SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – In an effort to improve dispatch times across Hays County, the Hays County Commissioners Court is considering creating a Combined Emergency Communications Center (CECC) that will take on dispatch responsibilities for the city of Kyle.
“We’ll be asking the City of Kyle to support the draft agreements at their city council meeting,” said Hays County Judge’s Office Chief of Staff Lon Shell.
Currently, the Hays County Sheriff’s Department dispatches for all agencies affiliated with Hays County as well as the Buda Police Department. By combining the Kyle Police Department’s dispatch team of 14 into the county’s team, the county believes it can improve county-wide dispatch times. The added employees would allow call centers to separate 911 call-takers and dispatchers, which county officials say would put more focus on the caller and dispatch first responders faster.
“Our idea is to separate some of those job functions and focus on them so when someone calls 911 and a person answers the phone they stay on the phone and with that person through the entire experience. Then, someone then dispatches our first responders and they stay on the radio with those first responders through the entire experience,” said Shell.
Proposed CECC would dispatch for:
- Buda PD
- Hays CSO
- Hays Co. Constables
- San Marcos Hays County EMS
- South Hays Fire
- Kyle Fire
- Buda Fire/EMS
- Wimberley Fire/EMS
- North Hays County Fire and Rescue
- Chisolm Trail Fire and Rescue
At a call center, there are 911 call-takers and dispatchers. Call-takers receive the call and maintain communication with those seeking help. Dispatchers contact the appropriate agency, brief them on the situation and send them toward the emergency. Hays County leaders say many of their employees have to play both rolls, forcing them to put callers on hold to dispatch help.
“They are dealing with multiple things going on at the same time,” said Shell. “If you are trying to do multiple things at one time, you may not be hearing everything you should be.”
The county says it’s been working on this plan for 10 years. Last November, Hays County voters passed a bond that would provide the construction of a building that will include an Emergency Communications facility and infrastructure.
San Marcos will continue to dispatch its own police and fire calls.
The Kylie City Council voted to approve the agreement Tuesday night in a 6-0 vote.