Westcom begins dispatching for the City of Norwalk on December 3rd, 2012.
Click here for Bureau of Labor Statistics information on Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers.
Interview with WOI-TV on 9/23/10. Below is the story:
Dropping Land lines Causes Problems for 911 Dispatchers
More Iowans are dropping their land lines in favor of their cell phones, and it's causing problems at 911 call centers.
The Westcom Dispatch center in West Des Moines answers more than 250 thousand 911 calls every year. In 2009, more than half of those calls came from cell phones. The first time cell phone calls outnumbered calls from land lines.
It is harder for dispatchers to find the location of someone calling from cell phones. Landlines are assigned to an address, but cell phone locations rely on cell towers and GPS systems. Some locations are wrong. Some locations do not come up at all.
Dispatchers say the main reason is that 911 call centers haven't kept pace with cell phone progress.
"The technology that the 9-1-1 system is based on is really very old - it dates back to the 1960's and early 70's," said Westcom Assistant Chief Rob Dehnert.
The dispatch center hopes to have a new 911 call service in place in the next two years that would locate cell phones and receive emergency text messages.