For Immediate Release

Florence County 911/Central Dispatch wins Center of the Year Award

FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. – Florence County 911/Central Dispatch was named South Carolina’s 911 Center of the Year on Friday, October 21 at the 2016 SC APCO/NENA Conference (Association of Public-Safety Communications Officers/National Emergency Number Association). Specifically the Center was recognized for several innovations involving technological advancements as well as training enhancements for staff members and the 911 community as a whole.

“This award really means a lot to us this year,” Mitch Fulmore, acting Florence County Central Dispatch Manager said. “We have worked short staffed and worked hours and hours of overtime this year and to still be able to provide the same high level of service, is truly amazing. Time and time again our Telecommunications Officers (TCOs) have shown their dedication to their job and their motivation to helping the public and the responders they dispatch. This award goes to show just how great our staff is.”

To improve the quality of service provided to the public and first responders the Center implemented a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) upgrade which, for the first time, allows Law Enforcement officers to wirelessly access the county’s Records Management System (RMS) and Jail Management System (JMS) from the field.  Another enhancement provides more timely information for first responders through Active 911 which updates wireless devices with additional call information as it is received. Improvements in GIS mapping interfaces speeds dispatch by providing the TCO with real-time location of law enforcement vehicles through Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL). This same technology will soon be applied to the county’s EMS fleet of ambulances as well.

The Center also made improvements to its training environment which gives new TCO’s a chance to train on a simulated CAD without having to interfere with the live CAD system being used in dispatch. This not only enhances the quality of training but also reduces the amount of time needed to train new employees.  Additionally the center has been recognized as an inventor in training by assisting other 911 centers with training issues. Florence County, in coordination with the SC State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), has created a cadre of subject matter experts on 911 center response protocols for Active Shooter situations, teaching classes statewide as well as in Texas and Louisiana.

“I am extremely proud of the consistent hard work and professionalism our staff and employees display,” Dusty Owens, Florence County Emergency Management Director said. “Not only were they named as the best 911 Center in the state for 2016, but this is the third time in 11 years they have received this recognition!”

In addition to winning Center of the Year, Terri Thompson a TCO with the Florence County 911 Center, was awarded the Palmetto Award for her outstanding service to the center.