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Texting to 911 might not be too far away for Kendall County

YORKVILLE – Kendall County residents may have the option of sending text messages to 911 in an emergency starting early in the new year, according to KenCom officials.

Lynette Bergeron, communications director for KenCom, said KenCom and other first responder officials have been discussing the idea over the past year. She said that was in the midst of talking about other larger-scale projects within the dispatch agency, including KenCom getting a new computer-assisted dispatch, or CAD, system.

“Now we’ll get down to the details,” Bergeron said.

Bergeron said the hope is to have the public able to send text messages to 911 in Kendall County within the first quarter of 2020.

The update comes after KenCom officials continue discussions for the logistics of Kendall County joining the state’s next generation 911, or NG911, system.

Next Generation 911 systems use digital or internet-based technology to create a faster system that better allows callers to communicate with voice calls or by sending photos, videos or text messages. But because most 911 systems were built using analog technology, making additional work and coordination, including equipment switch-overs, required for the changeover, according to 911.gov.

Bergeron said 911 calls are currently routed through analog routers in Kendall County. She said the county is in lockstep with the state currently when it comes to the implementation of NG911 and the county has already received the appropriate equipment for the system.

“So we just make sure that our equipment is compatible and will be compatible when that stuff rolls out,” Bergeron said.

All in all, Bergeron said, the county is ready to roll out with the full NG911 system as soon as the state is ready to do so and releases its final standards for the system. She said KenCom implementing text messaging to 911 will be separate from the NG911 roll-out.

KenCom currently services the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office, Yorkville Police Department, Bristol-Kendall Fire Protection District, Oswego Police Department, Oswego Fire Protection District, Plano Police Department, Little Rock-Fox Fire Protection District, Montgomery Police Department, Montgomery Countryside Fire Protection District, Sandwich Fire Protection District, Aurora Township Fire Protection District, Lisbon Seward Fire Protection District and Newark Fire Protection District.

The dispatch agency also recently started working in cooperation with Grundy County’s 911 system, Bergeron said.

• This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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