New technology helping Alabama 911 centers

LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. - The Alabama Next Generation Emergency Network (ANGEN) is a new statewide project that is improving emergency services.

This network will allow the 911 centers to manage their own network and have control of that and actually see what's going on around the state.

Part of this new technology allows 911 centers to see calls coming in across the state in real time. You can see calls going through the two hubs in Huntsville and Montgomery and then being delivered to their correct centers.

Brandon Wallace is the Athens-Limestone County 911 Director. He says the new technology will also help first responders.

"This new IP network will eventually allow us to basically receive pictures, video. I mean one day, we hope you'll be able to FaceTime your emergency to responders," says Wallace. "Think about a fire scene or some kind of active shooter incident and someone could facetime their emergency to 911. Having more information is always possible with an IP network."

He says it's really interesting to see emergency calls being made in real time.

"Especially when you overlay the weather on top of it when it's storming and all," continued Wallace. "We were watching those tornadoes that came through Wetumpka the other day and seeing those storms roll through, and then the amount of 911 calls that started hitting in that area because of it was just crazy, seeing emergencies happen in real time," says Wallace.

Wallace says the center in Limestone County is excited for the opportunities to better serve individuals in crisis.

“Last year we were just under three million wireless calls statewide," he added. "That’s a lot of emergencies."

Limestone County has part of the technology in place for this new system but is not fully set up yet.

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