Last Friday I, along with other Exchange Club members, had the opportunity to visit the Adams County 9-1-1 Emergency Call Center and visit with the newly appointed Director, Jessica Douglas. I had the opportunity to look at the behind the scenes operation of the facility. There is a lot more going on than I would have thought.

While there, Director Douglas provided some interesting statistics. Did you know that the 9-1-1 Center was one of the first to also be a county-wide system in Illinois. The facility moved from the Adams County Courthouse to their current location in March of 2007.

Director Douglas also presented some interesting numbers as well..  For instance, the Center took 31,100 plus emergency related calls (85 daily) in 2018. They also took 65,863 non-emergency calls (180 daily). They also answered 2803 alarm calls and were involved in 99,834 total calls that year (274 calls daily). They are an “enhanced” Center meaning that they can in most cases determine the location of the call based on the number calling in.

One interesting comment she made was that they do receive several calls from children who have been given old cell phones to play with, but those "charged" phones can still call 9-1-1 and some kids are doing just that.  Parents might rethink handing down their old phone.

The 9-1-1 Center has 21 employees with 15 being dispatchers who normally work 3 at a time for 24 hours 365 days a year. If you are wondering, the training period to become a dispatcher is approximately 9 months.

The dispatching position is one of the most important jobs out there and a life saving job as well. They get all kinds of calls from shootings to a neighbor's leaves in someone else's yard. It is good to know, when you need them they are just 3 numbers away.

Thanks to Director Douglas for the informative visit and I wish her well in her new position.

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