YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Mahoning County is upgrading to a next generation 911 system.
It is a a top of the line system. It's lightning fast, uses fiber optics and a detailed up-to-date database to help emergency dispatchers answer your call for help.
Maggi McGee, who is the 911 Director for Mahoning County, says, "It gives all of the dispatchers a lot of information right up front. It gives them mapping. It shows them locations. It gives them past data. So, it's really a great system coming in."
For example, it can alert police to an address that may have had violent run-ins with the law in the past and the new more detailed map program can give emergency responders a visual to help find you faster.
"We can actually find where you're calling from, so if you're at a ballpark we can actually visualize and see what's going on. Now they have pictometry with it. There are just so many things that are added to 911 that we never had before," McGee says.
The two year, $2-million investment is funded by wireless dollars from the state of Ohio and will help Mahoning County eventually evolve with ever growing and changing technology.
That's expected to include a 911 system capable of not just taking phone calls, but text messages and even video, at some point.
"But right now if we don't change our system up, we don't have the capability of doing that. But we want to be prepared for that. We want to be ready for that," McGee said.
McGee says Mahoning County could be ready to unveil the next generation 911 system in February.