Horry County 911 put a new police dispatch system in place Tuesday morning, similar to their fire rescue and emergency medical dispatch systems they’ve had since 2014.
The Police Priority Dispatch System (PPDS) will allow police to stay updated on their way to the scene with the information you’re giving to dispatchers.
“I believe that 911 is the heartbeat of public safety,” said Renee Hardwick, director at Horry County 911.
Consistency is the goal of Horry County’s new police priority dispatch system.
“We put a lot of pressure on our folks to do a good job, and they do a good job,” said Hardwick. “We get very few valid complaints on what our folks do everyday. But, this program will help add to that consistency and the expectation of people when they call us and also we’re very thankful for them.”
Deputy Police Chief Lance Wilburn says that information you bring into callers over dispatch will go immediately to the officers and crew responding to your situation.
“They’ll have this information going into these calls, knowing what to expect when they get here,” he said.
Even with limited resources, the system will help callers to figure out if a situation is life-threatening or not, and prioritize it based on that.
“We’re taking a call about Granny’s mailbox getting run over, and you know what, it’s important to her and her mailbox got run over, because she’s trying to deal with how she’s going to deal with that, and then we’re going to pick up the next line and it’s going to be an 8-year-old calling us that his 8-year-old twin brother is choking, and you know what? That’s important,” said Hardwick.
PPDS can also allow dispatchers to follow nationally recognized standards, give universal care, and provide “Zero-Minute” Dispatch Life Support using pre-arrival and post-dispatch instructions.
If you do call 911, Hardwick says have your address, phone number, and information about what’s going on in your situation on-hand.
“Even after help is dispatched, our staff will ask a number of questions in order to provide critical, life-saving instructions to the caller on the other end of the line,” she said.