First 911 call answered at NATCOM facility

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The Natchitoches Parish 9-1-1 Communications District announced the successful relocation of the 9-1-1 emergency communications operations of the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Natchitoches Police Department to the recently completed NATCOM Emergency Communications Center.  The first 9-1-1 call answered at the new facility arrived at 9:44 a.m. July 31 and was processed by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office Communications division.

The relocation of the emergency communications operations for the parish’s public safety agencies is the culmination of almost seven years of challenging work involving  the planning and the construction of a state-of-the- art communications facility. The facility was constructed to FEMA safe room standards, which includes: blast resistant doors, the ability to withstand wind speeds of 259 miles per hour, and a critical operations power supply, which provides continuous power in the event of a commercial power outage ensures the safety of both equipment and personnel.  “The facility is state-of-the art and can prove to be very significant to the future positive growth of public safety services in Natchitoches parish and the surrounding area,” said Willis Carter, who has served for the past eight years as Natchitoches Parish’s 9-1-1 Director. “However, the building is only brick and mortar. Its heart and soul is made up of the individuals, who work within its walls providing lifesaving services to the residents and visitors to Natchitoches parish 24-hours each day, 365 days each year.”

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When asked how the facility was funded, 9-1-1 Commission Chairman, Micky Dove, responded that “…the Natchitoches Parish 9-1-1 Communications District does not receive tax revenue or funding from state or local governments, but rather relies upon funding through telephone surcharges.  Funding for the $3.9 million facility was provided by the Communications District and through a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the State of Louisiana Capital Outlay program.”  Carter added, “On behalf  of the 9-1-1 Communications Commission, residents, and visitors to Natchitoches Parish, we would like to thank Natchitoches Parish’s legislative delegation, and especially, the Honorable Senator Gerald Long, for their unwavering support, without which this project would not have been possible.”

Next steps for the District will include continuing efforts to reorganize operations in ways that will streamline 9-1-1 call taking operations, while supporting expanded and improved dispatch services to all public safety service providers in the parish.