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Eau Claire dispatch center renovation designed to speed up response time

Eau Claire (WQOW) –  Months of renovation and $120,000 went into Eau Claire’s Communications Center upgrades.

Officials said the completed work makes dispatchers’ jobs easier and keeps the community safer.

And News 18 is the first media outlet to get a look inside.

Every second counts when it comes to emergency calls, and thanks to an additional work space, Eau Claire dispatchers will be able to get people the help they need faster.

“During times if we have a large call volume, if we do have an additional dispatcher working that is getting our calls answered quicker and potentially dispatched quicker as well as we have additional resources in the communication center to provide those services to the citizens of Eau Claire county,” said Dena Clark, manager of the Eau Claire Communications Center.

The dispatch center used to have five work pods. Now it has a sixth, which can be used for training or dispatching.  The renovation also included a new layout.

“The new layout also allows for better communication among the staff. There’s constant communication going back and forth between the dispatchers in the room when taking calls and talking on the radio,” said Clark.

Clark said they plan to equip the center with technology to receive 911 calls through text and video but said progress on the program must first be made at the state level.

She also said other states have already implemented the text and video technology “Next Generation 911,” but it will be at least a few years before the Eau Claire dispatch center will have the program up and running.

Katrina Lim

Katrina Lim joined the News 18 team in August 2019 as a multimedia journalist. She was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey but has lived in all time zones of the contiguous U.S.A.

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