LUFKIN, Texas (KETK) — The city of Lufkin is unveiling its new public safety communications center, where dispatchers say it will improve their emergency response times. The center hasn’t seen an update since 2005, and the city said the previous center was more like a cave.
This new center is knocking out those concerns because they have been given everything they need to help keep their community safe. These services are life or death for some, and this new center is helping dispatchers respond to them more efficiently.
“We have a new radio system completely, it works much better than our old. So the interoperability with other agencies as well,” said Ashley Jowell, the communications supervisor for the city of Lufkin.
They’ve also added new computers, headsets and acoustic tiles. The tiles help cut down extra noise dispatchers hear while on the phone. They have also increased comfortability for dispatchers, who spend hours in one spot.
To make work a little easier for them, they added adjustable desks so they can sit or stand. As well as adding natural light, to make the room feel more homey. Gerald Williamson, the assistant city manager said it is important that they keep up with the growing community.
“The fact that we’ve grown so much since then, we needed a larger physical footprint, and more capability and technology has advanced so much since those days,” Williamson said.
They also have new control consoles that were actually designed by a company that creates this same technology for NASA. Jowell said that they were great people to work with, who helped her design a system that is fully efficient for a dispatcher. The city added that they will do whatever they can to help those who keep our cities safe.
“It’s very rewarding in certain situations to know that you were able to help someone, that you were able to make sure your officers and responders got home that night to their families. And yeah, it’s just rewarding,” Jowell said.