The British Virgin Islands is rolling out state-of-the-art, next-generation 9-1-1 technology for its new emergency call centre which will become operational early next month.
The emergency call centre is located inside the Peebles Hospital in Road Town and will be operated by the three main emergency service providers – police, fire officers, and health service workers.
The centre will be fitted with a system which instantly displays the GPS location of any caller, as well as other useful information for the emergency call operator to see.
“The [operator’s computer] screen will populate with that information so we don’t have to ask ‘where are you?’ or ask for directions. It will show where you are in the territory. So, if you say Long Bay, we’ll know whether it’s East End or West End,” explained Russell Jones, Project Manager for the Next-generation 9-1-1 initiative.
“We will then transfer that information to the ambulance or the guys in the field either on their phone or on their tablet. The tablets, of course, will be mounted in the vehicles so they’ll get that information,” Jones added.
The next-generation 9-1-1 system was an initiative spearheaded by Health Minister, Ronnie Skelton.
According to Jones, who also credited other project managers such as Tasha Bertie, the territory’s new 9-1-1 technology surpasses most states in the US, which is widely described as a leader in the technology industry.
“The Honourable Ronnie Skelton determined that he wanted the latest technology that’s not going to go out of style inside a year,” Jones told BVI News.
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Petrona Davies announced yesterday that the new 9-1-1 system will officially come online February 1.
Prior to the introduction of this call technology in the BVI, persons who dialled ‘911’ locally would have been connected to an unsophisticated phone line at the fire station in Road Town.
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