About Enhanced 911 Communications (E-911)
The E-911 division consists of a division director, four shift supervisors, and twelve full-time communications officers. Together these employees staff and operate the Public Safety Answering Point for Jackson County. Full-time dispatchers are additionally supported by approximately 20 part-time communications officers to provide access to the universal emergency number, 911. The Jackson County Sheriff's Department also supports this division with additional communications officers located in the same center. Departmental cooperation of this magnitude ensures the timely and efficient dispatching of essential emergency services.
Communications officers with E-911 work rotating 12 hour shifts staffing the E-911 Center 24/7. Personnel receive emergency and non-emergency calls from the public through dedicated emergency 911 lines and standard phone lines that are dedicated for non-emergency use. When an emergency occurs in Jackson County, the public calls 911 from a landline or cell phone and their call is sent directly to the 911 center where the call is answered and the appropriate help is sent to the caller by the communications officers. Communications officers are often the first point of contact the public has with any branch of public safety in Jackson County when they have or witness an emergency.
Staff with E-911 are trained to receive any type of emergency call and they also provide scripted emergency medical information to callers in life threatening situations to assist while the caller waits for the ambulance and first responders to arrive. This medical information provides immediate care for but is not limited to providing CPR, stopping significant bleeding, childbirth, caring for burns, etc. This medical information is provided to the caller only in emergency situations and citizens should not call 911 for medical advice.
Communication Response Process
Communications personnel do not just answer the phone when it rings. Once they receive information from a caller, the operator must determine what assistance to send the caller. Once the operator determines the service required, he or she dispatches the particular service over a two-way radio. Information pertinent to the call is relayed to responders through the radio and the responding service requests additional resources as necessary. It is the responsibility of the communications officer to ensure that all requests are handled in an appropriate time frame and they also check on units while they are on calls to ensure the safety of the crew(s).
Communications officers are required to attend a 48 hour Basic Communications Officer course that provides them with the tools required to handle emergency calls. During this course, personnel are also taught the many regulations that govern the information they deal with daily such as drivers license and vehicle registration inquiries, checking computerized databases for wanted persons, and entering items into the statewide computer system when there is a stolen vehicle or a missing person.