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Natrona County Dispatch Center receives mobile dispatch console

Natrona County dispatchers work to make sure that the right people are in the right place after receiving a 911 call, and with some new equipment, it has the flexibility to provide those services from anywhere now.
Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 6:48 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s important to be flexible. Combine that with Wyoming’s weather, and that ability becomes even more important when it comes to emergencies.

The dispatch center is a 24-hour a day, seven days a week operation, so it’s priority for them to be able to work from anywhere.

“Nothing in public safety would happen without the people working in the center,” said Lori Jackson, who is in charge of running the Natrona County Dispatch Center.

It’s not obvious, but the dispatch center is who is answering the call when 911 is dialed. It’s responsible for letting police, firefighters and ambulances where they need to go and what they’re walking into.

With all of the challenges presented by 2020, Jackson said “vulnerabilities” were recognized in the system. There would be difficulties if any employees were out with COVID-19.

This forced them to think outside the box, said Jackson, and with the help of funds from Casper City Council, it was able to purchase a mobile dispatch console.

This console allows them to run dispatch operations from anywhere. It is a single setup that is practically the same one as in the dispatch center, but it can be brought anywhere.

“We want to make sure that our services are seamless to the community,” said Jackson. “We don’t ever want anybody to call 911 and not have their calls be answered or be in need of emergency services and not be able to get those.”

Jackson has worked at the dispatch center for over 24 years, and she never thought she’d see technology like this.

“It really opens up more doors for us and the general public, and our first responders wouldn’t know any different,” said Jackson.

This week is also National Dispatch Week celebrating the people answering 911 calls. Check out a tribute video to the dispatchers from the Casper Police Department on Facebook here.

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