A dispatcher with the Live Oak County, Texas, Sheriff's Office helped a truck driver after lightning struck his 18-wheeler, jamming the cruise control at 70 mph. The dispatcher had deputies and public safety personnel clear traffic and surround the truck while the driver managed to stop the vehicle.
Santa Fe, Texas, dispatcher Amanda Trevillion describes the recent school shooting as "pure chaos" for dispatchers, noting "we had 20 calls on hold at a time" and that the hardest part was having to tell parents and children there was no information yet. Calls came in for hours, and two dispatchers came from nearby cities Dickinson and Hitchcock to help the dispatchers in Santa Fe.
9-1-1 calls after a recent fatal cougar attack on a mountain biker in Seattle demonstrate how dispatchers helped calm the victim's friend and the people who found him. A dispatcher also sent a text message to one caller with a link to help emergency responders locate them.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a law that will require 9-1-1 centers to have dispatchers trained to give CPR instructions over the phone or to transfer callers to a center that can provide the information. "It's been identified as a national issue, there is no mandated training," said Christine Westrich, Milwaukee County emergency management director.
Unless changes are made, Denver expects its emergency response time to slow significantly by 2022 to just 82% of calls answered in 15 seconds, compared with 92% now. The city currently has an extra charge on local phone bills to fund 9-1-1, and a new proposal would increase that charge on cellphones and landlines from $0.70 to $1.20 per month.
AT&T says it expects more public safety organizations to switch to FirstNet from Verizon for broadband service during the second half of the year. "The benefit for them is that not only do they get onto a dedicated core with a fallback on the commercial network, but they also get features like preemption and all of those sorts of things that provide them benefits," AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan said.