The new voice that’s saving time in an emergency

HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WDTN) — Dispatchers in Huber Heights and Englewood can now send help to an emergency with only a few clicks and keystrokes.

They are able to use a computer to dispatch crews to the scene while they stay on the phone with the person calling for help.

The voice that goes over the radio to crews is a computerized one that says what the dispatcher typed.

“This is taking the workload off the dispatcher to where they can provide more information to the caller,” says Battalion Chief Keith Knisley.

Officials say the new system can save precious seconds in an emergency.

“We’ve seen a reduction in our processing time already,” Knisley says.

But we wanted to know if it will cost some dispatchers their jobs.

Officials tell us the technology helps dispatchers. It doesn’t replace them.

“It cannot do the things the dispatcher does,” Knisley says.

Crews say so far the system has worked well, but what if it fails during an emergency?

“If the system crashes the way we have designed it is we have two separate alerting systems that are automated and if that fails the dispatcher goes back to what they would’ve done two weeks ago,” Knisley says.

The system cost $280,000. A federal grant covered 90 percent of the cost.

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