SHERMAN, TX - Grayson County dispatch will receive some new high tech equipment that will help in emergencies. We talked with a local official who says once it comes online the new computer aided dispatch system will make it much easier for first responders to communicate when saving time could mean saving lives.
"F.M. 691. That would be out in the county I guess," said one dispatch trainer.
It was all smiles and laughs during Wednesday's light training session for emergency officials, but when a disaster like a wildfire strikes, the time saved through the use of the county's new computer aided dispatch system could be the difference between saving a home or watching it burn.
"It helps us get a feel for what is currently in play in our community," said Sarah Somers, Grayson County Emergency Management Director, "and what we need to get in to take care of business."
Among other things, the system will allow dispatchers to input symbols on a map that represent county resources like fire trucks and deputy patrol cars. The Grayson County E.O.C., as well as emergency responders on the ground, will all have access to the map, making them more alert as to where help is needed and where it's not.
"One of the things that we struggle with is situational awareness and what we're actually working on as a community as opposed to individual incidents," Somers said, "so this will help us a lot."
Once the new system comes online communication between departments will be much more fluid, the community much safer, and it's not going to cost taxpayers a dime.
"Overall it's about a $200,000 investment for Grayson County," Somers said.
Somers wrote the grant that funded the upgrade. She says the flow of information is key when every second counts.
"Information is knowledge. Some people like to think that information is power. For me it's knowledge, and it helps us all do our work better, and the more we can all share that information, the better off and the safer Grayson County is."
The new system will be up and operational in the next few weeks.