Sellers promoted

(L to R) 911 Director John Tracy, Sellers, Watch Supervisor Cara Bishop-Wichman.

Senior Dispatcher Alyssa Sellers is celebrating her 5-year anniversary with Sumner County 911 and was presented with an engraved cup and a gift card.

Alyssa received promotion from Dispatcher to Senior Dispatcher just last month. Congratulations Alyssa on both your promotion and your work-a-versary!

When to call 9-1-1

911 Centers are different from location to location, so it is important to be familiar with the operations of the center that serves you.

In most metropolitan 911 Centers, 9-1-1 is for emergencies only. But in Sumner County, you should call 9-1-1 anytime you need law enforcement, fire, EMS, or Emergency Management to come to your location.

Obviously, you should call 9-1-1 when there is a crime in progress, a fire, or a medical/trauma emergency. But in Sumner County, you can call 9-1-1 anytime there is a need for a police officer or sheriff’s deputy, a fire unit, or an ambulance to come to your house; even if it is not a critical emergency.

Sumner County 911 routinely dispatches calls for theft reports, loose animals, neighbor complaints, welfare checks, and a wide variety of other non-emergency situations.

Here’s when to NOT call 9-1-1;
1. To check road conditions. Kandrive.org shows the current road conditions in Kansas and Sumner County. You can check it out, or call 5-1-1 to determine whether or not it is safe to travel.
2. To check to see if someone has warrants. 911 can only check wants and warrants for a law enforcement officer…not for the general public. If you think someone has a warrant, call 911 and we’ll dispatch an officer to investigate.
3. To check to see if someone is in jail or to check on jail visiting hours. Call the Detention Center for that information.
4. To report a power outage, UNLESS you have an electrically powered life sustaining applicant (e.g. heart monitor, oxygen concentrator, etc). Call your power company to report power outages. We know they’re busy, but calling 911 only ties up 911 lines that may be needed for an emergency.
5. During tornado warnings, do not call 911 to find the location of storm shelters. This only delays the time it takes to seek shelter. Plan in advance for severe weather season and know where to go in the event of a tornado.
6. Civic Information; for example, parade times, pool hours, etc.

Remember, Sumner County 911 is responsible for dispatching law enforcement officers, fire trucks, and ambulances to all calls, emergency or not. If you need a response to your home…CALL 9-1-1.

April is National 9-1-1 Education Month.

Thank you

This week is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, a week set aside to recognize the efforts of our nations 911 operators and dispatchers. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of Sumner County 911 for their dedication and professionalism in the service to the citizens of this County. I try each year to express the level of gratitude I have for them, and each year my description is woefully inadequate.

This year is especially tough. While everyone is being told to “stay at home” to help prevent the getting and spreading of Corona Virus, our dispatchers continue to leave their families and come to work. Like an insurance policy, they are here when you need them; in good times and bad.

So to the members of Sumner County 911, whose level of dedication, professionalism, and caring for their fellow man exceeds my level of expectation…I offer a heartfelt “thank you”. It is a pleasure and honor to serve with you.

Stay calm.

“The more you know what to expect when calling 9-1-1, the faster help can get there.”

One of the first steps in calling 9-1-1 is remaining calm. We understand this can be difficult in an emergency, but the calmer you are, the more clearly you will understand questions and provide answers. Take a deep breath, and communicate clearly.

Watch background noises. These can hamper communications and make it difficult for the dispatcher to hear you. Noises such as screaming, television or radio, and wind, traffic, trains, etc. (if you’re outside) can make it difficult for the dispatcher to understand you.

State your location. If we do not know where you are, we cannot send help. A physical street address is best, but if the address is unknown, give the distance and directions from the nearest commonly known intersection or landmark. If traveling, pay attention to milepost markers on highways to keep abreast of where you’re at.

Tell the dispatcher exactly what is going on. Listen carefully to the dispatchers questions and answer them the best you can. There is a lot of information that is needed to help law enforcement, fire, and EMS determine the amount and type of equipment to respond with. Information is also needed to help responders arrive safely.

Answering questions does not delay a response. In critical emergencies, help is dispatched as soon as a location and incident type has been determined. Further questions are asked so information can be relayed by radio to the responding units. Be patient…the questions are there to help you.

Stay on the line. Do not hang up until the dispatcher instructs you. In active situations, the dispatcher may keep you on the line until help arrives so they can monitor the scene and track that status of suspects.

April is National 911 Education Month. For more information, visit sumnercounty911.org.

Is your number up?

Is your number up? Can police, fire, or EMS find you in an emergency? Remember, seconds count!

Make sure your house or building number is posted conspicuously so it is visible from the street, and make sure is has an unobstructed view.

