Marion County's 911 calls are being handled differently

By: Karrie Leggett

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM)-  Marion County has a new and more efficient way for its emergency officials to work and help citizens.

Six computer screens for Marion County and the city of Columbia are a part of the first computer aided dispatch system call Interact CAD.

Now, the time it takes for dispatchers to relay a 911 call to emergency officials is cut in half. Dispatchers no longer have to use a logging book to receive the emergency information.

Once a call is made to 911 all information goes automatically into the computer system. The system then recommends which emergency agency should respond, and dispatchers communicate the information by radio to officials.

Rhonda Burnham, dispatcher , and Columbia Police Chief Jim Kinslow feel this was the right choice for Marion County.

"Its a great management tool and it helps us to manage our resources keep us with our stats and to know where do we need to put our resources. What do we need to be concentrating on," said Kinslow.

"By having the CAD system, by it being able to page our each department each individual we are not having to answer that phone from volunteer fire departments, fire fighter or whoever because it is directing them where to go," said Burnham.

According to emergency officials, Marion County is the first in the state to have the Interact Public Safety System.