JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Jonesboro E-911 center is undergoing some upgrades for the future.
According to Director Jeff Presley, this is a 20-year network wiring replacement for the center.
The upgrades include static-free flooring, new wiring, and five workstations with new equipment.
Last year the center got a new phone system that they needed.
The upgrades not only give the 911 operators newer equipment to better handle calls, but it could also help emergency responders as well.
"So all of our equipment will be fairly new, and we will be set for the next few years," Presley said.
Presley said all these upgrades are getting the center ready for the new statewide program that will be launched soon.
"Some of our upgrades are for the compliance for the Next Generation 911," Presley said.
The Next Generation 911 helps give emergency responders a better idea of what the accident looks like before they even get on scene.
"The state is close to that new product, and then all of our phone systems will be capable of sending a true 911 text message along with streaming video and sending photos. If someone calls 911 they could actually send that photo to the 911 dispatchers that could, in turn, send it out to police and fire units," Presley said.
Most of the upgrades are being paid for by a fee people are already paying.
"It was actually paid for through the ETS or your cell phone turn back money. The 65 cents you already see on your cellphone bill that helps pay for a lot of this," Presley said.
Presley said some of the upgrades are also coming from other places, but there is no extra expense to the taxpayers.
"Then the rest of it is coming from our general budget, and part will be from grants," Presley said.
Right now, the center is having to adapt to the renovations so they can continue with the job.
"We had to shut a couple of consoles down so we had to put temporary ones in place to make sure we are up and running and that we can serve the citizens," Presley said.
The operators will also have to adapt to the new equipment and set up when it is all installed.
"The equipment coming in now is set up differently from the old console series that we have always used, so we had to make so we had to make a little bit more room," Presley said.
However, Presley said once completed the upgrades will benefit everyone from the operator to the responders to the callers.
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