Training begins for consolidated dispatch in Nacogdoches

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Training is underway for telecommunications operators, also known as "dispatchers," in Nacogdoches.

It's the last step before consolidation of 911 calls for the Nacogdoches city police, fire departments, county sheriff and volunteer fire departments.

Like most instruction, dispatch training starts off easy and ends up challenging.

"It's a lot of information thrown at us at one time," said dispatcher Angela Pippin. "It's a lot to learn."

All the students pay attention.They know the first ever consolidated communication center is creating changes for everyone.

The consolidation means the Nacogdoches County dispatchers are now employees of the City of Nacogdoches.

All 911 calls will come directly to the Nacogdoches communications center. Callers may notice some difference too.

"The main thing is not being transferred back and forth," said Wyatt Henderson, director of the center. "If they're close to the city limits sometimes they got transferred to the county and the county transferred them back here and with this way we're all in one spot. If we have a reckless driving coming in on South Street we'll be able to handle it right here and know which agency to send it to.">

Adding to the efficiency are state of the art dispatch consoles.

"Headsets, desktop and a foot switch so they can use their feet if they are doing multi-tasking with 911," said Lonny Anway, a field service representative.

The message is coming in loud and clear that consolidated communication is expected to improve efficiency and lower costs.

"Rather than the call volume we have now it's gonna almost double with taking calls for the county and dispatching for the constables and the troopers, but maybe, hopefully, it can offer 100 percent safety all the across the board for the guys out there on the streets," said Sarah Massengale, the NPD dispatch assistant supervisor.

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The consolidation is scheduled to begin Oct. 1.