ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond County Department of Emergency Services’ administrative offices will be closed next week while they complete their transition to the new 911 center at 200 Industrial Park Drive.
The new facility will allow law enforcement to be dispatched directly from the original 911 call without the need to be connected to a second dispatcher. Under the current model, only fire, rescue and EMS are dispatched directly after an initial call.
“This is a bittersweet moment,” Emergency Services Director Donna Wright said in an email Friday. “(W)hile we have done a lot of great work in our current building with the support of our Board of Commissioners, we look forward to the better functionalities this new building will provide.
“I will be a little sad to see the current center go away,” she continued. “I was working the day it went live, and had the honor of answering the first 9-1-1 call in Richmond County. Our new center will provide so much more capability and functionality so that we can better serve our citizens and first responders.”
The project is the result of a $6,357,539 grant awarded in August 2015 by the N.C. 911 Board.
Wright said call center service will not be affected during the transition. The only staff moving next week are administrative staff.
“This transition will take place in the early morning hours and there will be teams at both locations,” Wright said. “Once the current center is turned down, the new center will be turned live simultaneously with staff at both locations. There will be no changes to dispatch procedures at this time.”
She added that the new center will “go live” in mid-June.
The administrative offices, along with all Richmond County government offices, will be closed Monday, May 28 in observance of Memorial Day. Emergency Services’ administrative staff’s first day in the new building will begin at 8 a.m. on May 29.
Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]