RealNews

911 mapping going high tech

The county’s emergency responders will soon have new tools for quickly finding people in need of urgent help. Last week, Smyth County 911 Coordinator Shannon Williams gave the Smyth County Board of Supervisors a preview of a new computerized mapping software program. The electronic maps will replace the paper map books originally developed when the county started using the 911 program. The map books, Williams said, proved cumbersome for in-vehicle use. “All the [emergency responder] organizations got map books,” he said, and then soon “put them on a shelf.” Grant funding from Homeland Security provided money to purchase laptop computers and the software, Williams said. He showed the supervisors how a police officer, firefighter or rescue squad member could type an address into the computer program. Full Story

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