency service IP network.

“There’s really two components to it: The first is being able to answer calls within the 911 Center more efficiently and more effectively. But the second half is being able to transfer calls to other 911 centers, if needed, or route calls more appropriately within Virginia,” ECC Executive Director Sonny Saxton said Thursday, September 21.

Saxton says this upgrade allows callers to show video to first responders while they’re en route. It also gives an even higher level of security and enhanced location services.

“In the past, when a 911 call was received in the centers, we would ask the caller where their location was, and occasionally, the caller would be in another county or another city away from Charlottesville, Albemarle County. With the new system, the routing to a 911 center happens on the back end based on your location,” Saxton said.

He adds that this new system will eventually be available state-wide, and that it is all thanks to the Wireless E-911 Fund.

“It was approximately $600,000 committed from local jurisdictions to help us with the upgrade. And the state of Virginia offered approximately $200,000 in grants,” Saxton said.

The rest of Virginia is expected to move over to this new system in the coming months.

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