Enhanced 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.
In 2019 we joined most of the 911 call centers in the state switch to digital lines. This is known as Next Generation 911 (NG-911). This will 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 have had and continue to have the ability to process calls received through a TTY device, however, we can receive and process calls received through Real Time Text for deaf of hearing impaired enabled devices.
We recently implemented a new Digital Radio system; 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 are in the beginning stages of upgrading our Computer System that carries the information from the 911 Communicator to the Dispatcher and mobile computers for emergency responders. This upgrade will also allow our employees access to better caller location.
This also means that our employees are constantly training to become proficient with the new technology.
In the event of an emergency when someone places a 911 call, there is a great deal of technology at work, however, the best resource of information we have is the caller. The location of the incident is imperative.