Muscatine County’s move to livestream 911 calls could open the door for more counties to do the same.
It will be the third county in Iowa to use it when it launches Friday.
The county’s dispatchers have been training for the past few weeks on the new system.
It has a video chat feature to send videos, messages or pictures.
That gives dispatchers a better idea of the resources needed during an emergency.
It starts with dispatchers sending a video link directly to a caller’s phone.
Dispatchers say it will help them get accurate information.
“Sometimes we don’t get clear and accurate information about what’s going on on a scene, so this will help with that,” Director of Emergency Management and 911 for Muscatine County Chris Jasper said. “We’ll have a better understanding of exactly what’s happening, so we can consider the resources that we’re sending. If two people versus a fight of 20 people who may require a few more officers and we can see that ahead of time we’ll know exactly who to send in and the officers and first responders will have a better idea of what they’re going into.”
The use of the livestream feature depends on the nature of the call.
Dispatchers hope other agencies start using the new method.