Fairfax County is leading the region in its effort to advance emergency call systems to allow multimedia sharing between the public and 911.
The initiative they’re calling next generation 911 will update the the current system to include pictures, videos and text messages. Officials say the upgrade is a multi-step process. Within the last year the county has updated its equipment. And by early 2019 they plan to replace the network that links the call center to the public. Officials say the new system will also help during weather related emergencies.
“Back in 2012 when there was a big Derecho storm, the network did not have enough extra capacity. So we need this to make sure if a big weather storm comes through here we still have a way to communicate,” said Steve McMurrer, 911 System Administrator for Fairfax County.
The new system is also expected to shorten response times.