Lawmaker proposes life-saving changes to impact Wilson County 911

Bill would change 911 call procedure
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Posted at 5:12 PM, Jan 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-22 23:42:13-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A state lawmaker is proposing a new bill that would impact the way 911 calls in Wilson County are handled. It would be a change some first responders in the county say is long overdue.

The problem was first highlighted by a series of NewsChannel 5 reports in 2016. Because Wilson County does not have a centralized dispatch center, 911 callers are often forced to repeat vital information during emergency situations as their calls are often transferred to various agencies throughout the county.

Representative Lowell Russell R-Vonore is currently drafting legislation that would require counties across the state to have a centralized dispatch center in an effort to save critical time during emergencies.

"We surely don’t want people to have to repeat themselves multiple times, we want them to be able to call 911 and then tell the operator what the problem is and that dispatcher send the call out," Rep. Russell said.

Plans to upgrade Wilson County's 911 call system were put on hold in March of last year after multiple agencies involved said they didn't agree with the details laid out in the plan.

As it stands currently, Wilson County is the only county in the entire state of Tennessee where 911 callers are first sent to a call center.

Click here to read more about Wilson County 911.