Jennings County 911 has been providing uninterrupted service to the citizens of North Vernon and Jennings County, Indiana continuously for over 10 years. They currently process over 27,000 emergency calls a year. The 911 center handles calls for the North Vernon Police Department, Jennings County Sheriff’s Department, Jennings County EMS Rescue 20, Indiana State Police, conservation officers, seven volunteer fire departments, PHI Dove Flight, and various other departments. With such a wide range of responsibilities, it made sense for Jennings County to seek accreditation with PowerPhone Protocols.
According to Matthew Alexander, Executive Director of Jennings County 911, “someone very forward-thinking” proposed a plan to consolidate several agencies into one dispatching center back in 1994. Now, Jennings County 911 has been in operation as a consolidated center for over 10 years. Well ahead of their time, a state mandate is now in place for all Indiana counties to consolidate their 911 emergency response systems by December 31, 2014.
Along with agency consolidation came the need for a consolidated method of dispatching. It was no longer every center for themselves. Jennings County needed a consistent, standardized method of handling calls for multiple police, fire, EMS and ancillary departments. They chose to adopt PowerPhone’s Total Response® tablet to meet their needs for a unified call taking platform.
Jennings County was pleased with the results and the level of consistency their busy communications center was able to reach.
“It’s nice to have everyone on the same page, using the same protocols.”
“The experienced dispatchers can recite them by memory, and for the new people, it’s an essential tool for knowing what questions to ask and what pre-arrival instructions to give,” Alexander said.
Jennings County has also been an avid participant in PowerPhone training and is particularly excited about taking future courses online, which will be a huge convenience for the rural county. The next step was to achieve accreditation with PowerPhone protocols.
April 2012 marked a major milestone for Jennings County when they were able to achieve Total Response Accreditation. “The quality assurance process gives you something to evaluate your call handling by,” Alexander said.
“I like that you can assign a grade to calls, which has made every dispatcher more aware that they’re being graded, so they’re hitting on more of the key questions that they might not have focused on before.”
The QA process toward Accreditation was made further enjoyable by the relationship the dispatchers and supervisors at Jennings County fostered with PowerPhone. “We know that we can call PowerPhone up at any time,” Alexander said. “The people at PowerPhone are easy to work with and user-friendly.” Just like their products.