Person County 1st in NC to try video 911 calls

North Carolina

ROXBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – Seconds can save lives in emergency situations.

Inside a nondescript building in Roxboro, the lives of 40,000 people are just a click away.

“The ability this technology is going to provide is unprecedented,” said Roxboro Police Chief David Hess.

Dispatchers are racing against the clock with every call.

“Seconds can make a difference in a life,” said Person County Communications Manager Brett Wrenn.

Person County dispatchers are the first in the state of North Carolina to use new technology that not only pinpoints a person’s location within a few feet using GPS, but also gives them a live view of the scene using a smartphone.

“Video conferencing enables us to use our own eyes to see what is going on at the emergency scene rather than relying on a callers eyes to describe a very dynamic scene in what is a lot of times the worst day of their life,” said Wrenn.

“To view that in real-time and potentially be able to see where a victim is at or a suspect might be that is armed that is committing mass murder in a community,” Hess added. “It allows resources to get there in an unknown amount of time. The ability that this technology is going to provide is unprecedented.”

It works by sending a link to the 911 caller which allows them to show video in real-time or send discreet instant messages without an alarming ding.

“Video 911 is going to change how public safety functions,” Hess said.

“This is definitely the future of emergency services,” said Chad Labree of Carbyne911. “We’re going to be seeing this not only in every 911 center in the country but in the devices of responders vehicles.”

Currently, video 911 is only available in eight states. Four more states will be unveiling video 911 within the next month.

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