Union County 9-1-1 callers are first in the nation to use the new CueHit service for smart phones, provided through the Union County Regional Dispatch Center. The new service provides new opportunities for the Dispatch Center to communicate with callers, while enabling first responders to focus on life threatening situations and other emergencies. The Regional Dispatch Center is the first 9-1-1 call center in the U.S. to make use of CueHit.
The Regional Dispatch Center handles 9-1-1 emergency calls and other communications for the Union County Department of Public Safety, and for a growing number of municipal public first responder offices and health care facilities in Union County.
“The Regional Dispatch Center provides municipalities in Union County with access to state-of-the-art emergency call services, while also relieving them from administrative tasks and providing a stable platform for budget management,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “We are constantly looking for ways to expand this shared County service as new technology comes onto the market.”
“CueHit has the potential to become a key tool in our ability to improve public safety services and address quality of life issues throughout our communities. It enhances the Dispatch Center’s ability to reach out and connect with the public on a person-to-person level, while enabling first responders to focus their attention on preventing injury and saving lives,” said Freeholder Angela Garretson, who is the Freeholder liaison to the Union County Public Safety Advisory Board.
“Emergency services have to change and grow along with the times, and the feedback component of CueHit will be especially important as we work to improve public safety services in the digital age,” said Union County Public Safety Director Andrew Moran.
With CueHit, smart phone users who call 9-1-1 in Union County to report incidents that are not life-threatening speak to a dispatcher at the Regional Dispatch Center, and receive a followup text message that provides an estimated time of arrival for the first responders.
The text message also provides instructions on what to do until the responders arrive.
In addition, the caller will receive a survey by text message 24 hours later, offering them with an opportunity to provide feedback on their experience.
Examples of non-life threatening or lower priority incidents include vandalism, animal nuisances, or discovery of a theft or break-in where the perpetrator is no longer present.
Union County created the Regional Dispatch Center in 2012, as a shared county-local emergency communications service to handle the growing number and complexity of emergency calls among the 21 municipalities. It repaced the County’s existing two-console facility with a state-of-the-art, nine-console array that dispatches the Union County Police Department and many local and regional public safety agencies including Police, Fire, EMS, the Metro Strike Team and Union County Fire Mutual Aid.
In addition, Union County is the contact point for specialized resources including the Sheriff’s K-9, the Union County Bomb Squad and the Union County Hazardous Materials (HazMat) Unit (HazMat).
Union County also launched a countywide, shared ambulance service in 2012 to help relieve pressure on local responders resulting from ongoing trends, including hospital emergency room closings, local budget constraints, and difficulty in recruiting volunteers for local squads.
For more information and updates on all Union County services and resources during the COVID-19 outbreak, including guidance for using the Drive-Through Test Center at Kean University and the Mobile Test Unit walk-up sites, visit the new Union County COVID-19 website at ucnj.org/covid19.
For general information about COVID-19 and phone contacts for 24/7 assistance with questions, visit the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.
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