Chesterfield County, South Carolina Upgrades 911 System


Chesterfield County, South Carolina has strengthened its E911 system. The county tapped Connecticut-based PowerPhone for its call handling solution. The new system includes upgraded software, operations and training for emergency dispatch staff.

Total Response utilizes integrated call handling protocols covering police, fire and emergency medical subject matters. The new system is also compatible with Chesterfield County E911’s current computer-aided dispatch system (Southern Software CAD). An interface allows for the seamless communication between 911 call handlers and dispatched emergency responders, meaning responders arrive on scene more prepared and with a clearer picture of the emergency ahead of time.

Implementation of PowerPhone’s Total Response system includes full technical support and comprehensive staff training. Chesterfield County E911’s call handlers each received certifications in law enforcement, fire service and emergency medical dispatch while a designated supervisor was also certified in Call Assessment.

Several states are working through updates to their 911 calling systems in an effort to replace legacy solutions and get ready for the voice and data transfer capabilities included in FirstNet. The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) has recommended nationwide upgrades to improve call handling and deal with calls coming in from cell phones and other devices, but implementation has been spotty at best.

NENA has recently pushed for a change to how 911 workers are classified in order to provide more budgetary support for training like the workers in Chesterfield County got with PrimePhone. 911 workers are currently classified as administrative office staff which can hold back budget needed for upgrades and training.