Dispatchers Handle Record Number of Calls

Winter Storms Cause Increase

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – When a person is in dire need of help, a call is often placed to 911. The dispatchers who answer will try to provide as much assistance as possible while they get the first responders (EMS, Fire and Police) rolling.

Last week was especially taxing for 9-1-1 operators as they responded to well over 7,000 calls in the 12- county area that makes up the Deep East Texas Council of Governments region (DETCOG).

The 12 DETCOG counties are: Angelina; Houston; Jasper; Nacogdoches; Newton; Polk; Sabine; San Augustine; San Jacinto; Shelby; Trinity; and Tyler.

According to the Deep East Texas Regional 9-1-1 Network, “For the period of Feb. 13 through Feb. 20, the 15 PSAPs in our 12 counties answered 7,147 9-1-1 calls for assistance.”

Due in large part to the severity of the winter storms, last week saw a 63 percent increase in 9-1-1 calls when compared to the same week in 2020.

PSAPs are Public Safety Answering Points that answer all 9-1-1 calls in the region.

“DETCOG is the administrative authority for 9-1-1 emergency communications in State Planning Region 14. DET911 works with agencies throughout the 12-county region by providing planning and technical assistance to ensure delivery of 9-1-1 calls to the proper PSAP. In a cooperative effort, DET911 works with local Telephone Companies, Wireless Telephone companies, Voice over Internet Providers (VoIP), and others in the region to ensure that each 9-1-1 call reaches the correct PSAP with the right location and telephone information,” the DETCOG website stated.

In addition, DETCOG expressed its appreciation and gratitude to “… our partner agencies and dispatchers for handling record call volumes for many of our PSAPs.”

Included in this list of PSAPs were: the Nacogdoches Police Department; the Lufkin Police Department; the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office; the Diboll Police Department; Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital; the Houston County Sheriff’s Office; the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office; the Newton County Sheriff’s Office; the Polk County Sheriff’s Office; the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office; the Sabine County Sheriff’s Office; the San Augustine County Sheriff’s Office; the San Jacinto County Sheriff’ Office; the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office; and the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office.

From all of us at The Messenger Newspaper, thank you for helping to make our community a safer and better place.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].

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