HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Harris County residents should know that a brand new, state of the art 911 call center is due to open soon.
“New facility, state of the art. We’re going to next generation technology here, next generation 911. All voice over Internet at protocol here,” says Kathi Yost, the Director of Communications with the Harris County 911 Call Center.
Since 1987, the Franklin facility has been taking in over 4,000 emergency and non-emergency calls daily. Soon its doors will be shut as the facility in Aldine opens after a year and a half of construction.
Yost gave us a tour of the facility.
“We had 28 call taking positions and nine dispatching positions. Here, we have 56 call taking positions and 16 dispatch positions," she said.
That’s almost double the previous staff to better serve the public. The new site is equipped with the latest technology for voice over internet traffic, and a color coding system to alert supervisors of a specific situation.
The building can even withstand a category 4 hurricane, and housing for when the employees need to shelter in place. Yost says they are prepared for any emergency, but they are also thinking ahead.
“We can expand this facility and add an additional 30 call taking positions over the next 35 years," she said.
Which is important, since the current facility has already reached capacity. As Harris County continues to grow, employees are hoping to continue to improve on response times.
“It’s more than just work for those of us that have been here, it’s a passion. We want to make sure the citizens get home, just as equally as we make sure our deputies and first responders get home at the end of the night," says Yost.