STAMFORD, Conn. — When dispatchers in Stamford’s 911 communications center answer an emergency call, they will now have the power of an upgraded system to send help to locations throughout the city.
With the new software, dispatchers will be able to see the real-time location of police, fire and ambulance units throughout Stamford. And the software can also tell dispatchers which units should respond.
“The system will automatically and dynamically dispatch the closest available unit,” Stamford Mayor David Martin said at an unveiling of the new system Wednesday afternoon. Martin said the new system replaces obsolete software, which was being discontinued.
Martin said the city acquired the new software at a significant discount: It could cost $1 million to $2 million off the shelf, but the city was able to acquire it for $200,000.
The new system, which Martin said would be more reliable, is also compatible with next generation 911 systems the state is planning to implement in the coming years.
“The current system would not have been compatible with those next set of systems,” Martin said. “This will be.”
Stamford has been working to implement the software for months and cleaning out its bugs. During that time, the public was not in any danger because of the upgrades, officials said.
While the new software will be a tool for public safety officials, Martin said it is not a replacement for people.
“The technology doesn’t arrive on the scene; the technology doesn’t save lives,” he said. “This technology, though, is a tool for our public safety people so that they are better prepared ... and do a better job for the public.”
Stamford receives about 277 calls through its 911 system each day, and of those, 170 are found to be emergencies, according to city officials.
Dispatchers are also able to receive calls and a video feed from a new blue light pole in Lione Park. Martin said he hopes to have poles in several city parks by June .