STAFFORD COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – New technology is being used by Stafford County dispatchers. They now have the technology to do video calls with someone calling 911.
Here’s how it works: When you call 911, the dispatcher can ask to send you a link. If you approve, you will start a live video feed from your phone to show the emergency as it’s happening.
“It’s almost like having an extra person without them actually being there. To have eyes on the situation and they’ll be able to see what’s going on, or we can see something they’re not telling us,” said Stafford County Sheriff Robert Murrow.
Stafford County Dispatch Coordinator Gina Schwein says this tool can help dispatchers understand an active scene.
“If we have to help someone through an emergency, I can see where it would be beneficial to see what they’re doing to guide them through it,” said Schwein.
Creating a second set of eyes for emergency responders.
“This right here will give us the advance warning so it can be handled appropriately,” said Sheriff Murrow.
Once the call is completed, all video and phone access is disconnected from dispatchers, keeping your personal information safe.
The Kansas 911 Coordinating Council says 49 counties in the state are currently using this video tool, but it could expand to other counties.
“We have to make a determination if it’s needed if they’re wanted, or what value that it does bring to our citizens and to our 911 centers, so we have been very observant of that,” said Michele Abbott, Coordinating Council Communications with Kansas 911 Coordinating Council.
Once you’re done with the video 911 call, the video stays with the provider of the service – AT&T ESInet – not with the individual county dispatch.
The video could be used in court if a county decided to subpoena it.