E-911 Communications Center opens doors for tour, briefing
By Jamie Schnell
A Knox County Commission Legislative Briefing was held on Tuesday evening at 605 Bernard Ave in Knoxville. The purpose of this meeting was to give a tour of the communications center and to answer questions.
Brad Anders, executive director of Knox County Emergency Communications District E-911, started the yearly meeting with a history lesson on how the Tennessee General Assembly passed the Emergency Communications District Law in 1984. Anders told how then Knox County Executive Dwight Kessel and City of Knoxville Mayor Kyle Testerman collaborated to create the local service which received its first Knox County 911 call in 1986.
Anders updated those present on leadership and current employee allocations, funding, and current and future projects. He said that as of September, there have been 433,107 calls, averaging 1,592 calls per day, and the average time on calls is one minute and 42 seconds.
Those attending inquired about the deficit in staffing and new employee training.
Following the briefing, Technology Coordinator Tonya Cum, a 27-year employee, led the tour of the center that provides dispatch services to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Knoxville Police and Fire Departments, and the Karns Fire Department. Also in the building is AMR/Rural Metro Communications, which provides dispatch services for AMR ambulance service, Rural Metro Fire, Seymour Fire and Knox County Rescue.
Future plans include establishing a backup center at the previous St. Mary’s campus, working on mental wellness for their employees through the Helen Ross McNabb Center, and continuing to expand the number of employees (over 100 employees currently) by continuing to offer career exploration through local schools and criminal justice programs. They also hope to become a “fully consolidated center, that would allow them to dispatch for all agencies outside the City of Knoxville.”
To inquire about a position with Knox County Emergency Communications, visit www.knox911.org