The 9-1-1 Police, Fire and Rescue Communications Center is the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for Garrett County. The call-taker/dispatcher receives 9-1-1 calls from the public for assistance for fire, ambulance, and police emergencies. The call-taker must gather sufficient information from the caller including address, location and type of emergency, verify phone number and name. If appropriate the call-taker will then give Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) information, such as CPR instructions. Once appropriate information has been gathered, the call-taker will dispatch the appropriate responders and maintain communications, with the incoming units. On average, Garrett County logs approximately 25,000 calls per year for assistance.
The computer Aided Dispatching System:The 9-1-1 phone system was replaced and upgraded with a state of the art system , which is compliant with Phase II Wireless requirements and integrates the latest GIS mapping to allow call-takers to track the location of all fixed and cellular 9-1-1 calls, and can even track the movement of a cellular call from a moving vehicle. The system is completely computer based technology.
Addition of a Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) Mapping Enhancement - This system allows for the 9-1-1 call-takers to plot Fire/EMS/ Police resources to the computer mapping system, keeping a status of all units that have been deployed to all emergency calls and gives the call-taker/dispatcher the exact response assignment which can greatly increase the time from receipt of a call to alerting the appropriate units.
The upgraded console system, is PC-based and mouse driven, will allow for additional answering positions, integrate many of the existing stand-alone components and allow for improved interoperability between different radio systems.
Garrett County recently purchased equipment and the associated database for a Reverse 9-1-1 Public Notification System. Reverse 9-1-1 is a communications tool that combines the 9-1-1 database with GIS mapping technology to deliver outbound emergency notification from the 9-1-1 Center. Users can quickly target a precise geographic area and place literally thousands of calls in a short time to residents that might be impacted of a particular incident. Funds for this project were provided through Homeland Security.