COLUMBIA CITY — Emergency dispatchers are going to be more than just a comforting voice in the time of distress.
Within the next year, an old technology will be put to new use, as people will have the opportunity to send text, photo and video messages to 911 dispatchers.
While the technology may not be fully functional for a year, Whitley County is having all the necessary equipment installed this month.
Whitley County 911 Coordinator Scott Jones said everything will be up and running April 30, and personnel will be trained within the next two weeks.
He warns, though, that just because Whitley County is prepared for the transition, the system isn’t fully operational yet.
“People can’t send messages to 911 until the cell phone companies are ready,” Jones said. “But we’ll be ready for it when that happens.”
Whitley County is part of a multi-county emergency dispatch network, that will be the first in Indiana to install the system. Other counties include: Allen, Wells, Noble, DeKalb, LaGrange, Adams and Steuben.