After years in the works Ontario County now has new 911 equipment the sheriff says will help them keep first responders and residents safer. YNN's Rose Eiklor reports on what changes the county will see in the future.
ONTARIO COUNTY, N.Y. -- "It was a very expensive undertaking but a very important undertaking as well," said 911 Chief Steve DeChick.
And one that took eight years to come to the light.
"I feel very strongly that this raises the level of safety and support of first responders," said Sheriff Philip Povero.
On Tuesday a ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the new 911 Center in Ontario County. They unveiled their new scanner system and what they call a next generation phone system.
"When the dispatchers were asked several years ago what do you want to see in your new 911 Center. They go, hope about we get some windows," said DeChick.
And they got much more than just that. The 911 Center is located on the third floor of the building which used to be nothing but a roof that inmates would play basketball on. The new floor has high ceilings, an isolated training room and a new expanded dispatch area.
"The next generation of 911," said DeChick.
And this new phone system will eventually be able to receive text messages and pictures.
"It'll enhance our ability to understand the nature of an emergency call or information that is being relayed to us and also enhance the information relayed to our first responders," said Povero.
But they say while it is important to have this feature for those who are unable to call 911 in an emergency, they want to remind residents that if you are able to make the call that should always be your first instinct.
"The dispatchers are trained to listen to the demeanor of the caller. They are listening to background noises," said DeChick.
But the chief says there is one change to their new system that residents may not enjoy.
"This new 700 megahertz system is a digital system. It has a much higher frequency rage so unfortunately people who like to listen to what was going on the scanner. Don't quite have the ability now," said DeChick.
But as for 74 Ontario Street, they say the changes are not over. "Long term you will see some different renovations of this building," said DeChick.