Atchison County 911 Center Uses Computer Information Systems, Inc.’s (CIS) Computer-Assisted Dispatch (CAD) System Countywide For Dispatching
Atchison County Missouri is located at the northwestern tip of Missouri. Although their population is under 6,000 residents, the Atchison County 911 Center uses a state-of-the-art CAD System from Computer Information Systems, which been “live” since December 2011. The Center is 24 by 7 by 365, and is operated by 8 staff, including Atchison County EMA/911 Director Rhonda Wiley. Director Wiley explained their procurement process.
“We started researching CAD Vendors. Vendors were invited for a demo, and we invited them to bid on a CAD system for us. Our decision was based on the ease and quality of the system product, affordability, references, reputation of the company and general feel.”
Director Wiley credits the CIS CAD System with automating all their information.
“The ability to see previous records and calls from that particular phone number or residence has helped out with responder safety. It also helps to identify potential health or medical issues which need to be passed along to responders concerning history from that particular residence.”
The single most important CIS CAD System function that Director Wiley identifies….
“would have to be the ease of use. When I came on board six years ago, my team was still utilizing paper records. We had no CAD. They used a computer to send in their timesheets and control the phones. During my research and procurement of a CAD System, I promised them I would not install one they couldn’t operate and do a great job with. I am proud to say, I kept my word. Each one of my dispatchers (ranging in age from 47 years to 60 years young) works the CAD like it has been part of their lives throughout their career. Speaking of careers, the lowest seniority for our full time employees is 6 years. I tell you this because I want you to recognize that they would not have stayed if they had a CAD that wasn’t easy to use and helpful to them, assisting them in the job they do. Another thing that I might add to this is our budget only allows us to have one dispatcher at a time. They could not do their jobs if their CAD wasn’t helpful and easy to use.”
Director Wiley comments that…
“CIS’ technical support has been exactly what they promised during the procurement process and even more. I can’t think of one instance an issue wasn’t resolved quickly and professionally. I can’t think of one person on my team that hesitates or dreads calling CIS when they have a question or issue. We probably contact them 1-2 times a month for information, or updates or something and it is never a dreaded call. Our team has a partnership with the CIS team that I seriously doubt you find with every vendor. I would not change a thing! “
Director Wiley summarized her feelings about the Atchison County 911 Center and CIS’ relationship.
“Our agency could not have afforded such a ‘Cadillac’ of a CAD System as CIS’, had it not been for a grant opportunity. I am thankful that CIS found our agency and went above and beyond what was expected during the procurement process and still does every day! I have never regretted my decision to establish this relationship and am even more thankful when I hear from other agencies about problems they experience with their CAD vendors.”
Director Wiley concluded,
“Missouri has no state funding for 911 and we are considered to be ‘911 poor.’ I say this so that people can understand that in Missouri, if you don’t get it right with the first purchase, it will be many, many, many years before you get another procurement opportunity. Getting it right the first time is most important in maintaining a healthy, happy team. To keep a good team, you have to support them with good tools and education to do their job or they won’t be happy. CIS’ CAD is a good tool and I have a happy team.”