Digital dispatch will improve emergency response

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URBANA — Danville will be down one fire station next year, leaving two ambulance services to respond to calls in the city.

However, they are upgrading the 911 dispatch software to make response times faster than ever.

It’s a part of the CAD system, which stands for Computer Aided Dispatch.

Danville’s CAD system has been in place for about a month, but now they’re expanding upon it.

The goal is to make dispatch information all computerized, so that first responders can have all the information they need for a case sent to them in an instant message type of form.

It’s a system Champaign County’s 911 dispatch already has in place.

First responders used to have to call dispatch to get all the information, but this computer system automatically maps which department will be responding to which call, and sends the first responder all the information about that call instantly.

So far, it’s working pretty well, especially when sending updates to a call.

“The computer aided dispatch allows us to make those changes not completely on the fly, but it’s not as complicated as it used to be when it was completely manual,” said METCAD Deputy Director Greg Abbott.

The new system also allows information to be received and dispersed in the form of text, photos and video.

Danville’s dispatch is hoping this addition to the CAD system to the CAD system will go live in May.

CAD is the system dispatch centers across the country are making the switch to. 

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