The Emergency Communications Center is where all emergency and non-emergency calls in the city of San Marcos are received and processed.
Our communications center has 6 dedicated 911 trunk lines and 6 administrative lines for non-emergency calls. At the touch of a single button, we can transfer calls to many surrounding jurisdictions, Poison Control, and the Language Line (for non English-speaking callers). We have a mapping system that ties in with the 911 lines which pinpoints the exact location for all calls from landlines, and gives an approximate area for calls from cell phones. Both 911 and the ten digit admin line phone number are received through the same phone system. Often callers on the ten digit admin line can be placed on hold while an emergency call is processed.
This room is also the hub of all radio transmissions for the city’s Police and Fire Departments, as well as all San Marcos communication with the San Marcos/Hays County EMS. We operate a 900 megahertz digital trunked radio system.
In addition, our computers are equipped with a Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) program. Using this software we can track each emergency responder’s location and status; enter, view, and modify current calls for service; search a database of all previous calls for service by date, location, call type, and many other variables; and communicate with our police officers on their Mobile Dispatch Terminal (MDT) through a client similar to many popular Instant Messaging programs.
There are 6 complete workstations in the Emergency Communications Center, each with call-taking and radio dispatching equipment. On any given shift, there are 1-2 call-taker’s, 1 Police Radio Operator, 1 Fire Radio Operator, and a shift supervisor. During peak hours every station has a TCO that is ready to handle any Police, Fire, or EMS emergency that may come in via 911 or over the radio.
The City of San Marcos, LCRA, and CAPCOG have each contributed in outfitting the Communications Center with some of the best emergency communications equipment available. Each workstation is equipped with 7 LCD monitors:
- 2 for 911 phone system and mapping
- 1 for the Harris Radio System
- 4 for the CAD system and other programs utilized by TCOs for daily tasks