Welcome to the E-911 Office
What is Enhanced 911?
E-911 is a telephonic communication network that connects emergency callers with the appropriate public response like police, fire or ambulance. The United Kingdom began the process of three-digit emergency numbers in 1937. The 112 emergency number, adopted by the European Union in 1991, serves to provide no-charge emergency calls.
In North America, 911 was chosen as the emergency designation number. E-911 seeks to automatically reference a location to the origin of the call. This location may be a physical address or other geographic reference point from Global Positioning System(s) (GPS). The caller's telephone number serves to pinpoint a location that can be used to dispatch police, fire, emergency medical and other response resources. Automatic location of the emergency makes it quicker to locate the required resources during fires, crimes, health emergencies and other events where personal location is difficult or impossible. The first American 911 system was installed in Haleyville, Alabama, in February 1968. The first comprehensive system was built in Chicago by the mid-1970s.
The incoming 911 call is answered at the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) of the governmental agency that has jurisdiction over the caller's location. In Randolph County, the Randolph County Sheriff's Office is 911 answering point number one. The Sparta Police Department is answering point number two. Medstar Ambulance is the medical transfer for 911 calls. Each answering point has two call-taking positions. When the 911 call arrives at the appropriate answering point, it is answered by a specially trained officer. When a land-line call arrives at the PSAP, special computer software uses the telephone number to retrieve and display the location of the caller in near real-time.
A Brief History of E-911 in Randolph County
In 1990, the Randolph County Board of Commissioners acknowledged the need for an Enhanced 911 system. A referendum was presented to voters in November, 1990. In the next years, the Emergency Telephone System Board was created, a coordinator and assistants were added and an equipment provider for E-911 was chosen. Aerial maps were used to establish an addressing grid. Office staff attended training courses to build the mapping system. Rural box numbers were provided by the United States Postal Service. County roads were reviewed and named. Then a Master Street Address Guide (MSAG) was assembled, which required every county road to be listed, designated by high or low range, and tagged with an emergency response number. That data was uploaded into the telephone company database. The Illinois Commerce Commission mandated the MSAG and E-911 database be 99 percent accurate before the system was launched. Telecommunicators attended protocol training for E-911 call processing. Randolph County E-911 went live on October 4, 1994.
What We Do in the E-911 Office
- The Randolph County E-911 Office resolves trouble-reporting issues on 911 equipment, coordinates training dates, conducts state regulated 911 testing, and facilitates 911 equipment upgrades.
- We coordinate with the Land Resource Management Office to establish 911-locatable addresses on new home structures.
- We make educational presentations to preschool and kindergarten children in the correct use of 911.
- We update the 911 Mapbooks (available for purchase in the County Clerks Office).
- We provide most current 911 maps with accurate road range and street names to Randolph County Law Enforcement and Fire Departments, as well as verify current Illinois Interagency Agreements.
- We maintain MSAG 911 addresses and the master street address guide with land line and wireless telephone providers.
- We conduct 911 informational presentations on the history of Randolph County 911, PSAP overview, and the future of 911.