MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - When you call 911 you want first responders to find you quickly. Now new technology in Morgan County helps first responders do that.
New software lets first responders pinpoint your exact location and even gives them access to your phone’s camera.
It all starts with your phone number.
“We can actually prompt the person by entering their phone number and when they send this message, it’s going to send a link to their telephone and they’re going to get it in a text message. It’s gonna have a link they can click on," said Jeanie Pharis, Morgan County’s 911 director. “When they click on the link they’re going to have two options. They’re going to have to allow us the location and they’re also gonna accept it to allow us the video.”
The dispatcher can now track your location, just as an Uber driver would.
And if you accept video capabilities, it shows in real time what your camera sees right on the dispatcher’s screen.
“Our biggest use for this is going to be for people who cannot tell us where they and the location. An example would be those people that may get out on the river or the wildlife refuge and are lost. This will give them the ability to find them and direct the rescue squad to them," said Pharis.
Pharis says when you’re out on the water it can be tough to find you, however, now with video capabilities, it helps first responders recognize your exact location.
There's one more feature.
“The chat that opens up is what’s called a silent chat. This is going to show on their screen, but it’s also not going to make a sound, so that whenever they get the message, if they’re in a dangerous situation and they don’t want someone knowing that they’re texting, then it’s not going to make a sound and they can actually sit there and text us back and forth," Pharis said.
Once you’re done with dispatchers you just exit from the link on your phone and they will no longer have access to your location or your video camera.
Dispatchers say they’re excited for this new technology and hope it will help advance their assistance.