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Dothan Technology Change

By: Erika Kurre
By: Erika Kurre

The time it takes to respond to an emergency can mean the difference between life and death. Therefore, the city of Dothan is eliminating that risk by undergoing a communication facelift.

From CBs and radios to Wireless gadgets, the city of Dothan is changing all their communication methods to real-time technology.

It's likely that in the next two months, the time it takes for an emergency response in Dothan will only be a matter of minutes.

The city is implementing a wireless communication system for field workers, like police officers, firefighters and even utility workers.

The system would eliminate the need for a middle man.

If an officer makes a stop for example, right now their only way to communicate with dispatch is by radio. They radio the information about the person back to dispatch. Dispatch does the research and then sends the information back to the officer in the field.

However, with wireless communication, the field workers will have access to all the information they need right at their fingertips.

"When we give these guys and women this capability in their vehicle, they'll be able to do it real time at the stop," said Tim Stewart of Dothan, Information Tech. Mgr.

It's technology that's costing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But public safety officials say that when it comes to the well-being of the community, money is of less concern than the protection of the public and city employees.

"Knowing the locations, knowing all those things we mentioned before, firefighter safety, everyone going home at the end of their shift is paramount here at the fire department," said Chris Etheredge of Dothan Fire Dept.

Those working on the project hope to have it completely paid for by a grant they've applied for.

Then, if all works according to plan, construction on the infrastructure can begin by the end of this summer and once construction on the infrastructure begins, the project should be complete within 60 days.

Once project is under construction, the city's information technology department hopes to begin switching the voice communication system to wireless technology as well.


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