Texoma first responders modernizing 9-1-1 technology

SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) Right now, people in Grayson, Fannin and Cooke counties can text 9-1-1 for dispatch in the case of an emergency. By 2023, new technologies will make it even easier.

Beth Eggar, a Public Safety Planner with the Texoma Council of Governments said that the only difference is that right now, you will have to send them your exact location.

"With NextGen911, we will be able to know a more accurate location of where you are," Eggar said.

Before working for TCOG, Eggar was a dispatcher for seven years.

She said because of the growth in the area, it's crucial that systems change from analog technology to digital. Eggar said that younger generations feel more comfortable texting rather than calling 9-1-1.

The new mapping technology will also be especially useful in finding people in rural areas.

"It's going to make response times quicker, and that's our first priority. Just making sure that help gets there as fast as they can," Beth said.

Sergeant Brett Mullen with the Sherman police department said that over the last several years, they've integrated the NexGen911 system.

With this technology, people in need will eventually be able to send pictures and even videos to dispatch, in order to better help first responders.

"It's going to be a benefit to everybody, so it's exciting to see what we have, what's coming and what's on the horizon," Mullen said.

The new equipment is being funded through a cost-share agreement between Sherman, Denison and the Texoma Council of Governments.

There will be no change for anyone calling from a traditional "land-line" phone.