techEnhanced 911 Technology began in 1985 when we first had the ability to tell where the caller was calling from. Of course all telephones were attached to a cord back then.

Over the years, we have become a wireless society and over 90% of the calls answered by Knox County 911 are from wireless devices.

Now in 2016 we are beginning a new revolution of technology. In a few weeks we will join most of the 911 call centers in the state as well as the country and switch to digital lines. This is known as Next Generation 911 (NG-911). This will then lead to more information being sent to the 911 operator. Not all at once but things such as text, pictures, video and more will follow in the months and years ahead.

We also just purchased a new Radio System and will begin operating on a new Digital System as it replaces the 30 + year old Analog version. This again will allow more information to be passed to the Public Safety Responder such as Police, Sheriff and Fire.

We just completed installing the Computer System that carries the information from the 911 Operator to the Dispatcher and on to the on-board computer in the car of fire truck.

But that is not all. In the next couple of years, FIRSTNET will be completed and that will provide a Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network. Think of a Verizon or US Cellular System strictly for public safety. This means in a disaster; public safety will not be jeopardized by having to share resources in a time of need.

This also means that our employees will be constantly training to become proficient with all of the new technology.

So if you ever need emergency services, and you call 911 – remember – there is a lot of technology involved in getting you the needed help as quickly as possible by passing the right information quickly.

And the future holds more – and whatever it is – we will be ready.