Emergency and communications officials in Richland County support planned upgrades to the state’s 911 call centers.
U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Department of Transportation announced an award to North Dakota’s 911 system Monday, Sept. 30. Through the 911 Grant Program, $1.47 million will be allocated to call centers. These locations, also known as public safety answering points, will upgrade to Next Generation 911 capabilities.
Jill Breuer, communications and 911 manager for Richland County, said the funding will eventually cut local costs, aid in telecommunication training and improve the county’s geographic information system.
“As a whole, 911 coordinators in the state work together as advocates to help make things better,” Breuer said.
North Dakota has 22 public safety answering points, the state association of counties stated. These locations have been in the process of transitioning to Next Generation 911 over the past five years.
This grant will help fund the next phase of enhancements to upgrade equipment and operations so that citizens, first responders and 911 call-takers can use digital IP-based, broadband-enabled technologies to coordinate emergency response, the association said.
Richland County Emergency Manager Brett Lambrecht is looking forward to the enhanced experience.
It’s important to have enhancement and improvement, making things better and safer for our public and our firefighters. We want people who are better trained and better equipped, Lambrecht said.
Grant funding will absolutely have an impact on modernization, according to state Next Generation 911 Program Manager Jason Horning.
This will enable the state to continue leading the nation on Next Generation 911, Horning said. North Dakota will be one of the first states to have an IP-based network from caller to dispatcher. That achievement is on the heels of North Dakota being the sixth state in the country to implement a statewide text-to-911 program.