In an effort to cut down on emergency response time, Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue launched its new priority dispatch system on Tuesday morning.

“It’s going to improve not only our capability of gathering information but it’s going to allow us to push resources out faster to the scene,” Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith said.

The new system gives dispatch operators instructions on the questions to ask the callers so they can efficiently determine what resources and assistance are needed.

“Next time you call 911, dispatch operators will be using their new priority one services to ensure that you get the best response to your emergency as quickly as possible,” Smith said.

Operators are now first responders and are able to give people instructions on how to give CPR, control bleeding and exit a house that’s on fire.

Dispatch operator supervisor Jeri Bowers believes this new system will create a peace of mind to residents of Tuscaloosa.

“When someone calls 911, they are already in a state of feeling lost, so they call us for help and we are getting help to them immediately,” Bowers said. “We’re giving them the best help by giving them instructions on what they can do until we arrive and give them a sense of security that the city of Tuscaloosa and the county cares about their welfare.”

Categories: Archives, Local News