Where technology brought us 

Litton Life Support
2734 Hickory Grove Rd
PO Box 4508
Davenport, IA 52808

Spencer Bros. Disposal
New Windsor, IL

Mane Designs
Viola, IL

Quad-Cities Graduate Studies Center
639 38 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

Taylor Freezers 1885 Earhart Dr
Sandwich IL 60548

Milan Surplus
I-280 Exit 15
Milan, IL 61264

Metro MRI
550 15 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home Inc.
614 Main St
Davenport, 52803

Area among first for 911 service

By Kurt Allemeier, Dispatch/Argus Staff writer

What did you do before 911? What did you do before enhanced 911?

It was not that long ago that the emergency telephone number was brought to Rock Island County.

The service was first used in 1980. A decade later, enhanced 911 service was offered. The enhanced service brings up the caller's name and address on a computer screen in front of a radio dispatcher.

``There is a good, strong background for 911 in the area,'' said Milan village administrator Steve Seiver, who helped create Rock Island County's system.

Dispatchers must interpret the situation, creating a picture in their mind. Having basic information laid out in front of them helps make the picture more vivid, he said.

Geneseo and Henry County were among the first in the state of Illinois to have 911 service, Mr. Seiver said.

The enhanced service is light years better than the first service which routed telephone calls to a municipality's emergency services. It is paid for through a service charge by the telephone company.

Dispatchers have talked people through administering cardiopulminary resuscitation, helped find lost babies and helped deliver babies. On the down side, they have been the last people someone committing suicide talks to, or the first ones called when a homicide occurs.

Now with a language line, dispatchers can communicate with people who are not fluent in English. The enhanced service also means dispatchers do not have to calm down a caller to get incident information.

``It is particularly helpful with someone who is having trouble communicating their situation,'' Mr. Seiver said. ``A motorist might not know an address, plus there is equipment for hearing impaired members of the community.

``It is intended to be one-stop shopping for people who need emergency service,'' he said.

Cellular telephones can be a help, but can also cause problems for 911 dispatchers. Cellular services can pick who they want to receive their 911 calls, Mr. Seiver said, noting calls from cell phones don't show up on dispatchers' call screens.

``There has been a tremendously fast revolution or evolution in communications,'' Mr. Seiver said.

Copyright 1999, Moline Dispatch Publishing Co.