911 call centers

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- New technology is coming to Kansas City’s 9-1-1 system this year.

It should help response times and give first responders more information on their way to a call.

Some 9-1-1 centers are working off a system that was developed with 1960’s technology. It works off landline phones.

More than 80 percent of 9-1-1 calls come from cell phones.

Kansas City recently installed some new technology called Rapid S.O.S. that allows dispatchers to better pinpoint your location.

The new technology that will be in place by the end of this year and will give an exact location instead of just narrowing down your location by what cell tower you’re connected to.

“In the future your car is probably going to be able to call 911 when you’re in a wreck,” said Eric Winebrenner, public safety director of Mid America Regional Council. “This is what we’re building the technology for, for that future that’s coming.”

The Mid America Regional Council which runs the 9-1-1 system for our area says switching to an IP based system for 9-1-1 will make the system compatible for new technology in the future.

“I can see a day where first responders get live video from a call through 911,” Winebrenner said. “It’s a ways off, but you have to have a backbone in place to be able to capture that information and be able to transmit it out to people going out to the call.”

A new Missouri law that went into effect January one gives first counties the option to put a cell service tax to a vote.

The tax would be on all subscriber cell service and the money would go to helping improve the 9-1-1 system.

Jackson county says they’re looking into it and will decide this year whether that will end up on a ballot.

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