Changes for 911 call center in Tucson

Updated: Nov. 16, 2017 at 6:41 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Tucson Fire and Police departments are working to combine two, complex emergency call centers into one system.

It may sound easy, but both departments said it's anything but.

Now, your call is answered by an 911 operator. It's up to that operator to assess your call and decide which agency is best suited to handle your emergency.

You're then transferred and potentially put on hold.

Communications will soon change to a one-stop shop, preventing duplicate efforts and hopefully cutting down on frustrations and wait times for the public.

Soon, operators answering the phones will be able to handle both police and fire emergencies.

The transition of has already begun with employees like Lisa Turner.

She's trained and is ready to use the new system by the end of next year.

"It's a totally different perspective and I learned a lot about anatomy and about helping people," she said. "It's a big challenge but it's doable."

Turner had been working as an operator for the TPD for the last six years.

She said she has seen the call volumes go up and has had her share of non-emergency calls.

That's an issue both police and fire are working on.

They believe part of the answer is this one-stop shop plan.

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