When posting on your house or building, the numbers are often above or next to the entry door. Make sure the numbers are large enough they are plainly readable from the street. Numbers are often painted over when the house is painted, often the same color as the house. Make sure the house numbers are a conflicting color from that of the house. It is also helpful to place numbers where they are illuminated by the porch light.

If posting on your mailbox, consider using reflective numbers so they are highly visible at night. And put numbers on both sides of the mailbox so they are visible from any direction of travel.

Help responders help you. Make sure they can quickly find your house in an emergency.

April has been designated as “911 Education Month”. For more information on using 9-1-1, visit our website at www.sumnercounty911.org.

Plan your shelter now

Now is the time to plan ahead for shelter in the event of a tornado warning. Calling 9-1-1 when warnings are issued to locate a shelter ties up telephone lines for other emergencies, and wastes precious time that could be spent getting to your shelter. Seconds count…when a tornado warning is issued…proceed immediately to your chosen shelter…do not call 9-1-1 unless you have a police, fire, or medical emergency. Contact officials and watch for press releases in your town to determine where public shelters are located. #planahead #tornado #tornadoshelter #911 #publicsafety

From the Kansas 911 Coordinating Council

The Kansas 9-1-1 Coordinating Council and AT&T have been implementing the new RapidDeploy
RadiusPlus Mapping application across the State of Kansas for those PSAPs on the statewide Next
Generation 911 Hosted Call Handling Solution. This new state-of-the-art, cloud-based mapping
application brings enhancements to the 9-1-1 Telecommunicators that allows them to identify 9-1-1
callers location more quickly and accurately. While AT&T was onsite at the Sumner County, KS 9-1-1
Center performing the upgrade this week, we saw firsthand through a real-world example of how this
cutting-edge technology is saving lives.
On Tuesday, March 11, 2020, AT&T Technicians had completed the implementation of the RadiusPlus
mapping application on one of the workstations in the 9-1-1 Center while the other workstations
continued to take live 9-1-1 calls. Before the other workstations could be upgraded to the RadiusPlus
mapping application, a Wireless 9-1-1 call came into one of the pre-upgraded workstations.
When the Wireless 9-1-1 call was received by the 9-1-1 Telecommunicator, there was no response from
the caller but frantic screams from a female in the background could be heard. The only address
information available with the initial call was the cellular tower address. Law enforcement officers were
dispatched and began a search in the area around the cellular tower’s address but could not locate the
victim. The decision was made to have the newly upgraded workstation with RapidDeploy’s RadiusPlus,
join the call to see if a better location could be identified with the new technology. Using the new
mapping application, the 9-1-1 Telecommunicator was able to locate the female caller within six meters
on the map. They quickly relayed information to the officers who were already within two blocks of the
caller and were on scene within seconds.
Upon arrival, officers found a badly beaten female involved in a domestic violence situation. Law
enforcement officers were able to intercede in the situation quickly due to the RapidDeploy RadiusPlus
application. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrived on scene and although the caller’s injuries were
not immediately life threatening, she was transported to the emergency room for treatment.
The 9-1-1 Telecommunicator at the Sumner County, KS 9-1-1 Center was quoted as saying, “Without the
new RadiusPlus map, we would not have been able to locate the victim and get her the help she
needed.” This new technology no doubt saved this caller from further injuries and possibly saved her
life.
This tremendously successful sequence of events to locate this caller was made possible due to the
unmatched partnership between the Kansas 9-1-1 Coordinating Council, AT&T, and RapidDeploy.

Stevenson celebrating 5th anniversary

(L- 911 Director John Tracy; R-Watch Supervisor Ashley Stevenson)

Watch Supervisor Ashley Stevenson is celebrating 5 years on the job, and to help her celebrate, she was presented with an engraved drinking bottle and a gift card for dinner. Ashley has served as Dispatcher, Senior Dispatcher, and was recently promoted to Watch Supervisor assigned to the night shift. Thank you Ashley for your service and dedication to the citizens of Sumner County and congratulations on this landmark in your career!

Throws from old shirts

Sumner County 911 had some old uniform T-Shirts that were headed for the trash can, but a supervisor’s mother saved them. The old T-shirts were cut up and made into lap throws for the dispatchers.

Because of all the electronic equipment in the Dispatch Center that produces heat, heat that can cause equipment malfunctions, the air conditioning has to be set at a low temperature to help keep the equipment cool. While the equipment thrives on it, the dispatchers do not, especially in the winter time.

Sandy Wichman, mother of Watch Supervisor Cara Bishop-Wichman generously took her time to take each shirt, cut them into quilt pieces, and sewed them together to make lap throws for the dispatchers. The re-purposed shirts will now help keep the dispatchers warmer as they field and process your calls for help.

Thank you Mrs. Wichman! It was a very kind, creative, and appreciated gesture!