New 911 automated voice system will help dispatchers save lives

SYRACUSE (WSYR-TV) - For the dozens of employees working inside the Onondaga County 911 call center, time is absolutely critical.

“They have a lot going on,” Carl Loerzel, the emergency communications deputy commissioner for Onondaga County, said. “When they're dispatching a call, there's lots of notes going in. They're looking up safety information. They're trying to provide guidance to the units going to the calls.”

But a new voice activation system the county introduced yesterday will make things faster. Now, a computerized voice (similar to Siri on an iPhone), will make actual dispatch calls.

“It's not a huge change, but with technology any change is a change,” Loerzel said. “So it takes some time to get used to. Our hope is that people will understand why it's there.”

The new system will eventually save dispatchers between five and 30 seconds. Loerzel says during most emergency situations, that time can be absolutely critical.

“So now we're saving that time by having the system dispatch it,” Loerzel said. “Every second matters.”

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