Enhanced 911 Coming To Rural Communities

Area 911 calls will soon be responded to more quickly, helping make Texas Panhandle communities safer. That's because new mapping software is being purchased to enhance 911 service for cell phone callers in the 24 rural counties surrounding Potter and Randall.

If you don't live in Potter or Randall county, when you call 911 from your cell phone, operators will not know your exact location unless you tell them. Today, the Panhandle Regional Planning Commission approved software that will change that.

"In our rural areas where farmers and ranchers might have their cell phones. Dialing 911 will not only provide the callers call back number, their name, but also a coordinate determining where that caller is calling from." said 911 Regional Network Director Greg Green.

Potter and Randall county are currently using the enhanced 911 service and they say it helps save more lives.

The district's Executive Director, Charlie Broomhead says "It sped everything up, we can get to the scene much faster and we don't have the lost calls that we did."

Broomhead also says before the enhanced service, way too much time was spent on a 911 calls just to find out where people were located.

"Up until we put in the 911 phase two equipment we were at a loss of finding out where people were on a cellular phone. "

Green says that's why the service is needed throughout the region because of the number of 911 calls from cell phones is 55-percent in these rural communities. The service is expected to be up and running July 31st.