New Emergency Response System Brings Money to Eastern Kentucky

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

A new 9-1-1 system in four eastern Kentucky counties will help get emergency responders on the scene even faster and the system could bring thousands of dollars back to the counties they are in.

The new system helps with response time by sending emergency calls to the county dispatch center, right now calls pass through Kentucky State Police first. I talked to officials in Wolfe County who say the new state of the art system will help in more ways than one.

In an emergency, a few minutes could be the difference between life and death. The new system known as VIPER, not only sends the calls to the county dispatch where the emergency is, it also gives first responders a description of the home, including what type of roof is on the house.

"We have always had a problem with trying to find roads and where these people live, and especially this is worse out of the night time, when you can't see signs, you can't see this or that," says Jerry Harris with the Wolfe County Ambulance Service.

"We'll be adding all this stuff to help agencies, the sheriff's office, EMS and fire to find that residence," says Dennis Long, the 911 Supervisor for Wolfe County.

All calls are dispatched straight to Wolfe county and officials say that means thousands of dollars of funding will come to the county to support the 911 center, freeing up money previously used on emergency services.

"We're a poor county, but this is one way of kind of, get ahead of the game," says Long.

Leslie County began using the VIPER system over the weekend.

Leslie County Judge Executive Jimmy Sizemore says, "I haven't heard any complaints so it must be going really good!"

Dennis Long says he hopes Wolfe County's system will be up and running by the end of the month. Plans to add the VIPER system in Lee and Perry counties are already underway.

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