Happy 50th Anniversary, 9-1-1!
The first 9-1-1 call was made on February 16, 1968 by Alabama Speaker of the House, Mr. Rankin Fite from the Haleyville City Hall. Over the years, 9-1-1 has evolved to include Enhanced 911 (E911) which enables call to be routed to the correct public safety answering point (PSAP) while providing the emergency call-taker with the call-back number and address. Wireless 9-1-1 has also evolved to provide a call-back number and location information in the form of GPS coordinates. Voice over IP (VoIP) 9-1-1 is also required to display location information to 9-1-1. 9-1-1 continues to evolve into Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) as text to 9-1-1 is becoming a reality for many communities. (Text to 9-1-1 is not yet available in this area.)
Cottonwood Public Safety Communications Center
Construction of the Cottonwood Public Safety Communications Center (CPSCC) was completed and fully operational in December 2014. It is a state-of-the-art facility which serves as a public safety answering point (PSAP) and regional dispatching center.
Personnel and Training
CPSCC is staffed 24/7/365 by twenty-two employee positions, which includes three Communications Supervisors and three Communications Training Officers. Communications Specialists are certified by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) as Emergency Medical Dispatchers, Emergency Fire Dispatchers, and Emergency Police Dispatchers and are CPR certified. The training program takes approximately six months to complete and primarily consists of on the job training along with a 40-hour Association of Public Safety Officials (APCO) Public Safety Telecommunicator Course. Employees also complete continuing dispatch education requirements each month.
CPSCC provides dispatching services for the following agencies:
• Cottonwood Police Department
• Cottonwood Fire Department
• Verde Valley Ambulance Company
• Jerome Fire Department
• Verde Valley Fire District (Verde Villages, Cornville, and Clarkdale)
• Sedona Fire District
• Copper Canyon Fire and Medical Authority (Camp Verde, Lake Montezuma, Rimrock)
CPSCC is a primary PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point), answering 9-1-1 calls for the city limits of Cottonwood, Verde Villages, Cornville, Village of Oak Creek, and Lake Montezuma/Rimrock and designated cell phone towers throughout the Verde Valley. CPSCC is also a secondary PSAP, receiving transferred 9-1-1 calls from other PSAPs in the region.
In 2017, CPSCC received 24,258 9-1-1 calls. 72.7% of these calls originated from wireless telephones. CPSCC has Enhanced 9-1-1 (E911) and Wireless Phase II capabilities which provides location information to the call-taker. Text to 9-1-1 is not yet available in this area.
Tips for Calling 9-1-1
• 9-1-1 is for emergencies only. Call 9-1-1 if you are in need of emergency police, fire or medical assistance.
• Be aware of your surroundings and provide as much detail about the location of the emergency as possible. A street address, milepost number, cross streets, trail name, GPS coordinates, or landmarks can be used to describe the location.
• If you call 9-1-1 by accident, stay on the line. Even if you hang up quickly, the 9-1-1 center receives a notification of your call. We will attempt to call you back and may send responders to your location to verify that everything is ok.
• Never let children play with telephones. Cellphones that can power on, even if they are deactivated, can call 9-1-1. Educate children on the proper use of 9-1-1. Never call 9-1-1 as a prank. Emergency lines can be tied up, delaying a response to a true emergency.
• Know the capabilities of the device you are using to call 9-1-1. If you are not sure how your telephone works with 9-1-1, contact your service provider for more information. Call-back and location information can vary drastically depending on the device you are using.
• Text to 9-1-1 is not yet available in this area.
• Call the non-emergency number for information requests or to report delayed, non-emergency incidents at 928-649-1397.